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Local Health Department: Meeting Community Need Case Study

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Updated: Jun 6th, 2020

The main factors that have a bad impact on the efficiency of the medical care provision in the east region are the lack of equability in the organizations and departments personnel and the lack of affordable and accessible settings for the multiple types of healthcare services. As far as the east region has a low per capita income, the hospital visits are unaffordable for the majority of the unfunded residents. Currently, the county’s local health department (LHD) cannot provide sufficient health care for the medically needy patients. The number of the hired physicians is too low, both in primary and specialty health care; thus, the medical services cannot be provided continually and consistently. On the contrary, University Hospital has a surplus of physicians in the area.

The inconvenience of LHD’s working hours is also an issue. LHD is closed in the evenings and during the weekends, so the working east region population has to use emergency departments to receive health care.

Building a Constituency

University Hospital will take a leading part in the addressing the east region healthcare issues because the majority of the east region residents use its emergency departments that are too expensive to provide the primary care and specialty care. The major part of the constituency consists of the region’s minority and unfunded residents who are concerned about the organizational issues in the local healthcare institutions. The local government might be interested in addressing the problems because it will help the officials to gain public support. The government’s funding is important for the improvement of the situation.

The volunteering and charity organizations can contribute to the provision of free medical services for the indigent and unfunded citizens. The college, the schools, and the university can participate in the dissemination of information through the educational programs. One of the most important means of the information distribution is local mass media.

Vision

There is a vision of the east region as a community, where the medical services are sufficient, adequate, and efficient. The professional health care is available to all groups of the citizens. Those without insurance can have cheap yet high-quality healthcare treatment, and the indigent and minority citizens can freely receive medical assistance under the healthcare and charity programs. The healthcare services in the community are provided by well educated and knowledgeable personnel. The number of practicing doctors is enough to provide the continual and consistent services in each medical care department and institution of the region.

Goals

  • The growth of public awareness.
  • The increase of government’s funding.
  • Expansion of the primary and the specialty care settings in LHD and University Hospital.
  • The increased number of general and specialty practice physicians in LHD.
  • Application of volunteer programs.
  • The collaboration of LHD with UGS faculty physicians.

Strategy Alternatives

Health is one of the greatest values in the society, communication with public on this subject is essential for raising the awareness of the current issues. For bringing of the idea that is laid down in the vision statement to life, it is better to start with the dissemination of information in the educational institutions: schools and the community college. Through lectures and classes, it is possible both to draw attention to the importance of efficient healthcare, professionalism in medicine and to talk about the current issues. It is important to involve local media as well because they can influence government’s response.

The enlargement of the government’s funding can play an essential role in the problem solving. Since one of the main goals is the attraction of physicians to work in the east region and the expansion of the range of the provided medical services, the increase of funding contributes to the expansion of the medical settings and higher wages for physicians. When the public is aware of the issues, the government also cannot ignore them. At this stage, we claim for the funding increase. Enlarged funding allows the expansion of the specialty medical care settings in LHD where the patients can receive the chronic diseases treatment. The salary increase will support the attraction of the new doctors to LHD, and it will make the working hours increment possible.

The specialty medical care services are expensive. For the reduction of costs, the volunteers can be drawn to LHD. The volunteering program must be elaborated, and the practicing physicians of University Hospital or the UGS students should be encouraged to participate in these programs. Mass media and social marketers need to encourage the support of the high value of the public health and to promote volunteering among the members of the community.

The establishment of relations with the University of the Great Southeast (UGS) is crucial in attempts to increase the number of employees in LHD. There could be an internship program for the students of Health Science Center that would allow them to practice in LHD along with University Hospital. The students could be easily encouraged by the high estimation of their work.

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