Healthcare Disparities Solutions
With the growing impact of globalization, the traditional patterns of healthcare are changed fundamentally. The processes of developing healthcare policies and organizing healthcare delivery have become global and require appropriate changes and adjustments. The current paper examines the historical dynamics of the issues under consideration, specifies the relevant regulatory and moral aspects, as well as evaluates the relationships between healthcare productivity and economic costs. The paper confirms that it is necessary to ensure the proper availability of healthcare providers and minimize the average costs of services.
Historical Perspectives of Global Health Learning in Nursing
Global health learning aims at promoting knowledge and research for establishing equal health conditions for all people globally. Before the 19th century, humanity faced global health issues several times; however, there was a lack of systematic approaches in the sphere of global health. In the 19th century, serious cholera pandemics contributed to a higher coordination among healthcare specialists. In the middle of the 20th century, the World Health Organization (WHO) and other global healthcare organizations were established to promote global health learning with the major focus on developing countries (Seymour & Barrow, 2014). At the second half of the 20th century, the problems related to AIDS/HIV, malaria, and tuberculosis occupied the central place in the world. At the beginning of the 21st century, the major global health goals were clarified, and the international cooperation in this sphere was intensified.
Importance of Healthcare Disparities
Healthcare disparities refer to the substantial differences among population groups. They may be analyzed from different perspectives including individuals’ social and economic status, ethnicity, location, etc. In any case, healthcare disparities are highly significant nowadays, as they create substantial difficulties for generating sustainable improvements of healthcare delivery on a global scale. On the one hand, disadvantaged groups face the highest problems and risks. On the other hand, other population groups also cannot maximize their health protection. Therefore, there is an objective need for addressing the existing health disparities in a timely manner.
Existing institutions try to provide their solutions to the substantial disparities. From one perspective, they try to monitor the situation in different parts of the world in order to identify the major issues at earlier stages. From another perspective, they try to develop new organizational mechanisms for maximizing the overall efficiency of initiatives in all regions of the world. It is reasonable to promote social awareness of the problem as well as comprehension that the interests of all people involved are mutually complementary. Therefore, the interests and resources of various individuals and parties should be combined in a way to lead to sustainable solutions.
Healthy People 2020 and Other Regulatory Guidelines
As the global community and experts comprehend the seriousness of the existing situation and challenges, several detailed regulatory guidelines have been adopted. Healthy People 2020 is one of the most influential programs that aims at the global health promotion and disease prevention. In particular, it tries to achieve substantial improvements in the quality of life as well as eliminate the existing health disparities. It specifies the major health concerns faced by modern people as well as mentions several major factors that contribute to health disparities in the United States and other countries (Pappas-Rogich & King, 2014). Healthy People 2020 offers the general guidelines that may contribute to determining the rational responses and solutions in this regard.
There are also other healthcare initiatives, which promote global health issues. Currently, the major initiatives in the United States include Feed the Future, the President’s Malaria Initiative, and the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (U.S. Global Health Programs, 2014). The U.S. government guarantees the long-term and adequate funding associated with all such programs. In general, the implemented global initiatives contribute to reducing the scope of the problem.
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Moral Issues in Global Healthcare
As global healthcare affect the entire global population directly, numerous moral issues may be identified in this context. The first issue is the major priorities and the direction of efforts that should be selected by the global community. Some experts suggest that it is reasonable to focus on HIV/AIDS and other global health threats. Others believe it is necessary to minimize health disparities at any cost (Monteverde, 2016). Another potential solution may refer to focusing on preventing diseases and maintaining the general health standards of the global population.
Healthcare stakeholders also try to find the efficient system for arriving at the consensus at the global scale. As there are different advocacy groups, they tend to utilize their influence to promote the decision they consider appropriate. However, the needs of all parties involved as well as ultimate recipients of care are not always considered (Monteverde, 2016). Other moral issues include maximizing the general access to care, minimizing the corresponding costs, and ensuring the proper quality and rights protection.
Healthcare Productivity and Economic Costs
Healthcare productivity is a complex issue, as it requires efficient cooperation of physicians, insurers, nurses, and other professionals. The major goal of healthcare productivity is expanding the access to care to the maximum number of patients as well as reaching affordable costs for the majority of the population. Moreover, the major focus should be on patients’ needs rather than any metrics imposed by the current regulations (de Putter et al., 2016). The efficient mechanism should contribute to the growing healthcare productivity in different parts of the world and the close orientation to the health needs and preferences of the most disadvantaged groups.
The major problem in this context refers to the growing healthcare costs. Neither growing technological opportunities nor large-scale government programs allow reducing costs to the acceptable degree. The current level of national health expenditures is $9,523 per capita; and the percentage of national expenditures for hospital care equals to 32.1% (CDC, 2016). It is reasonable to intensify the cooperation between public and private sectors in this sphere as well as create the proper competitive environment for increasing the general innovative potential that may reduce costs in the long-run.
Availability of Healthcare Providers
Despite the recent improvements in this regard, the availability of healthcare providers remains unsatisfactory. In particular, the substantial disparities in different regions of the world are present. In relation to ARNPs and RNs, the lowest availability is observed in Africa and East Asia where the rates of availability are below one nurse per 1,000 people. The availability of nurses and midwifery personnel in the United States is 9.8 nurses per 1,000 people, and it is a comparatively high degree (WHO, 2016a). Concerning physicians, the most problematic situation is in Africa where the availability rates are around 0.5 physicians per 1,000 people. Their availability in the United States is 2.5 physicians per 1,000 people, and it is an average level (WHO, 2016b). Thus, substantial measures regarding increasing healthcare personnel’s availability are needed even in developed countries.
Correspondingly, the scope of the problem is even more serious in the majority of developing countries, especially those from Africa. Therefore, the proper and effective interventions are needed for increasing the number of high-qualified personnel in these regions. Indeed, the international community should provide the governments of these countries with additional financial resources for implementing the necessary reforms (Monteverde, 2016). In addition, the organizational assistance with introducing the optimal system of health insurance may be required for facilitating the positive changes.
In general, the major objective is to shift the perspective of analysis from national governments to international community. The existing problems and concerns in different parts of the world should be evaluated objectively. All advocacy groups should be able to present their proposals and outline the major difficulties. The existing regulatory guidelines including Healthy People 2020 provide the specific criteria and tools for solving the most urgent issues. In this way, the international community can minimize the potential bias and implement the most rational and well-grounded measures.
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The effective solution for the major health-related problems is possible only if the global coordination in this sphere is established. The historical development of global health learning contributes to the growing potential for initiating effective interventions at the international level. The significance of health disparities is very high, as they constitute the major obstacle to the sustainable improvement of general health standards in different parts of the world. In order to address the existing disparities and other related issues, a set of regulatory guidelines have been implemented. Healthy People 2020 is one of the major initiatives in this field as it outlines the key strategic directions for coordinating efforts of various governments and non-government organizations at the global level. There are also various moral issues in global healthcare-related to ensuring the proper quality and determining the key strategic directions of community’s efforts. The observed dynamics of healthcare productivity is positive but insufficient for providing the adequate access to care for individuals due to high healthcare costs. The innovative solutions in the sphere of international collaboration may assist with increasing availability of healthcare providers in different parts of the world.