Should education and healthcare be free of charge and funded by the government, or should it be the responsibility of the people to pay for these services? Discuss the above and give your opinion using examples.
A healthy and educated society is the backbone of any successful society; however, deciding who is to provide this is a sensitive topic. I strongly believe the government should be held responsible to provide these services for two reasons. Firstly, the entire society benefits, and secondly the whole population is currently paying for the services. However, if one prefers extra services they should be prepared to pay for it themselves.
Firstly, education is largely considered a basic right. A population unable to calculate, read, write or even learn would be doomed in such a competitive global economy. Globalisation has increased competition and shifted the emphasis to knowledge, information and science. A state education should, therefore, be freely available to everybody. However, if people wish to purchase private education, this should also be allowed or even encouraged. Private education reduces the strain on public services and provides a source of tax revenue for the government, in effect, subsidising state education.
Secondly, health services must undoubtedly be available to all because the entire nation is paying taxes and, therefore, should not be excluded from any service. Take the NHS in the UK, for example; this organisation caters for the entire population, and no private medical insurance is needed. Unfortunately waiting lists can be long and service is occasionally slow; therefore, some purchase private medical insurance for a faster service. This reduces the workload of the public sector.
To conclude, I believe both healthcare and education are basic fundamental rights, necessary for any advanced society, and, therefore, the responsibility should lie with the government. Nevertheless, if individuals require more than the standard level, then they should be prepared to pay for it.