Health Literacy: Why Quality Care Seems Out Of Reach
The lack of medical knowledge can be very expensive. That’s because people only consider getting help when they are already severely damaged or injured. They don’t care about their health at all. Most of them don’t know where diseases and illnesses come from. As a result, they get desperate in the transition of information they can get from the healthcare system. But how about the health care system? Does it reach the patients’ expectations?
When the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) was passed into law seven years ago, it signaled a fundamental change in America’s healthcare system. After all, in every other first-world, industrialized nation, healthcare is a basic right of citizens. —
Healthcare providers and institutions are responsible for taking care of people’s health. It’s part of their consensus to provide for their medical needs. However, providing the patient treatments and letting them use hospital facilities are not enough. That’s because healthcare resources become limited to people who can somehow afford it. The privileged ones somehow become the priority of healthcare services.
The Problems With Healthcare
- The primary reason why the health care system can’t seem to cope with public service is that they get tied to sticking with the usual reliance on technological innovation. Hospitals and other health centers merely focus on advancement because that way, they can be able to find ways to accurately assess, diagnose, operate, and cure patients. However, their focus creates a negative impact because they tend to forget to prioritize people’s current and urgent medical needs. As a result, more and more individuals suffer from unjust treatment. The system’s dependence on technology somehow makes people avoid wanting their services.
- Healthcare providers and institutions don’t share the same excellence. Their services differ from one another and mostly show a significant gap between proper assistance and quality care. That’s because the resources are limited and if not, it is not well distributed to the lower bracket of the society. The essential medical aids such as medicines, hospital equipment, and surgical tools get disregarded due to the imbalanced health system.
Senator Cruz made an interesting point when quoting statistics that profits from the ten largest insurance corporations went from a total of $8 billion in 2008 to over $15 billion in 2015, blaming Obamacare for the dramatic increase in insurance company profits. Cruz added that under Obamacare the average American saw an average of $5642 in their insurance premiums and an average of $5000 in annual deductibles. — Alan A. Cavaiola Ph.D.
- Another thing that needs to be emphasized is the price of every treatment. It is understandable that each treatment gets designed individually and yet it should cost differently from one another. But due to certain conditions, patients suffer far more than the usual because of the unaffordable rates of the treatments. Since some of the medical needs are financially unattainable, patients’ situations get worse and soon leads to prolonged agony and death.
- Most healthcare providers don’t consider making options. They somehow disregard the fact that even if people are getting bombarded with a lot of health information, they won’t be able to grasp all of it in an instant. Since people rely on healthcare, they follow everything the provider tells them even if they don’t understand what the medical terms are all about. People’s lack of medical information somehow makes them confused and uninformed. That’s why health literacy is also a problem that needs to be taken care of.
When healthcare providers disregard their dimensions, it causes a significant conflict to public health. The need for centers of excellence regarding quality care may not be applicable to all. Since patients will suffer from financial burden and unjust treatment, the system will eventually fail to cope with their objectives. However, when the healthcare system makes reform and considers that quality services should go across the board, the care for people will no longer be limited to a particular scope. Access to health care will be available at all times at any place. It will also be able to assist people with different age, gender, race, and status.
Patient safety and health care quality is the most crucial factor in the health system. So they have to make sure that their innovative changes won’t affect the quality of care they provide. Because in the end, people will always rely on them no matter what happens.
If we don’t tease away the ancient feelings from the current ones, if we don’t heal the wounded feelings from our childhood, we will be unable to make clear, conscious choices about healthcare reform. Our choices will instead be made by the wounded child inside of us, of whom we are unaware, leading us to act out in counter-productive, and often destructive, ways. — Judith Barr, MA, LMHC