Accessibility to Healthcare: Because Everyone Deserves An Equal Chance
Accessibility to healthcare has always been an issue for many within America, especially to those who have a low income. Factors such as economic class, geographic location, and insurance make healthcare inaccessible for previously stated people. Many people, especially those with a low income, are not able to access any form of healthcare facility. However, even those that can access a hospital or clinic may be unable to afford the medication once diagnosed, which results in a lack of treatment for those who need help.
Another factor that makes this problem worse is the fact that many of the afflictions that people suffer from are avoidable. Encouraging education about healthier lifestyles can help to prevent type two diabetes and cardiac disease, which are some of the many diseases that are completely avoidable with lifestyle changes. These are some of the issues that we hope to address within this article so that we can increase access to healthcare, and ensure that more people can get the help they need.
Many low income families avoid the doctor and don’t receive basic tests due to the cost. Appointments are also typically during normal work hours so low income families do not have the ability to take off work because it would lower their weekly wages. Insurance also plays a role because to obtain cheaper appointments you have to pay a higher insurance. Inadequate health insurance is a large barrier to equal health access. In comparison to healthcare initiatives in most western healthcare, America ranks a measly #18 with a whopping 334,805,269 population. Even though the United States spends an extreme amount on healthcare than other high income nations, it does very poorly on quality control.
Low-income patients also have a hard time getting specialty care, particularly in rural areas. In focus groups, patients and their doctors described how difficult it was to get appointments with specialists either because few accept Medicaid or there are simply no providers in the area. Speciality care could possibly include cardiology for heart problems, oncology for cancer, obstetrics for pregnancy, dermatology for skin conditions, or neurology for nerve and brain disorders and damage.
Low income families often mistrust their healthcare providers due to the harm it has caused them in the past, discrimation for their low social status, and that it has finically failed them in the past. Health care systems could take steps to combat mistrust. Provider associations and health systems could prioritize provider training on culturally competent care, in particular, training to address long-standing bias. Lack of medical information is also common in low income patients. Not having access to healthcare patients never realize abnormal things on their body such as poor eyesight or skin abnormalities. A way to fix this problem is to provide education early on in school of how our body should work and when to visit a physician.
As a solution, adding more walk-in clinics around low-income areas, encouraging healthier lifestyles for preventative care, and promoting public transportation for non-emergency health issues would greatly increase accessibility to healthcare. The goal of the walk-in clinics is to address many of the basic healthcare necessities that people are unable to resolve. For example, the clinics can address the issues of the people who require medicine for their conditions and are unable to afford it. Encouraging healthier lifestyles is a low cost method to prevent many avoidable afflictions such as type two diabetes and cardiac disease, which is the most deadly disease in America. Lastly, the public transportation plan allows people to reach hospitals in case the help of specialists are necessary. Addressing these factors will greatly improve the healthcare available to the public, especially in the low income neighborhoods that need it most.