Rewriting the Healthcare Policy
Many American Presidents had promised that they would improve the contemporary healthcare policy in the USA, which does not provide a basic health care insurance to all of its citizens, as provided by other rich nations like Canada, Britain and Germany. However, none of the American Presidents had actually fulfilled their promises when they assumed power, and their promises remained dormant in the election manifestos only. Meetings, debates and conferences have been held over the past decades for improving the healthcare policy in the richest country of the world, but the cost of healthcare has been burgeoning too much for low income groups to bear. The health insurance premiums are also high, and the people who can afford them, are not satisfied with the quality of service, which they get in return.
The cost of treatment, including that of medicines, has been rising so much that many Americans decide not to consult a physician until the problem aggravates to an extent that demands emergency medical services. The waiting time to see a doctor is also considerably long, and it adds to the suffering of a patient. Moreover, it is a pity to mention that our country which sends space missions to other planets, and controls satellites as well as the Hubble telescope from computerized systems on Earth, has failed to provide a computerized healthcare policy that could guarantee a hassle-free operation for the visiting patients, and the doctors working in the hospitals. Hence, I strongly agree that the healthcare policy in the USA needs to be not only rewritten but also properly implemented for the benefit of every American citizen.
Based on a study conducted by Commonwealth Fund, Zablit (2007) reported that the USA has the most expensive healthcare system in the world. Moreover, among the rich nations of the world, the American healthcare system ranks last for quality, access and efficiency. Isn’t it discouraging to reiterate that Americans do not have the universal health insurance coverage?
From the results of another study, Zablit also reported that 15% of American population does not have any health insurance at all. These 45 million American people, who do not have any health insurance, are at a risk of aggravating a minor sickness into a major disease. It is clear that preventive healthcare is given less importance than emergency medical services. This imbalance creates more stress on the emergency medical services, and an upsurge in overall healthcare costs. When will our policy makers awake to listen to the agonies of the suffering American citizens?
Among other rich nations including Australia, Britain, Canada, Germany and New Zealand, Zablit highlighted that the USA also ranked last for access to healthcare, patient safety, timeliness of care, efficiency and equity. When will humanitarian services be actually seen in the American healthcare system?
It was shocking to learn that Americans also rank last in having the services of a regular physician. Indeed! It is the lethargy of the healthcare system that causes unnecessary delays, long waiting time, aggravation of a minor illness, and rise in healthcare costs. What is the use of having advanced technology in other fields like automobile, banking and telecommunication, if the health of an individual is given the least priority? I strongly feel that the American citizens should unite, and persuade their legislators to ameliorate the pathetic state of the existing healthcare system.
Zablit (2007) also reported that the USA is lackadaisical in adopting health information technology in comparison to other rich nations like Australia, Britain, Canada, Germany and New Zealand. This factor also contributes to delivery of poor healthcare services, and an increase in healthcare costs over a passage of time. Shouldn’t information technology be adopted at a fast pace like it is used in other sectors? I strongly feel that the adoption of health information technology needs to be given priority.
We are aware of the lack of coordination between various departments in hospitals, which causes delays, long waiting time, and aggravation of an illness. President Barrack Obama had promised that the healthcare system would be completely computerized, which would prevent the sufferings of patients, and increase coordination among different departments in a hospital. I feel annoyed to repeat that American patients and doctors are still facing countless problems due to lacunae created by the lack of a fully computerized healthcare system. I would give computerization of the healthcare system the topmost priority, rather than equipping sports cars with sophisticated computerized technology, which drives them at dangerous speeds. Computerization of American healthcare system will create better coordination between doctors, nurses and the patients.
According to another healthcare study, Zablit (2007) highlighted that the USA spends thrice the amount that an average country spends on a daycare in hospital. Also, it spends twice the amount that an average country spends on prescription medication. It was shocking to note that the USA spends the maximum amount on publicly and privately financed health insurance schemes among all rich nations.
I feel discouraged whenever a new health policy is envisaged by an American President, but the plight of the suffering American patients do not see any effective solution. In my opinion, the only practically feasible solution to soothe the sufferings of American patients is to provide a universal health insurance policy. It will enable all Americans to see the doctor in case of a minor illness, and thus prevent the minor illness from turning into a chronic or a life threatening disease. Further, it will reduce the stress on the emergency medical services, create a balance between provision of preventive medication and emergency medical services, and decrease the overall healthcare costs.
In order to improve efficiency and coordination between various departments, doctors, nurses and patients in a hospital, I would give computerization of the healthcare system the topmost priority. I strongly reiterate that these healthcare policy measures need to be implemented for the benefit of every American citizen.
Zablit, J. (2007, May 15). US health system ranks last compared to other countries: Studies.
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