Last week, we discussed that…
- Medical inequality is NOT only caused by income differences
- Medical inequalities can be improved and solved by governmental policies and other factors
So today, I want to write about what the “governmental policies and other factors” are, which actually influenced solving medical inequalities in reality.
To answer this question, I would like to research the two example countries from last week: the US and Brazil.
There are several organizations in the US that actively engage in solving medical inequality. This includes American Medical Association, which is an association with its solid mission:
“To promote the art and science of medicine and the betterment of public health.”
A few of the many things they have done to achieve this mission, and thus eliminate medical inequality are:
- Increase the number of doctors who have backgrounds as minorities
- Work to reduce medical inequalities caused by different racial and ethical backgrounds
- Raise awareness of medical inequalities and public health insurance/grants
- Supporting researches related to medical inequalities done by IOM(The Institute of Medicine)
Here, you can clearly see that they are focusing more on community awareness and perspectives on healthcare. They are trying to eliminate discriminative perceptions on different backgrounds, including racial and ethical ones. Relating back to the last blog, in the US, medical inequalities are more caused and worsened by the lack of focuses on community-based healthcare rather than low average incomes.
On the other hand, Brazil was shown to have a higher life expectancy in comparison to its average income, hence medical inequalities are not caused by a lack of community-based healthcare.
But what kind of approaches has the government taken to prevent a lack of community-based healthcare?
According to a report written by Celia Landmann-Szewarcwald and James Macinko, Brazil has protected social vulnerable by:
- Improving public health insurance
- Focusing on community-based healthcare from the beginning
- Transferring cash to its people
So in comparison to the US, they have been focusing more on eliminating social and economical inequalities among the people, not changing the perceptions of people.
This made community-based healthcare improve a lot, which contributed to the improvisation of medical inequality even though it still possesses problems of social and economical inequalities, unlike the US.
From these researches, it is obvious that while the US has been focusing more on changing people’s perceptions, Brazil has been focusing more on improving healthcare itself for people.
The differences in the two countries’ approaches are caused by the difference in “what caused medical inequality” in the two countries.
It is not limited to these two countries, but every country has different causes and situations of medical inequalities, and therefore requires different approaches.
Furthermore, from these insights, we can clearly see that both societies, as an example from the US, and governments, like an example from Brazil, should work together in order to eliminate medical inequalities.
The AMA’s actions to reduce medical inequalities:
A report written by Celina Landmann-SSzwarcwald and James Macinko: