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The success and development of any given nation mainly depends on the healthy condition of its citizen. A healthy nation is the greatest factor towards the realization of millennium goals and more so the achievement of vision 2030. It also guarantees sustainable economic development in all the stakes of production which forms the corner stone in generating income to the nation. However, not all people in the world have access to these fundamental services thus escalating the number of people dying from lack of health care facilities. Therefore, it is in respect to such conditions that we wish to give a comprehensive and critical analysis of this issue and more importantly provide the solutions to such problems.
A health disparity can be defined as a term used to describe the inequalities in provision of health care service to the people based on various reasons. In health disparities some people are not able to have access and availability of health services due to favouring of a certain group of people in relation the rest. Health disparity is measurable in the sense that it can be done by comparing the health condition of the particular group of people with that of the low social economic status. The most appropriate way is by the use of internal standard which mainly aims at defining the aspects of health to be measured which may include things such as death and access to the health care services. One should then select a population sample from which health aspects are to be contrasted against.
There are different health indicators of various ethnic and race group in United States. These indicators are considered to be the aspects that are used in the measuring of health disparity. They include; difference in mortality rate, variance in disabilities across different groups in the population, difference in the accessibility and availability of health care facilities and the existence of particular disease or condition in particular geographical area in United States.
Variation in mortality rate between the various categories of people in America is a clear indication that healthy disparity is a condition that does prevail in the society. A recent research by (APHA, 2004) depicts that root cause of an increase in mortality rate among the people is lack of adequate health care facilities that are well equipped with sufficient facilities as well as enough human resource to deal with such illness. On the other hand there is lack of qualified medical personnel in most of the hospital hence leading to provision of poor services to the people. The report further indicated that more children are at greater risk of dying from common diseases such as malaria compared to adults.
Difference in accessibility of the health care or health facilities across United States can be described as the health disparity because all people have the rights to get equal opportunity to matters relating health care. The whole process of disseminating health services to citizen has been jeopardized by involvement of more parties that provide health services. A good example is the lack of health insurance cover to people who belong in the lower social economic strata. This in turn has contributed immensely to the great number of deaths resulting from lack of medical services because one has no financial security.
Due to the existence of particular disease or condition in certain geographical region reflects health disparity. This happen is well manifested through sensitization of a specific group of people via educational programmes while leaving other people without such knowledge and skills in handling such situations. On the other hand the government through the ministry of health has established more health facilities in one region thus leading to imbalance in the provision of health care services. Those people from high social economic status have access to quality health care facilities compared to those from low social economic status. There are many factors which are responsible for occurrence of health disparities in the United States.
It ranges from social economic factors, environmental factors, political as well as racial discrimination and ethical conditions. Due to racial discrimination some people from a particular group of people have been denied the chance either to enrol or hold senior positions in medical institutions thus affecting the process of providing health care services to such a population.
Social economic difference among the various ranks of people in United States correlates positively to the issue of heath disparity. People of higher socioeconomic status are able to obtain the insurance coverage and better services due to their financial status. Those from lower socioeconomic status will have access to poor health care services due of lack of health cover from an insurance company. Consequently, as a result of their poor condition they lack quality education that can enable them attain white collar jobs which in turn have more benefits of heath care plans which step in when one is unable to pay for medication.
The other factor that causes health disparity is the issue of sex and gender. It is known that more women than men in united state have access to quality health care services currently. Following a recent report by (HHS, 2010) indicates that about 88% of women from higher level income are covered with an insurance health policy compared to 74% of men from high socio economic status. This disparity in insurance cover can be well elaborated from the perspective that more women than men are prone to diseases hence compelling them to take insurance cover in case they are unable to pay the medical bill, the insurance firm can come for their assistance (Merzel, 2000).
The other reason for health disparity in the region is the lack of proper infrastructure in most of the parts of the country. Some parts of the nation are located in remote areas where no means of infrastructure can be used in accessing such locations. This in turn has led centralization of heath facilities in regions that are accessible and which are densely populated.
Insecurity can be another contributing factor in the sense that those areas that are more prone to wars and internal conflicts will have less number of health facilities. On the other hand many medical personnel will tend to fear such places thus making them to prefer safer areas. Prevalence of insecurity will also affect economic development of the region thus making the area to be inaccessible by medical personnel.
The location of the region will also influence heath disparity. There is low numbers of health care facilities established in rural areas compared to the cities. Health facilities in towns are well equipped with qualified medical staff than in rural areas thus providing quality health care services. The government through budget should allocate more money to the ministry of heath so that it can improve the sate of heath via building of more heath facilities and employing more medical personnel. The money can be of great importance to the nation as it can be used either to reconstruct or expand the existing heath care facilities hence increasing the admission number of patients.
The government through the ministry of education should provide a favourable environment for learning. It should also encourage more students especially from marginalised communities to pursue medical related course that will in turn benefit the entire community. It should also improve the working conditions of medical staff so that to motivate other people to join such careers. There is also the need by the government to formulate and enact laws and policies that aim at providing affordable medical care to all the people.
The act should state that all people are entitled to heath care services irrespective of their racial, political and economic background. This in turn will enhance equality in provision of heath care services.
In conclusion the realization of millennium goals and attainment of vision 2030 will remain a dream if not an illusion in the minds of all Americans unless the government addresses the issue of heath disparity.