Assignment Instructions – Health Care Utilization
Select and analyze 1 determinant of health within the concept of its impact to the U.S. health care system.
- Describe the health care demand and supply as it relates to your chosen determinants.
- What will be your recommendation on how to reduce or eliminate this determinant?
Transportation – A Determinant of Health and How it Impact U.S. Healthcare System – Sample Answer
There are various factors that determine the health of American people and hence influencing the healthcare system in a country. These factors include energy, transport, waste, food and agriculture, urbanization, and housing. The selected determinant of health that is believed to highly influence the U.S. healthcare system is transportation. Transportation has highly impacted the healthcare system of the U.S. people by causing accidents involving motor vehicles, pedestrians, and motorbikes. It also contributes in noise pollution, and air pollution especially from burning fossil fuels that include ozone and particulates and change of climate because of emission of carbon dioxide. This negatively affects the U.S. healthcare system by increasing the healthcare cost to those injured during accidents, those that acquire respiratory diseases such as lung diseases and asthma, due to air pollution (World Health Organization, n.d.).Different forms of transportation especially the use of vehicles promoted physical inactiveness, subjecting the population into health issues that include overweight. Transportation also promotes the spread of vector diseases, especially when an infected person travels to another region. This result to increase in healthcare cost related to the treatment of these individuals. In addition, accidents related deaths results to lose of revenue that the individuals contributed to the healthcare system in terms of taxation, reducing the amount invested in ensuring a healthy population.
On a positive side of view, transportation plays a great role in enhancing population access to healthcare services. The availability of easy modes of transportation ensures timely arrival of patients during emergency improving the healthcare system’s ability to save life and promoting general health. Some modes of transportation for instance bicycle riding and walking play a major role in promoting physical exercises, which is a key to good health.
Healthcare Demands and Supply Related to Transportation
The cases of fatal transport based accidents resulting to death and injuries of people in the US have been waving. The rate transportation based accidents has been increasing, which a clear indication that transportation has been increasing the demand of healthcare services associated to transportation injuries (Bureau of Transportation Statistic, 2016). This impacts the supply such that, more people demandhealthcare services offered by the same number of workforce, causing a strain in the provision of these services. This implies that the level of healthcare demand may go higher while the supply remains constant. This may impact the level of healthcare services provision efficiency in the country, especially in emergency departments that are involved in receiving accident related patients, and other emergency health cases such as asthma.
Recommendation on Reducing or Eliminating the Determinant
The health cost of transportation is mostly cost by increase in the number of accidents and related deaths and injuries. Thus, to eliminate this determinant it is important for the government to determine the main factors that contribute to their happening and measures that can be employed to reduce or completely eliminate avoidable accidents. I would recommend that the government to be stricter in implementing traffic rules such as drunken driving, and careless driving mostly among the teenagers. I would recommend the change of traffic rules to increase the eligible age for driving, so as to eliminate accidents caused by teenage careless driving. To reduce pollution, the population should consider using clean transportation modes that include bicycles or walking, which also promote health (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2015).
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