The other night, I picked up the fifth prescription in two weeks related to my daughter’s upper respiratory infection. It seems that she may have allergy-induced asthma, so there’s a lot of firsts for us, including this particular medicine. I was terrified picking it up, just thinking about how much it would cost. My child’s health is SO IMPORTANT. What if she’s meant to cure cancer, become Secretary General of the U.N., or write an important piece of literature? And even if she isn’t, she’s my child. I can’t imagine letting her cough one more day if I can help it.
All this worry has me thinking about how privileged my family is. We have decent insurance through my husband’s job, so we paid no co-pay for this prescription. Basic preventative health care still isn’t accessible to everyone in the U.S., much less developing nations, much less great, comprehensive health care. But we have this.
I’ve rallied on Labor Day to improve women’s health care and voted for politicians who I believe will fight for reproductive rights and will help bring true universal health care to our country. But the more I think about it, it’s not enough.
I want an end to the system where hospitals, clinics, health care providers are all tied up in business as much as they are in healing. So many great minds and caring hands led to the great medical care we have available – it just sucks that capitalism has that care in it’s stranglehold. A patient’s health outcomes should not be dependent on their personal wealth nor that of their community. Their care should as free of prejudice and bias as possible and evidence-based.
It wasn’t until I started working as a doula, that I came to appreciate the need for evidence-based practice. That means people are using scientific process to evaluate each treatment variable to get the best outcome. I appreciate when that means that a mama is given the space she needs to birth her baby in safety *and* peace. That should be available everywhere. Not just at the hospitals in my city. But in the rural hospitals. And in every village birth center and midwife’s community. In every place, no matter the latitude nor longitude. To every pregnant person, no matter their income, racial, cultural ethnic background, age, sexual orientation, gender, and so on… Every mama should have access to evidence-based maternity care.
That’s just my $.02, paid by my $0.00 co-pay today.