Healthcare: is it a right or a luxury? | Tarik Sammour | TEDxAdelaide

Is healthcare a right or a luxury? The answer each individual gives to that question depends largely on their previous experiences with medical care, and on their geographical background and personal philosophy. It is not as simple as it sounds. But the world is getting smaller, and it is imperative that we develop a shared understanding of what kind of healthcare system works best for society in general, and how to fund this effectively. In this talk, Tarik Sammour challenges the audience to think about these questions and engages them in a passionate debate, while putting his own personal spin on things as all good speakers do! Tarik Sammour is a surgeon at the Royal Adelaide Hospital and an Associate Professor at the University of Adelaide, specialising in advanced bowel cancer surgery, patient outcome centred research and robotics. Throughout his training, Tarik has been privileged to work in a wide variety of healthcare systems, from the smallest general hospital in rural New Zealand to one of the largest medical centres in the United States, giving him a unique first-hand insight into what works well for patients and what doesn’t. One of the reasons he eventually chose to settle in Adelaide was because he saw the city’s potential as a leader in healthcare delivery and innovation. With an ageing population and spiralling healthcare costs, he has some ideas to solve problems that are relevant to us all. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at


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  1. Better you don't take both, both are not suitable to human being.

  2. We all know how drug companies and medical supply companies work, Medicare approved amounts, you left that out sweetie. Bandaids don't cover the topic

  3. Why is the intro so LOUD!! 🤬

  4. I already realised I have no right to anything but Clean air and water. I don’t want to live in and on with chronic conditions. I didn’t have children as I didn’t think it was my right either. I don’t want to take medicines if I don’t need them. The NHS saves more lives than the USA for less. It worked well til the private sector got hold of it and employed 1,000 S of managers and consultants to tell them how inefficient they are. I would never live in the USA as If don’t believe in elitism. I go without and wait and see to make sure I don’t overuse resources to make room for the elderly and children. Strong psychology, eat less and exercise are my way of living. I don’t want to live without my faculties or with lots of treatments. I nearly died due to a mistake and the wrong treatment. Now I wait and see. So far so good. 8 years later and I am grateful for everyday. I live now not for extending g my life.

  5. Health care is a luxury in the United States

  6. It’s a no brainer healthcare should be available to everyone. No one asks to be born.

  7. I worked in healthcare (US), hospitals set their own prices and our outrageously high and can vary, same with doctors, same procedure can cost $4k or $40k and not any better or different, there is no standard. Some other countries with great healthcare also pay education, dr's aren't loan poor (also high Mal/insu,we sue a lot here) dr's feel like they owe society and not the opposite, some countries dr's, teachers, cops all get paid the same, like $150k, not millions. Also their government does the haggling with supplies, pharma and devices keeping costs down, don't have to pay for all the different billing and coding ( highest cost in healthcare)

  8. Healthcare is neither a right or a luxury. First of all, we should differentiate healthcare from Sick Care. The best form of healthcare is taking care of your body through healthy practices. That should be first and foremost and would be a huge step in lowering the cost of Sick Care. Reducing the demand will also force the private sector to lower costs to compete for a smaller market. In a system that precludes government interference, the burden of care for the misfortunate falls back on the people, where it belongs. We are our brother's keepers. Not the government. Not the other guy. You and me! Not through coercion but through voluntary human response.

  9. It is a Human Right, not a luxury, and therefore, not a business.

  10. We should have free healthcare.
    It should include 1 vision checkup, 1 dental checkup/cleaning, and 2 visits to a primary care to have your weight, BP and heart monitored. It wouldn't be free, because taxes would pay for these basic things. If that were the basis of "free healthcare", I think people would be happy with that because that seems to be what people generally want.

    What works against us is our unhealthy culture. We consume way too much sugar and you're not going to see the candy, soda and processed foods leave the shelves. It's not happening. We eat poison and it costs us not just in the present but in our future because it Is destroying our bodies.

