Problems in Provision of Quality Medical Services in the United States of America
Regardless of the efforts made by educators and professionals for increasing workforce over the past years, shortages are felt in all health care professions. This is due to growth of populations each and every year. Census indicates that, the American population keeps on growing. This affects medical quality provision due to fewer numbers of physicians. It creates an imbalance between the doctors and the patients (Richard & Gregory, 2011). More doctors should be trained to attain the required numbers. This will be realized by putting up a number of colleges and universities that will provide a platform upon which young people will be given the trainings. Education policies should reinforce and put more emphasis on medical training institutions, so there will be enough doctors in the states.
Growth of aging population in America is another factor that contributes to insufficient number of physicians. Statistics state that there is a high percentage of people acquiring some health difficulties with ages (Redmond, 2008). This fact facilitates the individuals to seek more medical attention. By paying attention to the baby boomers many Americans lack services. It is also argued that many of these seniors also suffer from chronic diseases that require more care. Attention should be paid to providing quality services to the aging populations.
A high medical school fee also is another issue contributing to insufficient physicians. Many of America medical schools are very expensive. This leads to the situation when majority of students who studies these courses, have accumulated debts. It also serves has a discouraging factor, which makes many students to opt for other fields, hence leaving the medical students to lag behind in terms of workforce. Therefore, medical fees should be standardized to avoid huge debts. Also the government should provide financial educational schemes to some students, these will meant to assist the student from poor background.
Overworking and underpaying of physicians are also great issues one can face in this sphere. Starting salary for beginners ranges from $150,000-$170,000 while for instance, gastroenterologist doubles the salary and above. Everybody wants a decent life and money is the indicator for good living conditions. Due to this, it makes a lot of students joining campus to avoid medical course. Overworking also discourages people who want to join the field. Doctors should be paid better salaries to make it a lucrative profession. More sophisticated medical facilities should also be provided in all American medical centers, to make the working condition in our hospital awesome. By having facilities, it will cut down the number of doctors who move to private hospital and abroad.
Retirement and few medical schools facilitate lack of physicians in the United States. In America, majority of primary care physicians seek early retirement. This is due to search of fair payment and better working conditions. They make the medical field to have shortage of experts. Therefore, there should be better reimbursement and improvement of working conditions for physicians, as well as opening of more medical school to absorb higher number of students.
Non-governmental organizations contribute to lack of physician in America. Majority of them, base their services not within the country’s boundaries. Also, these organizations pay better than the government, which makes them win over more experts. Such structures have absorbed more physicians leading to insufficient doctors in America. Salary issues should be addressed for us to win the hearts of the doctors. The government should also form some collaboration with the non-governmental organizations, thus providing quality medical healthcare for Americans. Contracts should also be introduced in medical field. These will make it difficult for those who leave the public hospitals for private ones.
Research that was conducted in 2002 by Robert Wood Johnson foundation indicated that some areas in America are underserved. This means that most American physicians operate within urban centers than rural areas. The research observed that 11% of doctors practice in rural districts hence, the correlation of physician-per-person is lower in comparison to urban areas. This research identified some of the reasons why most physicians opt working in urban areas. Infrastructure played a significant contribution. And therefore, the government must consider policies issues on rural development regarding infrastructure. Lack of this has led to poor service delivery in rural districts. It can be done away with, by ensuring there is equitable distribution of experts.
Table 1. An example of a checklist, showing the current and expected number of physicians in different states of America.
Cost of medical services
Due to changes in insurance, more consumers are active on healthcare decisions. This has led to the fact that many employers pushing healthcare cost to customers, hence the latter become victims of higher deductibles. Such situation makes it impossible for the American citizens to receive a proper care, which may cause deaths. Also operation cost in American hospitals has rapidly increased. The other factor that leads to increase of medical cost is technology. A lot of them are on market. Americans associate technology with instant impact to their health. The high demand for technology has made providers toraise the prices, even if it is not reasonable. Also many Americans have no enough information in making decisions about medical care they are required.
Figure 1. Pareto diagram.
Chronic diseases also cause problem in provision of quality healthcare. Such illnesses can be prevented but not cured. These diseases are diabetes, hepatitis, asthma, cancer and HIV/AIDS. They require more medical attention. In the year 2007, 75% of total healthcare budget in theUnited States of America was dedicated to treatment of chronic diseases. Most of them are associated with preventable problems, which can be lack of physical exercises, smoking, or obesity. Due to immense resources dedicated in curbing of these diseases, some illnesses are overlooked (WHO, 2008).
Examples of diseases that are assumed are whooping cough, psychological problems, rehabilitation problems and mental deficiencies. These illnesses have led to death of many Americans and worsening of medical conditions. The remedies for chronic diseases are to ensure there are more experts in every medical centre. This reduces the number of people, who will decide to treat on their own. Thus, a lot of American citizens would get medical services hence lowering the death and worsening of situations. Also there should be increment of medical centers in regard to chronic.
In some rural areas, it is very rare to find a well-equipped facility for chronic diseases like cancer and hepatitis. Standardizing of expert and medical fees, as well as prices of drugs of chronic diseases is also a necessity. Some Americans operate with low income. In case of attack by these diseases, it will be difficult for them to get medical services. Finally for each and every Americans to have access to quality medical care, many factors should be considered. The income of the low earning should be taken into consideration. In order to avoid wasting a lot of time trying to safe live one should pay attention to the number of accessible medical facilities. Experts should be raised in areas that have shortages.