Wakanda Forever! That’s what I have been yelling for the past few days since the premiere of Marvel’s Black Panther. An amazing film which feels more like an expose of African and African American culture than a superhero movie, it’s splendor leaves little to the imagination. King T’Challa (the Black Panther) hails from Wakanda, a utopian East African land. Filled with sprawling African plains, soaring mountains, and generous waterfalls it is inhabited by beautiful animals and even more beautiful people.

One particular scene I was interested in was when CIA Agent Erik Ross is shot in the spine by supervillan Klaue. Presumed to be a gunshot wound in the thoracic spine, he is taken to Wakanda for treatment. In it’s scientific lab, he is healed through the power of vibranium, Wakanda’s magical metal. Infused within the terrains of Wakanda after a vibranium-filled meteor crashed into it’s lands, the metal provides superhuman abilities when consumed. It is also known to harbor kinetic energy and is a part of Black Panther’s suit (and was also used to make Captain America’s shield) . With it’s healing properties, not only is Mr. Ross’ health completely restored, but he is healed in record time (24 hours).

With the amazing ability vibranium had on the CIA Agent, I am tempted to ask- what would health care look like in Wakanda? Here is what I think:

1.Healthcare would be free

  • Recognizing the techno-utopia that is Wakanda, it is hard to believe there would be difficulty providing free access to health care for all. As a place that has prided itself in refusing international aid, I am sure they would have the resources to care for all residents without costs trickling down to individual citizens.

2. There would be no racial/ethnic/gender/ sexual orientation bias

  • Under the new leadership of King T’Challa, intolerance would not be condoned and individuals would find peace in knowing they will receive quality care no matter how “different” they are.

3. Mental health= priority

  • Mental health would be recognized as a health issue as serious as diabetes, hypertension, or HIV and would be addressed in both community and private sectors
  • Safe and effective allopathic treatments and counseling services will be available for both adults and children

4. Nutritional and physical health would take precedence

  • Physical health and exercise would be incorporated into the lifestyles of citizens with healthy dietary options available for all.

5. Eastern and Western approaches to medicine would be appreciated and celebrated

  • The intertwining of naturopathy and allopathic medicine would allow for a greater range of ways to deal with sickness and illness (take for instance the use of the Heart Shaped Herb to heal King T’Challa)

6. All drugs would be effective with no side or adverse effects

  • Medication would treat illness without concern for negative consequences

7. Technology and Human Intelligence would work together

  • Frustration over Electronic Medical Record systems, computer down times, and the “hinderance” of technology in the practice of medicine would be a thing of the past. Technology would allow for improved streamlining in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease
  • There would be easy access to necessary medical equipment (MRI, CT, etc) and laboratory facilities

8. The physician- patient relationship would improve

  • Built on respect and patience, patients would feel like they are being heard and understood by clinicians at all times
  • Clinicians would take into account the opinions, concerns, and fears of patients and family members when making medical decisions

9. Health  care worker burnout will no longer exist

  • With it’s emphasis on mental health and the vast cohesiveness of the health system, workers would no longer be stressed by long hours, lack of support from administration and emotional and physical stress

In reality, no health care system that exists today is ideal.The points I listed are what I feel it would take to create a place of medical bliss. A “perfect” health care structure would incorporate several of the good qualities seen in many of the worldwide systems functioning today. For now we should endeavor to improve the current structure in our respective country, aiming to be a place where we can avidly repeat King T’ Challa’s words when he realized Erik Ross was hurt. “Give him to us, we can heal him”.

What do you think would help create a perfect health care system?

Originally published at medium.com