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Running Head: ANALYSIS OF LIMITED ACCESS TO HEALTHCARE
ANALYSIS OF LIMITED ACCESS TO HEALTHCARE 6
Analysis of Limited Healthcare
November 11th, 2018
Analysis of Limited Access to Healthcare
Limited access to healthcare is one of the problems many members of the society face as we discussed in assessment 2. When a disease attacks, we usually seek medical care from professionals in the nearby healthcare institutions or facilities to receive the right treatment. In simple terms, healthcare access is getting medical attention at the right time to improve health problems. Access to healthcare is dependent on factors such as social barriers, cultural barriers, financial and organizational barriers that may limit the use of healthcare services.
Elements of the Limited Access to Healthcare Problem/Issue
Whether in the urban or the rural areas, research conducted shows that anyone has high chances of limited access to health care in the time of need. This has led to higher mortality rates in various parts of the world. However, there are common elements that cut across almost all the healthcare systems. I will address these elements with the help of information sources such as peer-reviewed journals that have been published in the last 5 years because they contain the most updated information of the limited access to the healthcare. The elements that cause this problem in most areas are multiple, among them we can find the lack of transportation for the patients to access healthcare, provider availability, none or limited health insurance, geographical locations, and language barriers (Sommers, 2015).
In the current world, health insurance is one of the best things to do either in the presence or absent of disease since we are very vulnerable and are exposed to many disease causing factors. Just like accidents and diseases that attack without “knocking the door”. In reported cases, lack of health insurance has led to limited access to the healthcare system because most of the healthcare units use health covers to treat their patients otherwise the finances asked to treat the patients are high. Many people don’t have the finances to afford the treatments for some chronic diseases that need a continuous follow up over a period of time. It also causes poor health status due to the limited access to healthcare. This element has also caused burdens to the hospitals that treat their patients using the insurance cover and the payments remain uncompensated.
Healthcare units in many parts of the world use their national language to treat their patients, lacking translation services to better assist them. It is perceived that everyone should understand their national language. From different researches this is not the case; the language barrier has been reported as among the top element of limited access to healthcare in various parts of the world. It has led to adverse clinical outcomes as patients could not understand medical prescriptions, instructions, medical materials and even communicating their health issues to the doctor which has also led to physical harm of the patients. This has raised alarm in the cultural competence which explains how the healthcare practitioners should be able to integrate well with people from different cultures and races who may not understand the national language or the language used in the healthcare.
Transportation and mobility is another element that has limited patients to access healthcare. This is determined by various socioeconomic factors such as the geographical location of the patient and the healthcare, the age of the patient, the type of disease diagnosed and many others. Some of the chronic diseases need a patient to make routine visits to healthcare which mostly is a challenge to many. Due to lack of means of transportation, patients miss or cancel their visits to the healthcare facilities which alter the treatment of chronic diseases.
As a medical practitioner, it is essential to understand the risks that are posed by limited access to healthcare. Limited access to healthcare will contribute to increase mortality rates of children, the aged and overall patients. We must ensure that we decrease these risks as much as possible in the healthcare system developing actions to fight these burdens that block patients from seeking medical help.
Context for limited access to healthcare
This problem of limited access to health care comes as a result of poor infrastructure in the health system. Advancement of this service needs a well-done infrastructure that needs financial support and also the action of the governments investing resources to curb limited access to healthcare. The complexity of the healthcare systems sometimes discourages patients from reaching quality services. This is because some facilities are designed to meet specific group requirements hence discriminating others that are not categorized in that group.
Populations Affected by Limited Access to Healthcare
Limited access to health care affects almost everyone who needs medical attention. A disease does not choose who to attack. However, many people have tried to reduce the risks of getting affected by various diseases taking actions such as exercising, eating healthy, keeping the diet and regular checkup. There is a population more vulnerable to limited access to healthcare, the population that has already been affected with chronic diseases and needs frequent follow up from healthcares.
Patients and healthcare practitioners have options they can consider to solve the issue of limited access to healthcare. As the world is evolving and technology advancing there are options that some of the healthcare have adopted to treat their patients that have limited access to the healthcare and those that are affected by barriers like transportation, geographical locations and others that can be applied. These options that can be considered are online healthcare information seeking, telemedicine and in-home healthcare services.
Technology has been used to treat chronic diseases and more advanced technology is coming up. With this idea, patients are seeking healthcare from the internet with the use of their gadgets in the comfort of their homes (Higgins, 2016). In several types of research conducted, it was demonstrated that the percentage of people seeking health online has gone up as doctors and patients engaged in communications to come up with better treatment strategies (Choudhur, 2014).
In-home healthcare has been practiced for people who cannot make it to the healthcare because of various reasons. The large population that emphasizes on home healthcare is aged that receive treatment and care in the comfort of their home. There are also home cares that have initiated treatment methods and healthcare in their services to reduce the problem of limited access to healthcare.
Some healthcare professionals have invested well in their telecommunication infrastructure and hence use it to deliver services to their patients. These services include the diagnosis of a disease using the communications without physically getting to the healthcare, (Weinstein, 2014).
Healthcare facilities should step up and bridge the gaps that are created by the barriers to limited access to healthcare. They should offer transport to patients who need regular visits to the hospital, educate patients on various barriers and how to overcome them and also subsidizing medical expenses to facilitate access to healthcare. Many challenges may hinder these solutions but in the long run, they will have advantages to the patients like having a personal relationship with their doctors, provider availability when need arises, to curb geographical location barrier and be able to gain entry into the healthcare system because medical prices will be subsidized and patients will have health insurance coverage.
Benjamin D. Sommers, M. P. (2015). Changes in Self-reported Insurance Coverage, Access to Care, and Health Under the Affordable Care Act. Jama network journals , 366-374.
john P.HigginsMD, M. M. (2016). Smartphone Applications for Patients' Health and Fitness. The American Journal of Medicine , 11-19.
Munmun De Choudhur, M. R. (2014). Seeking and sharing health information online: comparing search engines and social media. ACM Digital Online , 1365-1376.
Ronald S.Weinstein, B. A. (2014). Telemedicine, Telehealth, and Mobile Health Applications That Work: Opportunities and Barriers. The American Journal of medicine , 183-187.