Public Sector Response to Public Health Care Issues
To start with, it should be stated that the U.S. health care system is generally perceived as the most expensive, qualified, and effective care in the whole world. The U.S. hospitals and clinics are outfitted with the newest equipment, highly qualified doctors, and great support staff. The government health care spending exceeds the defense spending. As a result, residents of this country receive really qualified and effective treatment. However, there still exists a number of health care issues that should be resolved. They include: social injustice and discrimination, teen pregnancies, and AIDS.
The first issue to be mentioned is social injustice and discrimination within the healthcare sector. Today a number of people live beyond the poverty line, and suffer from discrimination and injustice because of their material state and race. It should be mentioned that lack of money is a rather serious factor that does not allow ordinary citizens to buy healthcare insurance. Poor people often suffer from various diseases, because they do not have an opportunity to visit the doctor; and they cannot actually do this because they are poor. It is a vicious circle. It is worth mentioning that poor people report hundreds of incidents of social injustice and discrimination as they attempt to seek the medical care. They become subject to insults, rudeness, harassment, focus and sometimes even assault by health care providers. It should be emphasized that this healthcare issue has very significant impact on the American society, as lack of medical care and control results in spreading of different viruses, sexually-transmitted diseases, and reduction of the average life expectancy.
It should be stated that public sector is capable of resolving this issue. The problem of insufficient medical care and racial discrimination might be perceived as the burning issue of the American society. The thing is that the healthcare is tightly connected to such social notions as poverty, social violence and discrimination. These are the segments of one chain. In order to improve the current situation, the public sector should work out special reforms aimed at assisting poor people. Such step would definitely reduce the level of dangerous diseases and would increase the life expectancy.
Another issue that is really essential for the health care system is teen pregnancy and birth control. One might consider that teen pregnancy has nothing to do with the general state of health care; however, it is not so. It should be stated that teen pregnancies increase the poverty level. Moreover, they increase the health risk and often result in sexually-transmitted diseases, high percentage of abortions, and social orphanhood. Social problem of unplanned pregnancy at a young age is mainly a consequence of low efficiency of birth control. It should be pointed out that unintended pregnancies result in high prenatal mortality and mordibility rates. It should be stated that children, delivered by teen mothers, often suffer low birthweight and related health problems, they fall victims to abuse and neglect, and often obtain insufficient health care. It should be stated that nearly 85% of teen pregnancies are unintended. Unplanned pregnancies occur as a result of lack of information concerning methods of contraception. The notion of contraception is tightly connected with the politics of reproductive health care. One should take into account that teens are the most vulnerable part of the population. According to World Health Organization, approximately 16 million girls of a teen age give birth to children each year. Researcher Cheryl Albers states:
“Almost all (89%) of the teenagers who became pregnant (both the abortion and delivery groups) said they were not using contraception when pregnancy occurred. Of those who said they were using contraception when they became pregnant, 2% said they were using oral contraceptives but missed taking some pills, 6% said their method failed, and 3 % said they did not know why their pregnancy occurred” (p. 29).
One should take into account that teen pregnancies have a significant impact on the society due to their social and medical consequences. The public sector should definitely take part in resolving this issue. It should be noted that teen pregnancies result in abortions, unwanted marriages, unwanted children, and spread of diseases.
The last issue to be mentioned is the spread of such sexually-transmitted diseases as AIDS. This disease is one of the most dangerous diseases of this century. It annually takes thousands of human lives. It poses the major challenges to the U.S. health care system. The thing is that health care workers should think about the ways of treatment and possible ways of its prevention. In order to understand the severity of this disease, it should be stated that New York had a coherent disease pattern across the entire metropolitan area, strongly dominated by the computing center of Manhattan. It should be noted that special medical services should be provided to people, who suffer from AIDS. A lot of people perceive this disease, as something that exists somewhere. However, one should take into account that anyone has a risk of getting it. The UNAIDS states that over 65 million people have been infected with HIV and about 25 million have died from AIDS-related illnesses. Unfortunately, there is no known cure for AIDS, and successful vaccine against this infection as yet. It should be emphasized that it might turn out to be the worst humanitarian tragedy and gravest human security problem of our time.
The public sector should make everything possible to reduce the rates of this disease, as it is one of the most dangerous viruses of our time, and it takes million hundreds people every single day. In order to prevent it, the public sector should use fertility control measures.
Albers, Ch. (1999). Sociology of Families: Readings. California: Pine Forge Press. Print.