Business principles used to create equitable Healthcare system
Definitions and Examples
• Equitable healthcare system implies that every individual is accorded equal distribution of healthcare.
• Each person sharing similar degree and type of health need should be accorded equally effective chance of treatment (Fisher et al. 2022).
• Treatment should be availed to everyone and such treatment should be appropriate and fair to them as well as their needs.
An equitable healthcare system is one which is capable of allowing individuals to effectively reach or attain their full health potentials as well as receiving of high quality care and treatment which is both fair and appropriate to all and sundry. This is regardless of where such individuals live, who they are or what they have. An equitable health care system is one which is capable of recognizing and respecting the cultural, linguistic, and social differences of all individuals. Examples of an equitable health care system is one which ensures that there is equal access for caring of same need, quality, and utilization for similar need.
Ethical Differences between an inequality and an inequity
• Inequality means that dimensional descriptions applied whenever the quantities are unequal.
• Inequity means the passing of moral judgments that a given “inequality is wrong”.
• Inequality is when an individual possesses less than an “equal share” of something (McCartney et al. 2019).
• Inequality is opposite of equality and can be measured through health distribution in population.
Health inequalities and inequities are different in that health inequality implies to differences in health status between given population groups. On the other hand, health inequities implies to differences in the health status between given social population groups which are not only socially produced but which are also systematic in their own unequal distributions across given populations, unfair, and unavoidable. Some examples of structural inequities include sexism, racism, homophobia, classism, and xenophobia. These make identities to become salient to fair distributions of health outcomes and opportunities. Examples of inequality in healthcare include the quality as well as experience of care such as rates of patient satisfaction and health status such as life expectancy.
Populations involved in Health inequality and inequity
• Fundamental or major caused of health inequalities are unequal distribution of wealthy, power, and income.
• Inequality and inequity in health can result in marginalization of people, groups, and poverty.
• Most affected populations are individuals staying in high deprivation areas (Cash-Gibson et al. 2018).
• Other affected populations include those from Asian, Black, and minority ethnic, and homeless communities.
There are various populations that are high risk of being affected as a result of health inequality and inequity and at most times, these are the vulnerable populations. Some of the most vulnerable populations that stand high risks of health inequality and inequity include individuals in the society who are disabled and chronically ill, the homeless individuals and those from the low-income populations and even individuals from some specific geographical communities. Other populations who are at high risk include the LGBTQ and population as well as individuals who are very old and very young in the community. Individuals having lower educational achievements in communities can also become affected.
Ways to reduce/Eliminate Health Inequalities
• This can be reduced through driving a fairer share of power, wealth, and income.
• The inequalities can be reduced through legislation, policy, taxation, and regulation.
• Ensuring equitable and fair access to good quality education, housing, health and public services (Xafis et al. 2021).
• Ensuring that all public services are effectively planned and delivered based on needs.
To eliminate or reduce health inequalities, there is need to ensure that there is elimination of all possible disparities that will prevent the improvement of all the population groups. This can also be done through putting in place “public health programs” that are capable of reducing health inequalities through cost effective measures. Advocating for the patients by healthcare personnel can play a significant role in reduction or elimination of health inequalities. These can be through advocating for the rights of patients, interpreters, appropriate resources, cultural-competence trainings, and even through distress screenings. This can also be achieved through reduction of poverty and improvement of economic stability.
Business Principles and Theories in Equitable Healthcare System
• These are basic principles of both equality and equity (Bernstein et al. 2020).
• Equality implies that each person or persons should be given same opportunities or resources.
• Equity recognizes that each individual has different circumstances and thus allocates exact opportunities and resources to reach equal outcomes.
• Equity theory states that the “principle of equity” must ensure equal treatment in “equal situations” and different treatments in “unequal situations”.
In Healthcare, the equity theory means that patients having similar care needs or diagnoses should actually get similar care while those with less or greater needs should also get different types of healthcare. The principles and ethical theories involved in an “equitable healthcare system” thus require that there should be promotion of inclusion as well as equity in the healthcare system. This also require that all patients deserve an equal access to innovative technologies and that there should be promotion of research equity in the healthcare sector. Achievement of health equity thus requires both focused as well as ongoing societal efforts in order address prevailing challenges.
• Bernstein, R. S., Bulger, M., Salipante, P., & Weisinger, J. Y. (2020). From diversity to inclusion to equity: A theory of generative interactions. Journal of Business Ethics, 167(3), 395-410.
• Cash-Gibson, L., Rojas-Gualdrón, D. F., Pericàs, J. M., & Benach, J. (2018). Inequalities in global health inequalities research: A 50-year bibliometric analysis (1966-2015). PloS one, 13(1), e0191901.
• Fisher, M., Freeman, T., Mackean, T., Friel, S., & Baum, F. (2022). Universal health coverage for non-communicable diseases and health equity: lessons from Australian primary healthcare. International Journal of Health Policy and Management, 11(5), 690.
• McCartney, G., Popham, F., McMaster, R., & Cumbers, A. (2019). Defining health and health inequalities. Public health, 172, 22-30.
• Xafis, V., Fakhouri, A., Currow, K., Brancatisano, S., & Bryan-Clothier, W. (2021). Discussion of Findings on Social Determinants of Health. In Health Inequity Experienced by Australian Paediatric Patients (pp. 75-122). Springer, Singapore.
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