The European Union and Health Disparities

Published: 2019-08-30 07:00:00
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The health status in the United States of America is entirely different from that in the European countries. For example, a comparison between the nations of Sweden and Norway proves a huge difference from that of USA regarding their health status. Though some developed European countries are at par or ahead of the USA concerning health equity, Sweden and Norway are still behind. Obamas government has been efficient in reducing health inequities in the country CITATION Dav11 \l 1033 (Blumenthal, 2011). The USA government has made easy access to medical services its top priority. For example, public health insurance has become compulsory in the country. However, the cost and type of the insurance plan is a choice of the consumer. The trend is different in Sweden and Norway whereby citizens pay their cost of health services from their pockets. Private Doctors are the primary care deliverers in Norway CITATION con14 \l 1033 (africa, 2014). Therefore, it becomes hard for most of the population to have access to health services at an affordable cost. The Abundance of hospitals is another significant difference. In the USA, hospitals are in abundance in every state and also in the rural areas. A large percentage of people who live in the countryside in the USA are the poor hence, they are still able to get access to medical care due to the abundance in hospitals. All public hospitals in the USA also provide accident and emergency care. However, the case is different in Norway and Sweden and many other European Union countries. The two nations are yet to implement adequate health care delivery services to a large population. The poverty-stricken population especially in the rural areas still suffers from the lack of sufficient medical facilities. Infant mortality rate is also higher in the Norway and Sweden than that in the USA CITATION Eur06 \l 1033 (commission, 2006). The above factors play a part in the trend.

Norway and Sweden are putting enormous effort to reduce the health inequities in their countries. The Finish Action Plan of the Norwegians Ministry of Health and Social Affairs is one example of the efforts towards the reduction of health inequities CITATION Ing10 \l 1033 (Ingrid Stegeman, 2010). The strategy lays down the proposals for the most crucial steps in welfare policies to tackle unemployment, education, poverty, housing, and promoting healthy habits. It also focuses on the development of the knowledge base and equity in the use of health services. Education and labor were identified as the causes of the inequities hence the reason to tackle the two factors in the Action Plan. The Action Plan focuses on social inclusion, poverty, and improvement of vital services in the deprived areas. Sweden, on the other hand, adopted a public health policy that prioritizes health in the countrys political agenda. The policy aims at creating society conditions for equal terms of good health among the whole population. The Swedish government has established several domains of objectives. They include social and economic security, safe and healthy environment, favorable and secure conditions during adolescence and childhood, and healthy working life. They also include safe and proper eating habits, safe reproductive health, and a society that is free from drug abuse. There is also the greater Health 2020 policy framework of European Union aimed at supporting the action of improving the health status of European countries CITATION WHO12 \l 1033 (WHO, 2012). All the above measures by both the Sweden and Norway are part of the steps taken by the European Union in improving their health status. However, the governments of the European countries need to oversee the full and complete implementation of the above policies and measures to enhance their health services delivery.

The European Unions efforts in reducing the health inequities are lessons to the USA state and national government. Although the USA continues to prioritize health service delivery, there are still some states lagging behind. Some of the European most developed countries are already leading the USA regarding health system efficiency, quality, equity, and access to care CITATION eur16 \l 1033 (commission e. , 2016). All that is despite the USA boasting of having the most expensive system of health care. The states of Arkansas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Mississippi, are among the lowest ranked states in concerning quality health care systems. Such states and the whole American nation need to imitate the efforts of the European countries. They should also learn lessons from the efforts by the European Union. One of the primary lessons that the USA should learn is that education is crucial to an efficient health care system and its efficiency. Therefore, the USA government should invest heavily in educating the citizens both at the state and national level. Education translates into development since through it, there will be an emergence of quality health professionals in all states who can transform the medical sector of the country. Another vital lesson to learn is that health inequity is a threat to economic development. Health equity should spread across all states of the USA without favor or neglect of some regions. The government also needs to set up a commission to oversee the implementation of health policies and programs aimed at reducing the health disparities. A large percentage of the health disparities witnessed in many countries is as a result of poor implementation of policies. There is proper planning but the end product is not achieved due lack of proper implementation.

The inhabitants of South Texas are mainly the disadvantaged members of the society. The quality of health systems in the community is not convincing. The main reason behind the trend is the lack of health literacy among a significant percentage of the community members. Therefore, there is the need to improve the health literacy levels to enable residents to adapt the interventions by the state and federal government. There is also the need to increase the clinical-community linkages for the community to adapt the new interventions. The interventions aim at reducing the gap in accessibility of health information among the population of South Texas. Some changes are also necessary to adapt the interventions. Wholesome variations in the leadership and management of health systems are crucial for natural adaptation. Poor administration and leadership are some of the reasons behind the inadequate health systems in South Texas. Therefore, there is no way the community can adapt the new interventions without changing the leadership both in the health services delivery and in the community as a whole. The new administration will need to formulate new standard operating procedures to reduce the health disparities experienced in the society. The community of South Texas needs to feel like part of the United States of America by improving the health systems. As stated earlier, economic development is only achievable by having an inclusive nation. All regions of the USA need to be at the same level regarding health equity in the delivery of services.

References

Africa, c. (2014, September 1st). Creating a better health system: lessons from Norway and Sweden . Retrieved April 16th, 2016, from The conversation: http://theconversation.com/creating-a-better-health-system-lessons-from-norway-and-sweden-30366

Blumenthal, D. (2011). Wiring the Health System Origins and Provisions of a New Federal Program. The New England journal of medicine, 2329.

Commission, E. (2006). Tackling health inequalities in the EU. European commission.

Commission, e. (2016, April 15th). Public health. Retrieved April 16th, 2016, from public health: http://ec.europa.eu/health/index_en.htm

Ingrid Stegeman, C. C. (2010). The story of determine. DETERMINE Consortium.

WHO. (2012, September). Health 2020: the European policy for health and well-being. Retrieved April 16th, 2016, from World Health Organization: http://www.euro.who.int/en/health-topics/health-policy/health-2020-the-european-policy-for-health-and-well-being

sheldon

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