In developing countries, millions of people suffer from preventable health problems including infectious diseases, malnutrition and complications of childbirth. In many parts of the world, people lack access to clean water and adequate food which are both key components of good public health. In fact, one billion people in developing countries live on less than one U.S. dollar, 2.5 billion live on less than two dollars a day and more than 2.6 billion people lack access to toilets and other sanitation facilities. Because of this overwhelming amount of poverty, many lack access to quality health care including obtaining medicine.
Health care facilities have a major part to play in improving the overall health of the communities in which they operate. They can achieve this by partnering with other organizations to help with financing, scientific collaboration and training in preventive and treatment measures. These partnerships which nonprofits, religious institutions and global initiatives are an important part in providing access to quality health care.
People in developing countries often miss or delay medical appointments because they do not have the necessary transportation to reach the health facility. 3.6 million Americans put off going to the doctor due to lack access causing them to live with illnesses and chronic conditions for days, weeks or even years before they are able to get adequate help. In fact, fifty percent of the population lives with at least one chronic health problem which makes regular medical care essential.
As people get better access to health care, the population’s overall wellness will improve. Here are a few ways hospitals can work with the community to improve access to health care. Facilities can partner with independent transportation networks or religious institutions to volunteer to get patients to and from their appointments. Hospitals can conduct pop up clinics which rely on volunteer clinicians to provide preventative screenings or condition specific treatment. These events tend to see a high volume of patients with little-to-no-cost to them. Mobile clinics are also possible to provide primary, preventative or dental care services with a vehicle equipped with proper technology.
Health care facilities have to think about care throughout the community to determine the need of adequate health care access to poverty stricken areas and how their services impact the population. Overall wellness can be improved with the partnership of healthcare organizations.
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