In the U.S., the established system of healthcare provision is designed similarly to business organizations. Therefore, it uses similar principles in the financing, considering patients as clients, which can be perceived through such systems as insurance policies. However, health care is also often related to the idea of social justice – a term that describes the allocation of resources and benefits to people according to their needs and abilities (Stanhope & Lancaster, 2016).
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The concept of social justice is not similar to such notions as communism or social medicine. In the latter, people are regarded as equal regardless of their socioeconomic status. For example, Cesur, Güneş, Tekin, and Ulker (2017) provide an example of free primary health care in Turkey, describing it as easily accessible, universal, and completely free for all members of the nation. On the other hand, social justice includes other types of care distribution, including a system based on persons’ resources and merit (Stanhope & Lancaster, 2016). I believe that the sphere of healthcare should focus on the area of social justice that increases the support for all people who need it.
The healthcare system where people have limited access to services based on their economic and social attributes is unfair. Many persons in the U.S. cannot receive preventive care or go through some life-saving procedures because of their status, race, occupation, and location. For instance, Kasper, Greene, Farmer, and Jones (2016) note that poverty is often related to race in the country. This phenomenon can be explained by the national history of racism and segregation where people from Black, Latino, and other minority communities could not have high salaries or enter the job market at all.
The process of limiting whole communities from accumulating generational wealth resulted in their inability to adapt to the new system of market-based relations quickly. Therefore, poverty, homelessness, poor living conditions, and discrimination remain significant obstacles to healthcare for some communities. Here, the main injustice of the current healthcare system lies in the limited ability of healthcare workers to serve all individuals with urgent needs (Wear, Zarconi, Aultman, Chyatte, & Kumagai, 2017). Such professionals as nurses can advocate for more accessible care and a better environment for people with socioeconomic obstacles.
The belief that the health care system needs fixing is addressed in a variety of healthcare research studies. According to the World Health Organization (2017), people have a fundamental right to health. Therefore, countries have to ensure that their residents have access to all services and items that promote or maintain health, including water, food, housing, and medical care. Furthermore, as all people should be able to manage their health to achieve the highest standard of well-being, they should all be treated equally by health providers. This is the main idea that should be implemented in the system, leading to many changes. Wear et al. (2017) suggest that equal treatment may help individuals who currently struggle with disparities and injustice based on race, gender, and status.
Kasper et al. (2016) state that this change can prevent major diseases by paying increased attention to impoverished and underserved communities. The effect may resemble the findings of Cesur et al. (2017), who highlight the decreased rates of mortality among infants, children, and the elderly. It is vital for healthcare providers to advocate for the recognition of people’s obstacles to healthcare.
Cesur, R., Güneş, P. M., Tekin, E., & Ulker, A. (2017). The value of socialized medicine: The impact of universal primary healthcare provision on mortality rates in Turkey. Journal of Public Economics, 150, 75-93.
Kasper, J., Greene, J. A., Farmer, P. E., & Jones, D. S. (2016). All health is global health, all medicine is social medicine: Integrating the social sciences into the preclinical curriculum. Academic Medicine, 91(5), 628-632.
Stanhope, M., & Lancaster, J. (2016). Public health nursing: Population-centered health care in the community (9th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier.
Wear, D., Zarconi, J., Aultman, J. M., Chyatte, M. R., & Kumagai, A. K. (2017). Remembering Freddie Gray: Medical education for social justice. Academic Medicine, 92(3), 312-317.
World Health Organization. (2017). Human rights and health. Web.