- MERVIN STEVEN RECTO
Write a comparative analysis about the practical barriers that exist in the healthcare provisions in New Zealand and in those of one overseas country of your choice through using the following determinants:
D. SOCIOECONOMIC BARRIERS
Socioecomic barriers are usually common nowadays in industrialized western countries. It has become evident within the population in those countries because it has become multi-cultural due to the fact that these countries’ market place has been internationalized and borders have opened up to invite migrants from other countries which is not new in present days. Migration has come in different forms such as labour migration and refugees seeking refuge to get away from hostilities in their own land and perhaps start a better life in a better country. But the negative side of these migrants are that they come from a country with low standards in living and in health which can be a barrier for them in health care services. (Scheppers, van Dongen, 2006)
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According to the American Psychological Association (2014), a barrier in socioeconomic can be related to one’s status. The socioeconomic status is based on education, income and occupation. When an individual is successful and has that entire basis then he or she will be able to garner a better access in health care compared to the people who have not met those standards. People with low levels of socioeconomic status are bound to be correlated with poor health and low quality of life.
In addition, a journal written by Veugelers and Yip in 2003 stated that wealthier and highly educated people experience better health care than the poor and less educated ones. Furthermore, it was written that the inability of lower socioeconomic groups to purchase health insurance will hinder their access to health care. But since then publicly funded health care has been slowly implemented to cater to the needs of the poor and reduce inequity in the process.
New Zealand as a country is known for its diverse and equal treatment to all foreign people who migrate to their land. The health care system of this country has been funded via partial fee-for-service payment from the government for consultations with physicians and medications with the patients also having being co-payees to a substantial amount. But there is still presence of inequities in the health care access especially to the poor and the MÄori community. They have rates that are lesser compared to the others. But the government are finding ways to lessen the inequities in New Zealand health care pertaining to socioeconomic status by changing or making new policies that are directed to alter both the funding and organisational arrangements in which primary health care will be launched. The new policy focuses on primary health care which is the key to the improvement in health services to all regardless of socioeconomic status. This policy, in collaboration with the New Zealand Health Strategy, is pursuing equal policies in health care to be implemented within the District Health Board’s framework. Although the partial fee-for-service is still in effect today and is assisted by government subsidies, patients still have to grab a small amount in their pockets since subsidies do not also fully cover the costs. (Barnett, R. and Barnett, P., 2004)
South Korea, on the other hand, also has its disparities in its health care system socioeconomic-wise. Like the western countries, South Korea is no different in socioeconomic barriers. People with less income are prone to illnesses or sickness as to those who have higher income. An example that can be pointed out is an article written by Joh, Oh, Lee and Kawachi (2013) wherein obesity is said to be more prevalent among individuals who are from a lower socioeconomic party. Obesity has increased substantially in South Korea for the past two decades. This problem is patterned by an individual’s socioeconomic status. This is where health inequality in South Korea has been identified through uneven distribution of resources such as economic, social and cultural. It is also said in the article that norms, perceptions and behaviours are elements that changes social inequality to health inequality. Thus differing values, weight perception and control are the underlying causes of obesity across socioeconomic class. They have come up with solutions in order to deal with this kind of situation. As we know that the South Korean health care system relies solely in private sectors since public hospitals comprise of a measly ten per cent in the whole nation. Because of that, in order to provide equality in health care delivery to the people, especially to the poor, they developed single payer system insurance so that those people regardless of socioeconomic status can have equal access to health care.
E. ORGANISATIONAL BARRIERS
Pexton (2009) stated that in a health care organisation, a system succeeds when it adapts to various strategies the management has imparted and when there are improvements in its techniques. She also stated that in order for an organisation to garner the success it wants, it has to be prepared to show improvements in its system year over year. An organisation must be prepared to make a change for the better of the organisation and its people especially in this kind of economy where everything is getting harder and harder. Other organisations find it important to transform or change culture in order to get through or around and above the competitive environment. Pexton also identified the most common organisational barriers and they are: cultural complacency or scepticism, lack of communication, lack of alignment and accountability, passive or absent leadership support, micromanagement, overloaded workforce, inadequate systems and structures, lack of control plans to measure and sustain results.
