Writing Assignment # 5 – Demand for Health & Medical Care
It is said that, “the most powerful force for controlling medical spending is the cost conscious consumer”; however, there are other factors (determinants of health) other than medical care spending that can affect the health of an individual and ultimately the health of a population. Some of these other factors (determinants of health) include lifestyle choices, environmental factors, family history (genetics), where one work and live, one’s income and developments in technology.
Writing Assignment # 5 – Demand for Health & Medical Care
Based on the reading from the text books and any other sources that you may have researched kindly present a 500-600 word response/argument to support or oppose the notion that these other factors (determinants of health) mentioned above affects the health of an individual and eventually the health of the population.
Title: Factors that Impact Demand For Health and Medical Care
The individual’s and communities’ health is affected by several factors usually referred to as determinants of health. For instance, their state of well-being could be influenced by the environment in which they live. Research conducted over the years also reveals that our health is impacted by the level of our income or education. Other factors include our physical environment and access to healthcare services.Writing Assignment # 5 – Demand for Health & Medical Care
Over the years, the level of education of an individual has increasingly been identified as an important social factor that impacts individual and population health. Apart from shaping employment opportunities, education plays a vital role in influencing decisions regarding an individual’s health. Additionally, it broadens the scope and results in the increased provision of the necessary resources that support individual as well as population health (Shankar, Khalema, Couture, Tan, Zulla, & Lam, 2013). Additionally, income impacts both individual and personal health. Citizens of countries with high social status and strong gross domestic product have better health compared to those from poor countries. The richest and poorest countries in the world have great differences in health. Life expectancy in high-income countries is higher compared to the low-income ones. Furthermore, even in developed countries, individuals with low income find it difficult to obtain a health insurance. Their health also tends to be poor compared to those with higher income.
Environmental and lifestyle factors also impact the health of both an individual and population. In recent decades, the environment in which people live has increasingly become a threat to their survival. Diseases that are related to the environment have been on the rise in most developing countries. Today, the World Health Organization recognizes that environmental factors are important determinants of health (Wilkinson & Marmot, 2003). Physical environment can result in good health in an individual and eventually in the entire population. Such situation would require access to safe water, healthy workplace, and unpolluted air. In developed nations, the health of individuals and therefore of the population has been affected by lifestyle factors. Health care providers in these nations are now focusing on changing the behaviors of people in relation to diet, exercises, and drug abuse.
Genetics, which entails inheritance, is another factor that influences the health of an individual or population. Since the time when scientists understood genetic code, the knowledge in genetic diseases has been made available. It has been proved that a close relationship exists between genetics and health. It has been shown that the developments of infectious diseases, cancer, and cardiovascular diseases are influenced by their genetic component. More than 2000 genetic diseases that affect human beings have been identified (Blazer & Hernandez, 2006). Some of them are prevalent among certain people. For instance, one in every 4000 Ashkenazi Jews has Tay Sachs disease. Writing Assignment # 5 – Demand for Health & Medical Care
Additional factors that impact an individual’s health include access, affordability, and quality of healthcare service available. If all these factors are met, the best health outcomes become achievable and the health of the entire population, therefore, improves (Mosadeghrad, 2014). In those developed countries that offer a universal health cover, citizens achieve timely use of the available health resources. Consequently, most of them lead a quality life and in overall, they have good physical health. In developing countries, poor health is as a result of high cost of medical and health care and lack of a program to provide affordable insurance covers. Additionally, the services provided do not meet the present demand. There is also a scarcity of well-trained personnel to provide health care services.
In conclusion, the interrelationships among various determinants impact the health of both individuals and population. To lower the amount of money spent on medical care, the interventions used must focus on several health determinants. It is evident that these factors go beyond the health sector. To effectively control medical spending, other sectors such as education, environment, and housing should be involved.
Blazer, D. G., & Hernandez, L. M. (Eds.). (2006). Genes, behavior, and the social environment: Moving beyond the nature/nurture debate. National Academies Press.
Mosadeghrad, A. M. (2014). Factors influencing healthcare service quality. International journal of health policy and management, 3(2), 77.
Shankar, J., Ip, E., Khalema, E., Couture, J., Tan, S., Zulla, R. T., & Lam, G. (2013). Education as a social determinant of health: issues facing indigenous and visible minority students in postsecondary education in western Canada. International journal of environmental research and public health, 10(9), 3908-3929
Wilkinson, R. G., & Marmot, M. (Eds.). (2003). Social determinants of health: the solid facts. World Health Organization.