    We make bad choices but we also have bad choices to choose from. We cant fund a healthcare system because of this. If we were a healthy, educated population, we would have a better healthcare system because it wouldnt be overburdened by an unhealthy and obese population. It's not just a single issue to fix. It's very complex. Its expensive. If you made it free, I believe it would cause people to eat worse than they do now because people here in America would rather take a pill than exercise. When given the choice, we Anericans choose the easy option that creates instant gratification. Again, this is because our culture is currently content with doing things this way.

  11. Health insurance is not healthcare

  12. 1. Don’t have kids if you can’t afford them. 2. Do you feel or do you know 3. You didn’t realize the social and economic impact of medical services before you became a doctor? 4. The number one killer in the US is heart disease. This is totally preventable, however in the US we feed our faces like pigs then wonder why we are sick. We then look to our neighbor to then pay for it. 5. The answer is prevention not intervention but know one wants to listen or practice good health habits.

  13. It is fair to share the cost of your healthcare with your fellow citizen because getting sick or injured is (partly) involuntary, unavoidable and happens at random. You also can not negotiate not to get it like a new car because you will die without it. Patient is not same as customer because customer can refuse to buy. This is why getting healthcare should not destroy your finances. All-privatized healthcare creates unnecessary personal tragedies which universal system could mitigate.

  14. I will give very simple example of comparing single payer healthcare system in Canada to private in the US. Canadian system is to provide everybody with Toyota – not the fastest car, has mostly basic features, but reliable and affordable. Everyone has and it fulfills its main function – to bring you from point A to point B. In the US system you have access to the best of the best cars as long as you can afford it, such as Ferrari, Bentley or Porsche. However, if you can't afford the expensive cars, you are either screwed or need to take a bus (medicaid for low-income.).there is either expensive car or no car.

  15. We as people always hear how expensive healthcare is and that there is a problem. I have never heard politicians of any country saying that military and wars are too expensive so we will nees to cut it and live in peace because we can't afford a war anymore.

  16. Why is that evan a question ?

  17. Not meant to live much past 80, I'm going to take life as it comes. I'll die standing, instead of in bed with tubes and artificial air

  18. Unfortunately the US insurance companies will always win. There are too many brown envelopes being passed around while Americans die early because the can't afford health care.

  19. Healthcare is no more a right than any other service. In the US we need to eradicate the health insurance system which is not insurance at all but nothing more than a 3rd party payment system that lines the pockets of health insurance companies. Healthcare service need to be paid for like any other service and insurance should be used like insurance for expensive unlikely events. We do not need insurance for our yearly 150 dollar doctor checkup or occasional sick visit, etc.

  20. Poor and war torn countries can't afford universal healthcare but I don't they're human rights violators for that. So I think universal healthcare is a great goal, but not a right

  21. Freedom is having the opportunity to do what you want with your hardworking dollars. If myself and a doctor were the last people on this earth and I was sick, is it their right to treat me? No. I don't have the right to force someone to take care of me but a privilege. Being born does not mean you have the right to anything. If you want food, you work for it. If you want healthcare, you pay for it. Those who make more money then you are not obligated help you. If you want to own a company and

  22. Health care is too expensive but missiles aren't.

  23. Healthcare is a commodity. Because someone has to offer you the services. You can't force a doctor to heal you. It's supply and demand. Now, the most interesting hard question I've asked my economics students is is there a cost value to a human life? How much is a human life worth or are all human lives really worth the same?

  24. Only a socialist would ask this question. A better question would be: How do we provide the best health care possible at the cheapest cost? Certainly not through government. They mismanage everything and quite often, steal your money as well.

