Healthcare policy is the actions, plans, and decisions undertaken to achieve particular health care goals. This means identifying a goal and incorporating the various means that could be achieved to achieve the intended objectives. They are a set of goals and principles that provide how healthcare is provided. This can be at the local, state, national, and global levels.
Through the healthcare policies, it is possible to identify the role of the various stakeholders in the healthcare sector, which facilitates the building of consensus and informing people about healthcare and health in general. Therefore, healthcare policies are aspirational as it intends to improve the overall state of healthcare in a given jurisdiction (Alderson et al.). Healthcare policies can be categorized into pharmaceutical, personal healthcare, vaccination, and drug use policies.
One of the healthcare policy issues attempts to resolve is affordability. Because various members of the society come from different socioeconomic statuses with endowments with resources, healthcare is not affordable to most members of the society. Making healthcare more affordable involves facilitating people paying for their healthcare without the need to use the income allocated to everyday consumption. Various researchers in the United States have noted that affordability of healthcare is the most outstanding healthcare problem in the country (Pain).
This has been attempted to resolve the problem in the country, something that attracts political attention. Despite paying relatively high taxes to the government, most Americans are forced to pay extremely high healthcare bills. Such healthcare policy issues can be resolved by the government subsidizing healthcare in the country. Through the Affordable Care Act, policies have attempted to make healthcare more affordable in the United States. This law targets low-income earners in addition to people suffering from preexisting conditions.
This policy has been ineffective in making healthcare more affordable to Americans in general. Healthcare has been taking a more significant proportion of the household income (Jacobs et al.). Even though the taxpayers are forced to give a more significant proportion of their income to fund the policy, healthcare is still unaffordable. The main challenge in making healthcare unaffordable involves the fact that there has been much controversy and antagonism between the two main political parties in the country.
This makes the negotiations on behalf of Americans unaffordable. Increased negotiations and the various levels of the government would be effective in helping the policy address the menace of unaffordable healthcare in the country.
Low-Quality Labor Force
Another healthcare policy issues is the poor quality healthcare as a result of the understaffing in the sector. In this case, there has been a labor shortage in the healthcare sector and poor training in the current healthcare professionals. This can be attributed to the organizational culture in the healthcare setting in addition to the education sector. This has led to an increased number of medical errors that would have been otherwise preventable.
Additionally, the quality of healthcare provided is severely compromised with the lack of adequate qualified medical care. One of the policies used to mitigate this healthcare policy issue involves the reduction of the turnover for all healthcare workers such as the nursing staff, frontline workers, and doctors. This helps these professions to gain experience reducing the possibility of medical errors. To engage the healthcare professionals more, they are often encouraged to provide their input.
This is a very effective way of utilizing and evaluating the quality of healthcare provided in the country. The policy has been very successful in improving the quality of healthcare services in the United States (Alkire et al.). The quality of healthcare professionals can also be improved by increasing the quality of training not only in the academic setting but also in the professional setting. This gives the healthcare professional to increase their expertise across their careers. The increased understanding of their files would improve the quality of healthcare provided in the country with the contribution of the various healthcare organizations.
Inequitable health care
Inequitable health care provision is another healthcare policy issue in the United States. This refers to the differences in the quality of healthcare provided to the various groups in society. This is quite different from the unaffordability of healthcare because different people in the country tend to get better quality of healthcare than others. Some of the most affected groups are people suffering from disabilities and may lack the ability to access healthcare due to reliance on other people’s health.
The policy to be applied in making healthcare equitable on a global scale is the Sustainable Development Goals and creating more affordable healthcare. This has been quite a challenge due to the vast resources to provide healthcare to people from different socioeconomic statuses. The lack of adequate resources has made Universal healthcare impossible to implement. Universal healthcare has failed to guarantee affordable healthcare to all global citizens, with the critical cause being logistical challenges (Umeh & Feeley, 2017).
Universal health coverage can be improved by mitigating the financial risk of increasing the size of healthcare services. This improves the probability of the formulation and implementation of healthcare policies. Additionally, universal healthcare is more than the mere equitable distribution of financial resources and human resources.
Healthcare Policy Issues Work Cited
- Alderson, Sarah, et al. “Using Q-methodology to guide the implementation of new healthcare policies.” BMJ quality & safety 27.9 (2018): 737-742.
- Alkire, Blake C., et al. “The economic consequences of mortality amenable to high-quality health care in low-and middle-income countries.” Health Affairs 37.6 (2018): 988-996.
- Jacobs, Lawrence R., Suzanne Mettler, and Ling Zhu. “Affordable Care Act moving to new stage of public acceptance.” Journal of health politics, policy and law 44.6 (2019): 911-917.
- Pain, Paromita. “Framing the Affordable Healthcare Act: Examining Alternative and Mainstream Media Approaches.” Journal of Communication Inquiry (2021): 01968599211040839.
- Umeh, Chukwuemeka A., and Frank G. Feeley. “Inequitable access to health care by the poor in community-based health insurance programs: a review of studies from low-and middle-income countries.” Global Health: science and practice 5.2 (2017): 299-314.