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Social Issues Impacting Healthcare Availability

The Cost and Accessibility of Healthcare

Understanding that healthcare availability should be seen as an “human right” and must be protected at all cost would be an understatement within the United States of America. Having access to healthcare available to all humans would be fundamentally appropriate, yet, a struggle of surging cost, poor qualities, and accessibility proves to still be seen as a significant problem amongst many individuals. For people who are seen as poverty inflected, disabled statuses, or even older adults’ has continued to struggle with simply accessing the healthcare that they need.  

Healthcare services are used to diagnose, cure, or ameliorate disease or injury; to improve or maintain function; or to obtain information about their health status and prognosis. (NAS, 2021) Changes in healthcare delivery have developed many changes throughout the years, due to the establishment of new drugs, devices, procedures, tests, and machines, yet; these necessary changes are not equally available to all individuals. Access envisioned as a whole need may get clouded by an individual's perception of whether the cost can be achievable or if the person understands that they “actually need” the care at all. Need should be viewed as the first objective in determining if medical attention should be sought out, yet, fears of being unable to finance, actual availability of procedures, locations, and convenience may affect an individuals choice to seek out treatment services. Inherited conditions may also affect an individual's choice to seek treatment, while understanding conditions may seem to not require health care, due to knowing familiar ties that also suffer from those same conditions or diseased, in result they seek out knowledge from those individuals.

Having access to healthcare itself, isn’t often viewed as an issue with people who seek out for treatment; however, people's access may not be existing in their geographic area or determining whether providers will treat those conditions or diseases due to the prevalence of insurance providers. In many poverty-stricken areas there’s a lack of qualified physicians, while individuals fail to have the appropriate insurance to finance the care that they need. While understanding if the care is available, access to that treatment may become a significant issue in rural areas being that public transportation or having no personal car to transport to those healthcare facilities can be detrimental to a person to seek out treatment. At points, a provider may refuse treating patients due to the patient's inability to provide appropriate insurance, unable to accept certain types of insurance, language barriers, and facilities not being accessible to disabled person’s.

Low-Income people and uninsured people have fallen in higher rates at greater chances of failing to seek out healthcare needs, while people aging out of governmental assistance may fear treatment services due to cost. While being aware of actually having insurance, may not mean that treatment services will be appropriate in poverty-stricken and rural areas. Many individuals often choose to seek out treatment in other cities due to poor medical services, bad locations, or even unkempt medical facilities. While many other individuals of low-income and rural areas may seem to have little to no knowledge of how to apply/seek out medical attention and medical coverage to properly service their needs. “A study by (Magge et al., 2013) estimated that more than one-third of low-income adults were underinsured and that 8 percent and 13 percent deferred or delayed obtaining medical care or prescription medications, respectively. (N.A.S, 2021) Also, many people who have medical insurance, may opt out of seeking treatment services due to being unaware of what treatment services are covered within their healthcare plans, resulting in their unwillingness to seek out medical attention even when it's necessary.

Biological and Environmental differences may affect a person’s utilization of health-care services, being that some ethnic backgrounds may be a cause of disproportionately being properly represented amongst healthcare practices of providers. Blacks and Hispanics may be seen as living in poorer neighborhoods and communities with high rates of crimes, racial injustices, locating appropriate healthcare facilities while being affected with more chronic illnesses and infectious diseases compared to white people. In rural and low-income communities the available “care ratio” has tremendously dropped causing it to be a struggle to provide for a patient's needs in these locations. Often causing healthcare staff difficulty with challenging work hours, decreasing pay, and poor work environment, it results in an overall poor quality of care. Being able to provide the substantial privacy guaranteed to insure a patient's comfortability has also affected a patient's urge to seek out healthcare, in rural areas many facilities are not as spacious causing patients to feel insecure to seek out treatment services. In some ways religious beliefs, vaccinations, and organ donations can play a big role into the social issues of healthcare availability due to the underlying rules and fears that individuals have instilled in them at young ages to opt out of seeking healthcare.

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