  25. I don't think anyone should have access to healthcare.

  26. im so tired of hearing this guy swallow every 5 secs

  27. I think you're missing something very important. The answer does not have to be rationing. If you watched Michael Moore's documentary, "Sicko" you would reaize that the same "expensive" technology here costs a fraction of US prices in certain other countries like Cuba. Why? Because companies are willing to negotiate prices when they realize that is the only way to make a sale. This is what needs to happen in the US. Patients have tightened their belts long enough. It's time for the top-heavy medical corporations to do the same; not skimp on the tests, services, and treatments they provide, but take it out of the inflated upper management salaries.

    I am low income; disabled by multiple chronic illnesses. I contracted a permanent viral infection recently from a healthcare worker and my doctor called in an antiviral. I came to find out that Medicare doesn't cover it and the out of pocket cost would be over $1,000. My doctor called in a different antiviral and the pharmacy told me that one needed a prior authorization, so meanwhile the wound is festering and expanding its parameters more each day. I have had to be on the phone all day every day to get an override so that I can be treated. This should NEVER happen in the richest country in the world. We need to have people making the decisions that actually care about what is best medically for patients; not what's cheapest. I don't know anybody that is indiscriminately using care inappropriately "like a kid in a candy store." Most of the chronically ill people I know are actually under-served.

  28. So you are saying to not care about your life and kill people to lower the cost

  29. USA already has a 2 tier hybrid system… we have the privatized healthcare system that everyone knows about… and we have community health clinics that give free or extremely low cost healthcare that seemingly no one knows about or cares to talk about… I live in florida and had an odd case of food poisoning after eating bad guacamole… I went to my local community health clinic and paid $15 to see a doctor and then I paid another $12 for antibiotics … I'm all better now… that's freaking cheap healthcare… the only downside was that I had to wait 2.5 hours to see the doctor… now if we socialize the entire american healthcare system every hospital will be like going to the community health clinic except the waiting time will be 20x longer…hybrid system is the way to go and we already have it here in the USA… and the community healthcare system is only getting better in the USA we just need to give it time to develop… what blows my mind is that many many Americans don't even know that free or very low cost community health clinics exist and they exist in almost every city in america !

  30. everyone always talks around the actual question but never asks it or answers it. even the title of this interesting speech is misleading as to the content. I as would almost every living person, would concede that obtaining medical care in one of the many various ways and places is a right. for the most part here in america if a person walks into an emergency room (he to make it easy) will be given the necessary care to at least stabilize the condition. if he has no insurance or means to pay for the care received then in round about ways the taxpayer will pick up the tab. we have for the most part stipulated that everyone should be able to receive at least emergency medical care, and usually preventative medications such as an inhaler. but what is and cannot/should not be a right is to have somebody else pay for it with no personal responsibility. with the possible exception of the homeless population, anyone receiving medical care or public aid of any kind should have a requirement and plausible way to at least in part repay those that paid for said assistance, either in labor or payments. nobody is entitled to the time and property of another without compensation for it. as far as it is right and just to expect or demand services from others it is right and just to expect compensation for it

  31. We are told that we are living longer. But are we really living longer or are we being kept alive longer. The longer you live the more medications you require. Our public hospitals are full to the brim with old people receiving life extending operations which may give them a few extra months of life. It's all very well to get a heart transplant but if everything else in the body is knackered too then really what's the point. We have come to a point these days where it's illegal and unnatural for us to die at all. We must be kept alive at all cost. Yet some refuse and die and they're wrapped over the knuckles for their decision. I knew one young man of 21 who had kidney disease and required dialysis three times a week. After being on the machine all day he went to the pub to have a drink with his mates. He was continually wrapped over the knuckles by the medical establishment telling him he was not allowed to drink more than 600ml of fluid in twenty four hours and certainly not beer. He constantly ignored the medical establishment and yes in the end it killed him. But he lived his life the way he wanted to and I wholeheartedly applauded him for taking that decision and not letting others dictate what he could and couldn't do with his life.

  32. It is not a luxury neither is it a right. It is not something the government is entitled to set up

  33. It a right as long as we value human life more then money but I am aganst Solisum it a right but it could be cheper and better qulty over all.

  34. It is a right coming from a Republican

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