Addressing the Challenges Facing Health
Today, we live in a world where significant advances in technology and the easiness of traveling are continuously eroding national boundaries. Health problems are becoming international, and it is rising quickly, threatening the lives of a vast number of people. In most developing countries, communicable diseases and chronic conditions face over 2 billion people living in abject poverty (Lee & Porter, 2013). Well to do countries, find it difficult to pay for high intensive medical care. To end this menace, governments and big businesses must find ways to improve innovations and fund advanced technologies providing solutions for treating and curing the illnesses and improve health care in general.
The long-term economic situations of most countries have often been diagnosed wrongly. In spite of the fact that most countries concentrate mainly on demographic challenges, health care costs are determined majorly by the country’ s per capita growth rate (Lee & Porter, 2013). Moreover, most Medicare discussions have mostly sidelined the issue of how to lower the ever increasing spending. Instead, debates have concentrated on the growing spending on Medicare on drugs, expanding health coverage for children and how to avoid Medicare Physicians costs.
To explicitly address the country’s economic costs, economists should clearly understand the long-term budgetary effect. For example in the United States, the Medicaid is expected to account for over 5 % of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the nation (Drummond et al, 2015) The same spending projections is estimated to grow progressively over the coming years, motivated by mainly the rising cost per enrollment for health care. Over the past years, healthcare costs have been increasing faster than the GDP of most countries. If costs continue to rise at the same rate in the coming years, the health care spending will not be too high compared to the GDP of the country.
The increasing costs of health care touch both the private and government, same forces affect both sectors. In 1975, the public health care spending was about 8% of GDP in the US, at the moment, health care costs account for around 16% of GDP. It is projected to increase in the coming years; such costs are however shared equally by the private and public sector (Drummond et al, 2015).The increasing pressures are expected to reduce growth rates. Moreover, increase in obesity cases over the past years is likely to increase the pressure on health care expenditure in both sectors.
The rising costs, however, is not the result of the development of new diseases but rather, the increase in medical expertise and treatment. The advancement in medical care is as a result of treatment of diseases which were previously categorized as untreatable, such developments increase spending, but it is at the same time beneficial to people (Lee & Thomas, 2014). Therefore, advancement in medicines comes with added costs, but the patients in most cases are comfortable with less expensive care.
Another important factor that contributes to the rising cost of healthcare is the way in which insurers disburse and manage health care delivery. Free delivery encourages efficient delivery, but it also provides motivation for the supply of more services at higher costs (Hanlon et al, 2014). In the early years, health care costs were negotiable; therefore private spending grew at the same rate as the GDP. However, health care providers objected the managed care and adopted less aggressive management plans. Another contributing factor to the rising health care is the fact that recipients pay less, the deductibles are not at pace with the spending on health care.
Despite the high costs, it is not clear if there could be less concern about increasing costs if there were clear gains in health (Lee & Thomas, 2014). Instead, evidence shows that expensive care does not always amount to quality care. Moreover, there is no compelling evidence that regions which spend highly on Medicare do not have higher life expectancies compared to other areas. In addition, the difference in health care spending is related to the quality. There is no hard evidence on the kind of treatments which work best, or whether added benefits are enough to justify the added cost. Furthermore, spending varies from one country to another depending on the level of income and preference to care.
The major challenge facing training of clinicians is the inadequate number of clinical sites (Hanlon et al, 2014). To increase the number of practicing physicians, sites should also be improved so as to provide the physicians with adequate facilities to be able to practice to the fullest extent of their profession. Therefore, since most existing facilities cannot adequately cater for the available physicians, the notion that there is a shortage is misguided. In addition, the situation is worsened by the concentration of medical facilities in urban areas, such kind strategies, are misplaced since it the institutions will be competing for training in clinical sites.
The added number of requirements by schools limits the number and the capacity to prepare physicians. Moreover, the requirement for minimum student-faculty ration in training institutions makes training of doctor a costly endeavor (Drummond et al, 2015). Furthermore, the number of trainer’s engagement with the student requires a high number of hours; this requirement increases the number of active preceptors. Moreover, public funding is limited to the countries, the lack of funding has limited the ability to educate more physicians. Moreover, the concentration of most governments to fund the training of doctors more has contributed less number of physicians.
There has also been the lack of incentives for physicians both financially and the willingness to support their activities beyond their profession. The view by physicians for lack of other duties outside their job greatly discourages most individuals from practicing the profession (Lee & Porter, 2013). Moreover, there is also the growing perception by the population for particular preference to specific care providers. Such kind of attitude disappoints the willing participants and has led to an increase in the cost of health care provision coupled with the reduced number of trained personnel.
The increasing involvement of patients has contributed positively and negatively. Undoubtedly, it has assisted in the improvement of the health care process and patient safety (Hanlon et al, 2014). However, there have been reported cases of the patient choosing preferred health care provider and most they are inclined to distinct races, such habits discourage other practitioners and contribute to the growing discontent in the field. The choice of healthcare provider has contributed to the increased demand for transparency; on the contrary, health systems should focus on quality service provision.
The medical field is ever evolving; patients have become increasingly involved, more focus needs to be concentrated on the smooth running of all systems (Hanlon et al, 2014). The changes call for proper management and coordination of healthcare givers and information organization so as to balance the patient and health provision continuously while ensuring that the needs of the patient are met. The development of new techniques should, therefore, help in the proper running of the system. However, shortage of staff and the ever increasing inflation calls for the more careful use of the already scarce resources.
However, despite the increased view that the health system is improving, there is little information available on its effectiveness. Moreover, little assistance is available to those who plan such programs and the people who make decisions.
There is also the need for advancement of knowledge in the key areas of operations and the use of modern technology; such measures will ensure that Medicare providers understand and serve their clients accordingly (Hanlon et al, 2014). Despite the hardships faced by health care providers, more effort should be put to ensure the provision of quality health to the society. Various incentives should be designed to help foster the adaptations of health by the populations. In addition, the challenges should be viewed as learning points rather than a setback and measures should be taken to improve towards efficient health provision across nations regardless of the challenges faced in those countries.