Economic Factors Affecting Health Care Sector
Without a proper health care sector, it is a challenge to enjoy life to the utmost. No one can be productive if he is succumbing to certain condition and he cannot access quality health care services. On top of this, there are economic factors that have also been affecting the health care sector. Health care economics involves issues related to effectiveness, efficiency, value and behavior in the production and consumption in the health care sector.
Since time immemorial, public health care sector has focused on the significant source of mortality, death, injury and disability. This includes improvements in healthier housing, availability of clean water, proper sanitation, safe food and workplace safety. All these areas or factors have sharply increased life expectancy on the global perspective. Economic factors are the largest predictor or drivers of health outcomes.
They also impact health behaviors which are the greatest contributors to health and life expectancy or longevity. Thus, the lower the economic status of a community or country, the more collective is its unhealthy behaviors and hard it is to practice proper health habits. These economic-social factors affecting health care sector include;
- Education- Health behaviors interact greatly with education to impact health outcomes. Health behaviors are usually reported with smaller difference in health status at areas with lower educational levels or less educated people. In a sense, lower education is a contributor to health than probable health behaviors. Lack of education will lead to an increase in unhealthy behaviors such as smoking, excessive drinking and poor dieting habits and all this leads to unexpected and costly health outcomes.
- Unemployment- Lack of employment affects the health sector a big deal. Lack of a paying job creates a gap between the poor and the rich. This also affects health of an individual or family and life expectancy in general. Due to lack of good education, it is has been hard for many health institutions to find qualified doctors, nurses and other physicians to employ from these poor communities. Hence, the increased sufferings and deaths in the society.
- Income- Many poor people in need of better medical services cannot afford them due to lack of funds to clear their medical bills. While the rich have all it takes to receive the best medical services. There is less money coming from government, private or public sectors to support medical institutions. This also comes at a prices as hospitals staffs face the wrath of having their income reduced whilst there are working more than expected. This has affected the health care sector big time.
- Family and social support – With the increasing cases of unemployment and lack of income, many families are suffering from lack of insurance funds to cater for their medical bills. There are more uninsured families and it has become hard to afford ro carry insurance on their own and many are left vulnerable to illness, depression and at death beds. With the raising standard of life and lack of money, these situations seem to worsen.
Advancements in technology have made it easy to get the best medical services. However, with the high living standards, it is upon the people to invest in health and government to play its role wisely. Health institutions should be presented with funds and infrastructures to guarantee finest medical services.
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