Health care inequalities are mainly used to describe the existing disparity in the quality of health and health services across the social stratum. These disparities are based on racial, ethnic and sexual orientation. Most often they are based on the social economic grouping in the society. These disparities are population-specific in terms of health access, health outcome and the presence of diseases (Morrison 341).
In the film John Q, the need for medical care surpasses the policy put forward by the medical administrators. This film depicts the very sad situation where a doctor won't treat a patient in the blink of death all because they do not have insurance cover to cater for the cost. Studies have shown that a person's health is greatly dependant on the availability of a healthcare insurance cover in the US. This implies that where none exist, the person will most likely fail to get preventative medical care, most likely won't be able to afford medicine and will eventually suffer from otherwise preventable diseases. People without cover often seek medical care at very late stage of the disease which could be vital. Basic moral equality dictates that everyone is entitled to life. Healthcare workers should therefore be keen to protect life. This however only happens at gunpoint in the film John Q. This shows how badly the healthcare policy needs to change. It's however important to realize that the medical professionals are willing to help only that the rules are bidding them.
For people who can not afford the health insurance cover have their livelihood at stake. The inequalities in health care all originate from the fact that American people belong to social classes. Social stratification with reference to health care is most often propagated by the members of the society themselves. Consider sexual orientation as an avenue for discrimination. This could be perpetuated by doctors in mission hospitals who have held strong opposition against homosexuality. Majority of the uninsured Americans are from medium and low income workers, the premiums are usually too high for them (Bartley 89).
The health care workforce is also an avenue for healthcare inequality in the US. They are predominantly white healthcare providers working with patients from the minority. There is the issue of language barrier that affect the minority in America as they seek healthcare. Some immigrants who are not fluent in English always seek the services of interpreters in hospitals. This hinders service delivery. This would however be resolved if the majority white health care providers bothered to learn the minority languages. There also exists professional discrimination by worker who tends to be unfair to the minority Americans and give priority to the white Americans.
Educating the American population including the minority and the low income earners basic health information would go along way in reducing the burned of hospital bills. The mass should be able to detect early symptoms of diseases and seek immediate medical attention. This would be a sure way of reducing cost on healthcare especially for the uninsured Americans. In the film “John Q” if enough information was available they would have avoided the rush to the hospital at that later stage of his heart condition.
The social stratification has lead to some citizen having excellent health care and other having none. Whilst this is acceptable in a capitalistic society the government has had a great influence in health care system. With president Obama policy in health care reform, every American will have healthcare insurance cover. This will also overcame the social economic stratification of the American people giving millions of Americans similar packages as their leaders. The government sets out to ensure that the American people are not exploited by the insurance provider.
The major challenge on healthcare was the high premium but the government is keen to ensuring that they are affordable to the majority of the American people. The government key role in addressing health inequality is to bring key players together for a common agenda. Providing leadership, resources and by creating an enabling environment, all other parties will play their respective roles in ensuring equality.
The media has a pivotal role in health inequality. It should highlight areas where there is inequality of any manner; inform the society about their rights. The power of the media cannot be underestimated as it puts the policy makes on the spotlight if they do not deliver. Discordant healthcare providers who practice racial and other type of discrimination against fellow Americans should be highlighted by the media so they may be learn their evils and face the public wrath.
It's true that the United States of America has one the most technologically advanced medical care system all over the world. However this health care system has had its share of challenges for many years. During his 1992 campaigns president Clinton health care reform debate took the centre stage. In his book Kronenfeld outlines early efforts for health care reform (Kronenfeld 5). The passage of Medicare and Medicaid legistration in1965 began the process of the government providing healthcare for Americans. Kronenfeld rightfully questions weather the need to have adequate health care for everyone had public consensus. This implies that for the federal government to fund and support such a scheme there is need for majority of the people to support it. For any health care system to work efficiently there is need to have clear cut distinctions of the type of care that can be availed to an individual. Kronenfeld suggest three level of care namely the primary, secondary and tertiary care (Kronenfeld 7).
The most effective healthcare should give preference to the patients other than any other factor. Many policies have concentrated at the providers of the health services. It has always been about the insurance company who make super normal profits at the expense of the patients. The government should embark on focusing on the health of its people since a healthy nation will be a working nation, if people are healthy they will be able to make more money than the insurance companies make at their expense. I would propose a system of health care that is “post treatment” by this I mean that any American in need of medical treatment is entitled to free treatment and the cost taken care by the government. After treatment the citizen will be required to meet the cost in monthly repayments that are easy according to his earnings.
This means that's for children and the elderly repayments would be affected by the guardian. A revolving fund would be established with an initial capital input by the government. This would ensure that everyone can access specialized treatment. Since you will eventually pay for your bill; quality is assured and the barrier of social economics status is eliminated. This fund would be controlled by the local community and they would administer the fund based on individual needs, however a team of professionals would manage the fund and invest it so that extremely poor people need not repay the money.
The ultimate purpose is to ensure a healthy nation by providing quality and affordable health care for the country. It's also obvious that the current healthcare system propagates social stratification by denying the poor American a chance to benefit from health insurance schemes.
Morrison E. Health care ethics: critical issues for the 21st century. 2nd ed. Sudbury, Massachusetts: Jones & Bartlett Learning, 2009.
Kronenfeld, Jennie J. The changing federal role in U.S. health care policy. London: Greenwood Publishing Group, 1997.
Bartley, Blane, and George Davey. Critical: what we can do about the health-care crisis. Wales England: Wiley-Blackwell, 1998.