Table of Contents
The establishment of the effective and well organized health care system is one of the most important tasks of a developed country’s government. The legislative bodies are responsible for the adoption of an appropriate legal system, executive institutions are obliged to implement the legislative provisions into the everyday life of the society, and the judicial system allows protecting the granted rights and freedom. Thus, it is extremely necessary to establish such a health care system which will be able to satisfy interests of all demographic groups. A precise health policy can achieve several tasks: it informs people, maintains the balance of interests, defines a vision for the future, and determines social priorities. These tasks are very complicated due to unequal abilities of these different groups to monitor their health. Therefore, it is necessary to pay attention to people of low socioeconomic status who cannot provide themselves with an appropriate medication and sufficient health care services.
Selection of the Demographic Group
Based on the results of the preliminary analysis it was decided to focus the research on the socioeconomic classification, which gives the ability to study the groups with different financial positions. Socioeconomic status (SES) is the integrated social and economic measure which displays person’s social position based on occupation, education and income. According to the classification, there are three common categories, namely high, middle and low socioeconomic status. The first two groups have sufficient financial resources, and they do not have necessity to limit themselves using medical services and having the full access to it. In comparison, the last category experiences problems regarding the ability to seek medical advice and services or to buy necessary medication. This fact became crucial while selecting a group to study. The inaptitude of poor people to satisfy all their needs makes it necessary to provide the additional guaranties and rights for this group in the sphere of health services.
The Access to Use of Health Services
Resulting from the low socioeconomic status these people face the problem of lack of money. This issue can lead to the negative consequences, namely inappropriate satisfaction of the primary needs such as food, drink, clothing, housing and medication. Considering the rising prices for medications it seems to be relevant to mention that the people of this group cannot allocate an amount of money for medical services. Consequently, the access to the use of health services is very low (Menec, Shooshtari, Nowicki, & Fournier, 2010). This is reflected in the fact that appropriate treatment is often very expensive and the financial income of such peopl does not allow spending a lot of money for medications. Moreover, it is necessary to emphasize that lack of money leads to the fact that they are compelled to use the medical services of a low quality.
The Health Status of Low SES Group
People with low incomes often suffer from the most dangerous diseases such as pneumonia, AIDS, syphilis, dysentery, etc. It happens due to their inability to establish normal life conditions and provide appropriate medication use. Due to insufficient incomes such people use medical services only as a last resort (Menec, Shooshtari, Nowicki, & Fournier, 2010). In addition to the chronic diseases this group is more susceptible to epidemics. The poor hygiene becomes the cause of new and rapidly spreading illnesses. Thus, the health status of poorer people can be evaluated as less that average. It means that the average morbidity is lower than of other groups. It concerns especially children, because they have a weak immune system (Conroy, Sandel, Zuckerman, 2010).
Sources of Payment
There are different sources of payment which can be used in order to provide a financing for the medical services. In general, people can get money as a salary for the job, as a payment for professional services, in the form of share dividends, incomes from using capital, land, personal subsidiary plots or business skills, wages from casual episodic work. There are additional sources of getting money such as the social security benefits from the state. There are several types of it: unemployment benefits, benefits in case of disability, benefit due to the lost working capacity, and for raising children. Concerning the group with income rate less that average, the ways of getting money are significantly limited. Those people usually do not have real estate property which can be used for business purposes; they also do not own shares of other securities. If there is some business, it is small and not successful. Thus, the sources of payment are limited to low salary and additional social benefits (Menec, Shooshtari, Nowicki, & Fournier, 2010). In addition, for some unprotected groups of society the government assures more rights and guarantees when using public clinics services.
The Policy Options
Considering the social vulnerability of the analyzed group and the lack of financial resources the government should establish the effective system of rights and proper options for such people in order to grant the unobstructed access to the health care. It is obvious that every modern government has such system, but the problem is that there are numerous occasions when pest hole is located in a developed country. Therefore, it is worth noting that even in America there are a lot of people who are below the poverty line and in need of more effective social protection (Blackwell, Martinez, & Gentleman, 2009. Accordingly, the government should increase the number of free medical facilities, especially in underdeveloped regions as well as to expand the network of social institutions and to ensure additional funding for them. In addition, it is necessary to create the special register of people who need extra medical help and give additional powers in the area of social security to regional authorities.
The Prospects of Health Care System
The effective and prompt steps of the government can improve the situation and decrease the number of epidemics and deaths among the population. The appropriate funding for public health establishments and the effective and additional observation of people with low incomes can lead to the desired situation. It means that each person can get an appropriate medical service even not being able to provide the full financing of all treatment. The problem is that the group with low SES does not often visit doctors, therefore, it is impossible to monitor their health, and, thus, to prevent the occurrence of epidemics and common diseases (Fiscella, 2011). This fact proves the necessity to establish the proper records of such people. In addition, it is important to note that all extra measures can be implemented only after increasing budgetary funding. The current legislation and ethical issues allow creating additional centers for those who cannot pay for permanent medical checks and establish the training for the staff to teach them to treat poor people with kindness and respect.
The aforementioned actions should be executed promptly, due to several issues. First, the inability of people with low income to pay for the proper treatment and medication can cause the new wave of epidemics (Fiscella, 2011). There is well-known interrelation between the poverty and emergence of new diseases which was described above. Second, there is problem of known illnesses distribution. For example, the dysentery cannot be overcome since not all people can get proper treatment. Third, there is issue of strong social dissatisfaction which can be caused by ineffective health care system. Surveys and research show that one of the most important and disputed question in the society is exactly the healthcare system.
Based on aforementioned facts, it is very difficult to exaggerate the importance of well organized and effective health care system. The current attempts of the government to satisfy the needs of the whole society are commendable, but there are several improvements which should be implemented immediately. The completion of this task can decrease the number of ill people and raise the social support.