In your opinion, what is the most important or vital health issue in developed countries?
Why do you feel this way?
WHO declared more than six decades ago that the “enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being” (Robinson, 2009). Being healthy and enjoying a disease-free health is one of the most important priorities in our lives today. Healthy living comprises of spiritual health, physical health and mental health. Men have started focusing on establishing a concurrent rapport in all of these areas of health. There are many of us who practices Yoga and meditation for mental and spiritual health and exercise for physical health. Health is the first and foremost expectation and priority in our lives today.
Gannotti, Handwerker, Groce and Cruz (2001), puts forwards various norms of health considered in the Puerto Rican children. Healthy living is not an excuse, however, it is not practiced everywhere. According to Robinson (2009), inequalities in basic health services remain intolerably wide, even in many high-income countries. When I came to United States I was very much impressed by the health care system. I got charmed by the health care system and started repeating in my mind “all that glitter is gold”. However, now that I have made my footsteps a little bit more firm in the industry I came to know that “all that glitters is not gold in reality”. United States is indeed a dream country for people like me who come from a third world developing country. However, each coin has two sides and in the same way I started analyzing some of the black spots in the health care field.
The most important vital health issues that develop countries like United States suffer from are lack of direct access. Although many states now have incorporated direct access of physical therapy still there are some areas where direct access is still not available. Even if the patient gets direct access still physical therapist cannot prescribe medications. The reason why I think this is the most important issue is based on the following points:
1) Due to lack of direct access physical therapists need to wait for a referral no matter how deadly the symptoms are.
2) Physical Therapist cannot prescribe medications and at the end the patients need to visit the physiatrist/physician for further recommendation.
3) Sometimes when appointments of physician are not available the patients are made to wait unnecessarily in order to get physical therapy.
4) Physical therapists are treated as second handed clinician in their own practice.
I considered the above mention issue as one of the vital importance. If this issue is fixed 50% of the Medicare outage can be cut short. Direct access provides imminent care and precise care for the patients rather than waiting forever to get the appointment. Direct access gives more freedom to the physical therapist to analyze and treat multiple problems of the patients which may sometimes go unnoticed by the physician. Direct access helps the physical therapists to stabilize their command on their fields and areas of expertise.
As of me being brought up in a developing country there are many important vital issues related to health that I can discuss here. However, before going there I would say that in India we have direct access to physical therapy. The physical therapist can also prescribe medications within the scopes of practice.
The vital issues of developing countries like India are:
1) Lack of proper sanitations and hygiene.
2) Lack of public awareness to reach out for medical help.
3) Pseudo healers.
4) Public relies on all kinds of treatments without checking the credentials.
5) Wonderful public hospitals providing free care but again lack of hygiene and sanitations in government hospitals.
6) Direct access to pharmacy. Pills can be purchased by any individual and sometimes without prescription.
7) Lack of education and awareness of conditions like AIDS, syphilis and gonorrhea.
8) Increase ratio of poverty/lack of immunization.
9) No insurance so middle class people and people below middle class can only take treatment at government hospitals as they cannot afford costly private hospitals.
10) Biggest health issue is Food Hygiene. No grading for the restaurants and cafés.
All the above mention factors are the most important issues that I have seen as I was bought up in India. The health care system in India needs loads of reformation however, due to increase in population and poverty it will take ages to establish a better health care system.
Have you lived in developing countries? If yes, did you face the same challenges in health care settings? How did you negotiated with the situation?
Robinson, M. (2009). Realising the human right to health. The Lancet, 374(9696), 1121-2. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/199040196?accountid=28902. .
Gannotti, M. E., Handwerker, W., Groce, N., & Cruz, C. (2001). Sociocultural Influences on Disability Status in Puerto Rican Children. Physical Therapy, 81(9), 1512-1523