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Policy interview and analysis

A policy according to Webster's dictionary refers to a set of rules that are prescribed to guide the making of decisions to achieve reasonable outcomes. A health care policy refers to the individuals and organizations that follow prescribed rules to meet the health needs of people and setting goals to achieve the set goals of  a health care system.

Ten policy related questions to understanding current and future issues in the U.S delivery system.

  1. Why do most health care systems have financial distress yet their books of accounts are audited annually with nurses and doctors striking due to poor and delayed remuneration?
  2. Do the products used by a particular health care delivery system of quality?
  3. Do the health care providers vet for change in the quality of care provided and have the resources to support chronic care to such patients?
  4. Are the clinical data up to date with details of every individual patient and facilitation of efficient and effective care?
  5. Is the delivery system designed in such a way that it caters for follow up care and management of difficult cases
  6. Does the government aid in the provision of health care to its citizens?
  7. Why is it that the government health funded health care providers have poor management systems?
  8. Do patients have the rights to report to the relevant authorities when they are given poor treatment?
  9. What is the government's say on counterfeit drugs that somehow find their way into hospitals and are prescribed to patients yet they are ineffective?
  10. Are their policies that cater for the insurance cover for its citizens who either are unemployed or have low incomes?

It is not surprising to discover that the health sector has serious deficits when it comes to the providing of good health care services to the citizens of a country. The major reason for this is because it lacks enough funds to cater for patients. This is surprising because the health sector is among the sectors that receive a big share when funds are allocated. The main reason for this is because the systems that monitor the financial performance is not accurate or is poorly developed. Also the managed care and pricing of payment is poor. One way to cater for this problem is in by looking at the contracts and downsizing the bad contracts than subsidizing because it is better to lose business than incur extra costs which will be highly expensive for the health care provider to meet.

Most patients complain that the health care providers do not give quality treatment especially to those that are unemployed or have low incomes.(Andersen 2007). For such people the system is painfully slow or at times one is treated without careful examination of the disease therefore they offer the wrong prescriptions.

When we look at the unemployed or those with low incomes we discover that they have no insurance cover yet this is important for preventive medicine. Health insurance makes a provision for frequent visits to the doctor which is a form of preventative medicine necessary for long life. There is also the problem of rising costs of prescribed drugs. This is because pharmaceutical stores have turned into profit making enterprises making life expensive because it is almost impossible to live without medical cover. These pharmaceuticals pressurize doctors to use certain prescriptions which may not be the cheapest or most effective. These marginalized groups are also treated according to the weight of their pockets .picture a case where a rich man and a poor man go to the same health care center. Chances are that the rich man will be attended to very quickly being given the best medication while the poor one will have to wait a little longer foe treatment and the chances of him being given quality treatment are slim.

Another issue that arose is the shortage of staff in hospitals. Patients spend a lot of time just waiting to be attended to by the medical staff. This shortage has led to devastating results because the hospital staff is easily exhausted and for them to be productive they have to take a rest. Some of them are even asked by the hospital management to cover up in areas where they have no experience at all and this has its consequences because mistakes are easily made due to stress and anxiety resulting in medication errors.

There is also the problem of scarce healthcare resources and they are not equitably distributed.(Lemco 1994).

Despite the enormous amount of funds given to the health sector, access to it is still a problem because not everyone can get medical attention especially when the really need it . the resources allocated are not enough because the population is on the increase and future plans should be made to cater for these urgent needs because a population cannot be productive if its medical needs are not well taken care of . The medical system should also be integrated in such a way that the primary, secondary and tertiary levels are interconnected. This is because it is not uncommon to find patients transferred from small hospitals to bigger ones that have the facilities to cater for their specific needs so that the right diagnosis prescription and medication is given to a patient. this is because there are cases where the patients who are transferred and then end up being given the wrong medication because there is no centralized integrated system to keep on checking the details of the patient despite their locations. In connection to having an integrated system, appropriate treatment should be made to the patients with chronic illnesses like diabetes and kidney failure. It has been noted that the treatment of such patients is poor due to the fact that they do not have the right drugs to take care of these patients and for them to get treatment they have to go to other hospitals not near to where they are and this puts their lives at risk

Conclusion

In conclusion, health care is one of the basic needs of every human and its almost impossible to do without .governments can make it affordable to its citizens by intervening where insurance companies are involved such that they do not charge exorbitantly because a sizeable number of people cannot meet these costs. Efforts should also be made to increase staffing in hospitals and other health care centers to minimize the medical medication and lab errors that are so common currently. In addition, measures to cater for people with chronic diseases should be put so that they do not have to take long before they are attended to .if all governments would consider improving the quality of services offered in the health sector then long life expectancy would be almost guaranteed thus securing a healthy nation.

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