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New Zealand’s health care services are provided by practitioners with private business approaches for funding and the likes. Over the past decade, the primary health care providers approach to organisation and funding has become rather different. Little can be said about any organisational barrier in New Zealand health care since the country itself is diverse and equal. New Zealand easily adapts to different cultures since it has migrants from all over the world. It is open to change for it to provide fairness in health care delivery to all. New Zealand is also likely to develop a primary health organisation that will support and provide quality health care treatment to different populace. The most important matter with regards to health care in New Zealand is with the Maori people. They have organisations that fund the Maori health providers. Different health organisations have met and discussed ways to improve Maori health years back up until now without harming or disrespecting their culture and way of life. (Barwick, 2000)
South Korea, together with its enviable health care system and its rise in the technological industry, organisational barriers that were mentioned prior could be a forgone conclusion. The country is set to use the so called healthcare IT system which enables data sharing and remote monitoring and diagnosis. This system will be of greater help to the country since healthcare spending is increasing year in and year out. The population in country is not getting any smaller either. There is also a change in the country’s profile concerning diseases that are long term and costly to treat which makes it unaffordable to some individuals. These diseases, such as cancer and diabetes, which are rising rapidly within the nation needs constant and strict monitoring and will affect the individual’s quality of life. With the said technology, government organisations have acknowledged not only the cost but also the benefit that this program can give to the people of South Korea. There are still barriers that hinder the adoption of the healthcare informatics, namely, slow regulatory reform which recognises only the one to one consultations between the doctor and the patient and not by through monitors. Another barrier is the division within medical establishment; this is due to the fact that only the bigger and richer facilities can afford these types of technologies. Establish clinical buy-in through demonstrations and incentives states that the government should do more trials so as to really know that this type of technology is for the better and for the future of South Korea’s health care system. One more barrier that I would like to point out is get patients involved since they are the ones being taken care of, let them see it first-hand if it can be successful and useful in order to have a better health care system. (Economist Intelligence Unit, 2011)
- American Psychological Association. (2014). Disability and Socioeconomic Status. 750 First St. NE, Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/pi/ses/resources/publications/factsheet-disability.aspx
- Barnett, R. and Barnett, P. (21st March 2004). Primary Health Care in New Zealand: Problems and Policy Approaches. Ministry of Social Development. University of Canterbury, Christchurch. Retrieved from https://www.msd.govt.nz/about-msd-and-our-work/publications-resources/journals-and-magazines/social-policy-journal/spj21/21-primary-health-care-in-new-zealand-pages49-66.html
- Barwick, H. (December 2000). Improving access to primary care for Maori, and Pacific peoples (p. 13, 3.1). A literature review commissioned by the Health Funding Authority. Retrieved from http://www.moh.govt.nz/notebook/nbbooks.nsf/0/0ff9b7c2186f2628cc2574b2000220cf/$FILE/HFAimprovingaccess.pdf
- Economist Intelligence Unit. (November 2011). Connect to care: The future of healthcare IT in South Korea. Retrieved from http://www.economistinsights.com/sites/default/files/downloads/GE_SouthKorea_main_English_Nov17_FINAL_2.pdf
- Joh, H., Oh, J., et. al. (March 2013). Gender and Socioeconomic Status in Relation to Weight Perception and Weight Control Behavior in Korean Adults. Karger Medical and Scientific Publishers. Retrieved from http://www.karger.com/Article/FullText/346805
- Pexton, C. (23rd of February 2009). Overcoming Organizational Barriers to Change in Healthcare. Financial Times Press. Retrieved from http://www.ftpress.com/articles/article.aspx?p=1327759
- Scheppers, E., van Dongen, E., et. al. (13th February 2006). Family Practice: Potential barriers to the use of health services among ethnic minorities. Oxford Journals. Oxford University Press. Retrieved from http://fampra.oxfordjournals.org/content/23/3/325.full
- Veugelers, P. and Yip, A. (2003). Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health: Socioeconomic disparities in health care use: Does universal coverage reduce inequities in health? Retrieved from http://jech.bmj.com/content/57/6/424.full
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