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

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

    Why can't the US just do a public option and a private option from which the people can be free to choose, depending on what one a person can afford.

  2. Oscar Altman

    this guy is wrong on so many levels

  3. ax056

    Tell Me… Do you get paid for for these Seminars or a a Medical Professional?

  4. B Jolly

    It's definitely a luxury and you're fortunate if you have any of it so the best medicine is to take care of yourself

  5. Opossumlvr

    Health care is not a right it is a privilege, health care requires a person time and expertise and training. No person has the right to another persons time and training, if people had that right then slavery would be permissible.

  6. Barry Akin

    We already have the “hybrid” system he advocates for. If he truly researched the U.S. health care system, then he knows our system is not mostly privatized. It’s extremely regulated and subsidized. There is a huge social safety net that we call medicade. If you want high quality care that’s also affordable, then a truly privatized, deregulated, and open market system is the way to go. We do not have that in the U.S.

  7. Alexandra Woodbury

    As a US citizen on public healthcare after having amazing private healthcare with my parents, this is an extremely interesting and thought-provoking talk. Many interesting things to think about.

  8. jenniferbryn

    in the USA, companies like aetna abuse their huge corporate power while barely servicing their clients. it's expensive, but definitely not a luxury since you get almost nothing in return. rights should not bankrupt you and make you suffer. the whole system needs to change.

  9. Elanor Webber

    It is a complete falsehood that a privatised model is more efficient. In the American system the expenditures on healthcare are far larger then in a public system and the outcomes far worse. That tells you everything you need to know about private or even a hybridised system.

  10. Important Old News

    I wouldn’t characterize the US system as efficient. It requires navigation through bureaucratic mazes to make sure one is covered and isn’t surprised with a bill.

  11. Important Old News

    Life expectancy is actually decreasing in the US. It’s significantly decreasing in certain regions.

  12. Adam Kalb

    Either way, I see healthcare as more of a right that should not become a luxury, but is. However, many people in the comments have convinced me that healthcare is fundamentally neither of those things and really just a necessity. August 22, 2021, 11:30pm

  13. Adam Kalb

    Tarik, I feel very bad for you if you are a doctor who really cares about helping people, one of the good ones, but you get a smaller paycheck when the help or the insurance is less expensive. A hybrid of the privatized and shared public systems would be very good, but if I had to choose one, it would be the public system with cheaper mediocre healthcare for everyone, as long as the less expensive drugs, operations, bandages or beds help people stay healthy for long. August 22, 2021, 11:28pm


    Malaysia has a good healthcare system

  15. Dragonax

    That depends: In US it's luxury, in the rest of the world it's right

  16. Robin Bullock

    Healthcare plans are scams just like insurance companies .When you need to use it there is always a new bill under cover .God told us not to worry about tomorrow today has it's own worries.

  17. Gary Hamlin

    Anything that requires the labor of someone else is not a human right. This, healthcare is not a human right.

  18. raelius zod

    It's a necessity that has to be affordable to all. Atleast that's the kind of society I want/wish I lived in.

  19. AAFriend ForSomeOne

    He says that private healthcare is efficient. That is not true. Private healthcare has one goal: provide a profit for the business owners and share-holders. Patients are not the priority. This goal of maximizing the profit means that private healthcare will never be the most efficient!

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