Humans are negligently affecting the Earth’s atmosphere and contributing to eco damage. This negligence is the reason for ozone layer depletion and other environmental problems that impact the climate. Heat waves, extreme storms, and heavy rainfall are continuously introducing challenges for humanity. These adverse ecological changes are demanding more healthcare needs as well.
These environmental changes increase the risk of illness. New species of viruses and bacteria spread, and the number of sick people is collectively higher than ever before. There has been a vast increase in infectious diseases in recent years. Unfortunately, healthcare services are not increasing at the same rate. Even the ones we have aren’t distributed properly.
Every person has the right to receive proper healthcare. The government must ensure standard services for everyone to prevent diseases and make them healthy. Each individual is essential to society. Yet, communities are suffering from more social evils because healthcare is disproportionately distributed. Therefore, we need to identify such factors and eliminate them to ensure healthcare equity. This article discusses 5 to do this.
1. Work on disbursement of quality medical care
The public is in excessive need of good healthcare services, but it is limited to few people. Quality healthcare is not accessible to everyone. The world population is multiplying, and the burden on healthcare workers is exponentially increasing. The situation is the worst in the developing world. Hence, it is necessary to consider developing countries on a priority basis. Several developing countries lack essential medicine because they don’t have elementary knowledge of medical care and disease prevention. Many health workers are not even appropriately trained about the primary healthcare emergency protocols.
However, the developed world can provide people in such countries with this training and help them uplift their healthcare services. They can offer them opportunities to study higher education degrees such as MPH no GRE required programs on scholarships and provide them with training on public health fundamentals. Doing so can significantly transform the healthcare standards of their communities. It will have a trickledown effect, and gradually the entire healthcare sector will benefit from it. Improper healthcare education serves as one of the biggest reasons for healthcare inequity in communities. It is mainly because not everyone can afford quality education. This needs to change.
2. Abolish poverty
The global economy is not in a stable state. Hence, the ponderous growth of the economy becomes the reason for poverty. The rate of poverty is rising with every passing day. According to a report by World Vision, 689 million individuals live below the poverty line earning less than $1.63 per day. Extreme poverty deprives people of the fundamental needs of healthcare. They spend life on limited resources and receive improper nutrition that affects their health. A large number of people receive finite resources. According to research by The Lancet, 5.7 million people die every year in middle-income countries because of poor healthcare facilities.
Poor people cannot access proper healthcare. Therefore, countries should standardize the healthcare system to provide quality services to every individual. According to research by World in Data, 80 out of 1000 infant deaths are associated with unskilled parents and 32 out of 1000 with professionals. Health is not the same for the poor and rich, and the generalization of health can save many lives.
3. Prevent discrimination
Many people are unaware of the fact that discrimination indirectly affects healthcare. It plays a unique role in forming healthcare differences. Classifying humans based on groups, gender, sexual orientation, religion, and economic status prevents equal healthcare distribution. Racism hurts patients and healthcare and it can lead to a high risk of illness among marginalized groups. The most noticeable factor is skin color. According to research by MedRxiv, white people were 3.57 times unlikely to die than people of color from COVID-19.
It is essential to remove these differences because treatment should be based on basic humanity and not social constructs. This unjustified practice can become a bigger hurdle in obtaining health stability in the economy. Because of discrimination, patients are treated with less courtesy and respect. It also leaves a psychological impact on humans throughout their lives. It has a severe effect on their emotional and mental state, which exacerbates their already deteriorating health.
4. Improve government policy
Government plays a significant role in the health and safety of the public. Implementing effective financial plans and increasing resources improve health and reduce healthcare inequality in the country. Health is a fundamental human right, and the government is responsible for providing this right to every citizen. Good health improves the productivity of the labor force, which eventually affects the economy of the country. It provides people better employment opportunities, which brings further stability to society. Indirectly, it improves other factors as well that contribute to healthcare inequity. Therefore, government plays a vital role in devising an equitable healthcare policy for the public at large.
Policy-making should be based on accurate measures of the burden of disease (BOD). To reduce unfairness in a country, the partisanship of government and the private sector is necessary. According to research by Worldometer, the average population increase rate is 81 million people per year. The statistics prove a high rate of increase in each country. To serve the whole country, the partnership of civil, federal, and state governments with private sectors is necessary.
5. Healthcare becoming a business than a welfare
Running a healthcare facility indeed requires heavy financial investments. The capital and operating expenditures are humongous. However, the fundamental essence of healthcare lies in respecting humanity. The increasing involvement of a business mindset in the sector is causing more harm than good for society. Healthcare professionals are milking money out of patients. Quality healthcare has become narrowed down for a handful of wealthy people.
There is a dire need to incorporate the sense of welfare and social responsibility among healthcare professionals. There should be a line between healthcare as a social construct and as a business. People pay taxes to even the smallest of the purchases they make. They at least deserve equal healthcare facilities from the state. There has to be a mechanism to create a balance between healthcare services and their financial returns. So they can work in a sustainable environment while still respecting the essence of this profession.
Healthcare is the fundamental right of people, and everyone deserves equal healthcare. Medical care should not be according to social status and class. New policies and services can reduce healthcare inequality in the community. The impact of social and economic inequality is the main reason for healthcare inequity. The concerned authorities must address this issue on priority. Otherwise, a larger social evil will erupt. Discussed above are some of the factors that contribute to health inequity. Eliminating them can do a great favor to society at large.