The achievement of Universal Coverage in Health Care represents the best of humanity. Thanks to its creation, the solidarity of a few countries, replaced the dependence on charity suffered by a large part of the population to access medical and social services. Access to health care is a human right, not some sort of philanthropy.
Universal Coverage in Health Care protects children like little Tim, the protagonist of one of the traditional Christmas stories: A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.
The author is one of those few people who knew how to find Victorian London and survive to tell it, or rather, live telling it. Parliamentary chronicler, father of the social novel and the novel by delivery, he was a bestseller writing one of the most representative autobiographical works of the 19th century. His characters, characterized by stereotypes, are still alive among us. He went from misery to abundance, from anonymity to fame, from dreaming to becoming a dream.
He was an emblematically positive author in his novels. He told us that, despite all the imaginable baseness of the human being, including those coming from the closest and dearest, there is always hope for a better future at the dawn of a new day, on the outskirts of that cruel city, with a lucky strike or just, making the right decision.
A Christmas Carol is one of his most characteristic stories. It is said that he helped to conceive the modern celebration that we know. The story of miser Ebenezer Scrooge, rarely heard today, describes a character so cartoonish that no one identifies with him today. Who thinks only of amassing fortunes? Who can believe that the mortality of beggars contributes to the reduction of world overpopulation? The idea that we could be like him is ridiculous, isn't it?
Of the four ghosts that appear on his Christmas Eve, three represent the Christmas that he has had, has, and will have Ebenezer. The ghost of the past is a humanized candlelight. So young and so old at the same time, that it is impossible to identify age or gender. With shadows from the protagonist's own past, he reminds him of the happy moments and bad decisions he had made in his life. Sometimes on his own initiative and other times due to external circumstances, these choices made him what he is; an isolated and embittered person despite enjoying health and wealth.
The ghost of the present represents what in England is known as the Father of Christmas without mentioning him and who is nothing more than a piece of the puzzle that makes up the current idea we have of Santa Claus. This one deals with showing how poverty affects people and how our present is affected by "Ignorance" and "Need", both, descendants of humanity according to the author. Also, it teaches him the joy that the people he knows share on that date and in some cases, despite extreme situations such as the one experienced by the family of his most faithful employee, with the illness suffered by the youngest of the children.
The little boy called Tim, the spirit predicts with certainty, will not see another Christmas because of a curable disease back then, since his family cannot afford the costs of his treatment. With deaths like little Tim's, innocence and justice die, each day. It is one of those deaths that today we would classify as unnecessarily premature and healthily preventable. In the story, the sweet boy leaves an ownerless crutch as a keepsake. However, the memory could well be a pair of glasses, some unused baby shoes, or, on the contrary, the oblivion of the death of indigent little feet, who did not get to know any footwear.
Despite our actions, the ghost that haunts us most fervently is not the ghost of the past. The future stalks us with irremediable determination, it simply awaits us. In the book, the ghost of Christmas to Come is represented majestically stealthy, with identity, although without a face and always pointing an inexorable finger. Like the executioner, he only executes the sentence, of a judgment that we build our own way. Above all, we fear the unknown, the absence of certainty. Hopefully, for little Tim, old Scrooge after his privileged experience finances his medical care on time, saves him and completes his metamorphosis, becoming a second father to him and a good person.
This Christmas story is one of possible personal improvement, of second chances. The possibility of that change is always there around every moment in our lives and not just on Christmas Eve. Despite this, we almost always refuse to accept it. The present wins the game for us, and we prefer to continue being, comfortable with what we are. What is celebrated at Christmas according to Dickens, is the constant opportunity that we all have, to be better people in life. As a Society, we should work together to develop Universal Coverage in Health Care, everywhere. As little Tim said and the author reminded us at the end of the book, God bless us all, each one of us!