Changes in Health Services Delivery

Part one Topic: Changes in Health Services Delivery

The eight main forces that will determine future change in health services delivery in the United States include the following:

  • Social and demographic changes – the United States has experienced significant changes in its population and population composition in the recent years. In coming years the US population is likely to become more diverse and the healthcare needs of this population must be addressed. Further, the retirement of baby boomers is likely to drive up the health care costs.
  • Information changes – information is still evolving and with more evidence-based research, the way in which health services are delivered is likely to change as new information emerges (Santilli & Vogenberg, 2015). 
  • Globalization – global forces such trade and production of drugs in Asian countries is likely to drive down the cost drugs thereby making medicines more accessible to populations. The rise of medical tourism will also likely to influence the manner in which health care is provided.
  • Changes in the environment – environmental changes such as global warming and environmental degradation could result in natural disasters such as flooding and tsunami that create conditions for serious health risks. More infectious diseases are likely to be experienced in the next few years as a result of global warming.
  • Technology – technology will most likely revolutionize health care as new innovations and medical devices could help improve the quality of health care and better management of health. Technology would also enhance coordination in health services delivery.
  • Political forces – political forces such as new governments and new laws and policies will influence health care delivery as these could dictate when, where and how health care services are provided. 
  • Economic changes – forces such as economic growth, inflation and GDP will influence health care delivery as they are likely to influence health care expenditure. High economic growth will avail more resource for health care thereby making health care services more available (Santilli & Vogenberg, 2015).
  • Cultural and lifestyle changes – changes in belief, values and lifestyle could also affect health care delivery in that making healthier choices could improve the health and wellbeing of many Americans. 

Other than the impact of technology discussed above, new technology will affect the delivery of health care services in that there will be more efficiency in delivering care. New technology could also lead to ease in workflow especially when it comes to digitization of heath care records and sharing of data across multiple platforms (Almario, 2017). International cooperation will encourage cross-border telemedicine or even standardization in health care delivery thereby promoting more quality care provision.

References

Almario, C. (2017). The Effect of Digital Health Technology on Patient Care and Research. 

Gastroenterol Hepatol., 13(7): 437–439.

Santilli, J. & Vogenberg, F. (2015). Key Strategic Trends that Impact Healthcare Decision-

Making and Stakeholder Roles in the New Marketplace. Am Health Drug Benefits, 8(1): 15–20.

 

Part two Topic: Environmental Degradation

An example of environmental is the clearing of forests and destruction of ecosystems in order to create space for human settlement and development. Across the country, wildlife habitat and forests have been cleared in the past decades to accommodate the growing population and create room for roads to be constructed. The environment continues to be degraded as agriculture and industrialization intensifies thereby leading to more severe environmental degradation and in this case, forests and ecosystems being completely wiped out.

The clearing of forests and destruction of ecosystems have significant negative impacts on public health. For instance, the clearing of forests results in the increase of existing infectious diseases such as malaria and cholera as the parasites causing these disease become more exposed to humans and water becomes more stagnant. Clearing of forests has also been associated with climate change and global warming with some parts of the world that were relatively cold becoming warmer. These warm environments are breeding grounds for parasites causing malaria, typhoid, diarrhea and new diseases (Adekola et al., 2017). 

Clearing of forests also destroys sources of surface ground water that people have been using for drinking and other domestic purposes. As this surface water becomes exposed, they are more prone to pollution and this further threats the health of the population using the water. For instance, surface water that is polluted could cause diarrhea, gastroenteritis and other stomach infections. Clearing forests also reduces air quality and this could result to people getting exposed to allergens and particulate matter that cause asthma, respiratory infections, lung disease, or even cancer (Hilton, 2014). All these consequences of destroying forests and ecosystems increase the costs and complexities of providing public health services as the rise of disease incidences put a lot of pressure on the already strained resources. 

Because of several forces such as rising population and the intensification of agriculture, industrialization and energy use, very little can be done to reverse the environmental degradation. However, much can be done to slow or stop it. For instance, policy makers and governments should make laws regarding protected forest areas where people are not allowed to expand to. Further, the community could work with the state and local governments to preserve forests and ecosystems by maintaining boundaries, planting trees and protect the remaining forests and ecosystems (Nepstad, 2014). 

References

Adekola, J., Smith, M., Smith, D. & Adekola, O. (2017). Health risks from environmental 

degradation in the Niger Delta, Nigeria. Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space, 35(2), 334-354.

Hilton, I. (2014). China and environmental degradation. Juniata Voices, 14, 57. 

Majeed, M. T., & Mumtaz, S. (2017). Happiness and environmental degradation: A global 

analysis. Pakistan Journal of Commerce and Social Sciences, 11(3), 753–772. 

Nepstad, D. (2014). Slowing Amazon deforestation through public policy and interventions 

in beef and soy supply chains. Science, 344(6188), 1118-1123.

 

Part three Topic: Overpopulation and the Future

Overpopulation is definitely a problem in my community as the community and the whole country is already consuming its existing resources at an unsustainable rate. For example, according to the latest US Census reports, there has been a rapid population growth in the community that I come from (Atlanta, Georgia) with population reaching nearly 5.8 million in early 2017 (Niesse, 2017). Many people migrate to Atlanta for job opportunities and this has contributed to the significant growth in population over the last few years. However, this population is more than the existing resources in Atlanta can sustain and this requires the community to source food and other supplies from other parts of Georgia and neighboring states. 

The overpopulation in Atlanta, Georgia is affecting wildlife in that it leads to habitat loss and species extinction. According to Ambrose (2017), Georgia is home to over 4,000 species of native vascular plants and vertebrate animals. However, overpopulation will lead to more space being needed to build homes and infrastructure and this could result in the habitat of this wildlife being encroached. With encroachment, there is a high risk that these animals will be displaced, exposed and plant species destroyed leading to extinction. Further, there is a high risk of new diseases emerging and infectious diseases spreading as humans interact with the wildlife and pollute the environment. Decades ago, the community had more land dedicated to wildlife but with a growing population, the wildlife will have no space in Atlanta.

What concerns me the most is that the state and federal government are yet to implement effective policies to ensure that wildlife is protected amidst growing human population. I believe that the community and the world is big enough to accommodate both humans and wildlife and so there should be more efforts to preserve and protect wildlife.

What gives me hope for the future is that the government is making efforts to pass laws that would help conserve habitats and wildlife. For instance, the Farm Bill 2018 aims at protecting conservation programs in America’s grasslands to ensure that human activity does not interfere with natural habitat for wildlife. 

Personally, I would want to make a difference by promoting activities in my neighbourhood that lead to a clean environment. For instance, I would want to lead the young people in my community to properly dispose garbage, especially plastic refuse to keep the environment clean for both humans and wildlife.

 

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