A country’s healthcare plays a significant role in ensuring the growth of the economy as a whole because people who are sick have low productivity. As a result, government has to allocate funds for the healthcare system so that people can access treatment easily and at an affordable price. Through the allocation of funds, the health care system can account for everyone in the country, rural and urban. This has not been the case. The management of health care system is precisely low compared to those living in the urban areas. Those in the urban areas can enjoy good healthcare whereas those living in the remote areas receive less medical treatment due to few health professionals stationed. Due to prevalent chronic diseases in the 21st century, people need to access medical centers easily despite being in the rural or urban areas (Jacobs & Roos, 2009). This paper will discuss how people in the rural areas of Canada cannot easily access healthcare and how this affects people with chronic diseases.
Geographic disparities in a country play a key role in the class hierarchy where rural areas are less developed than urban areas. This is because Canada has vast lands and there are many little communities scattered everywhere on the land (Evans & Ross, 2009). These remote communities have a disadvantage in receive proper health services as it is hard to deliver health care is some remote areas. As a result, some Canadian Citizens are marginalized and isolated in that they cannot access health care services based on their geographic placement. Though Canada is ranked to be one of the countries that have the best health care, this is not the case for those living in rural Canada.
In most cases living in the remote areas means that one’s economic status is not as good and that amenities such as healthcare and other services are scarce. This indicates that the poor are economically disadvantaged. Though there are few Canadian citizens living in respective rural areas, they need to enjoy social amenities like other people in that a democratic government is inclusive of everyone. Thus, it is important to note that geographic disparities are key precursors to not enough healthcare facilities in certain areas as they are isolated. For example, people living in remote areas have travel for lengthy hours to the urban center so as to access healthcare. This means that one has to arrange travel arrangements such as costs so as to the city so that one can see a doctor. If one cannot find the means to access health care, one’s health deteriorates over time, which can be fatal in some cases. Chronic diseases such as diabetes and asthma can be fatal if one does not have the required medicine to control these diseases. In addition, it is significant to note that local hospitals in these rural areas lack professional practitioners. This means that they do not advise people or give vital information to the community at large as they are less experienced and poorly coordinated .This shows that living in rural areas gives the population some limitations into accessing good health care and giving vital information that may be helpful to the rural people. Currently. Canada healthcare system has failed to implement the Canada Health Act in that hospitals are less accessible to those living in rural areas. This means that those in rural areas cannot access medical help as easily as those in the urban areas because they have additional travel expenses in order to receive medical help. The healthcare system in Canada lacks enough healthcare professionals and as a result, the rural areas cannot receive good health care. In addition, few professional health care practitioners are willing to relocate in rural areas to practice. This means that the rural people are left out and that they cannot enjoy good health care from professionals.
This issue is global and applies to most countries where there is less health care in rural areas compared to urban areas. For example the US is facing the similar healthcare issue where the rural areas have been placed in an isolation by its government. Due to this isolation, a number of people living in the rural are poor in that most of them apply for food stamps from the federal government. Rural Americans struggle to acquiring good healthcare in that most employers fail to cover healthcare. This means that in case of an emergency, there is a likelihood of getting much professional healthcare from a local dispensary (Stabile, 2011). These shortcomings indicate that this is a global thing that professional health care should be promoted and distributed equally around the globe. Poverty is one of the key facets that hinder good healthcare among people. When one lives in poverty, they are less likely to have medical insurance thereby, opting out on seeking medical help as it may be expensive. However, it is important for the Canadian Health system to put up hospitals in rural places so that everyone can equally enjoy good health care from health care professionals. In accessibility and lack of information goes hand in hand with the growing cases of chronic diseases around the country.
People living in rural areas are about 32% of the total population in Canada. This means that people living in the rural areas constitute of one-third of the population and that healthcare should be established in these non-urban areas. Unlike urban areas where level of technology is high, the rural areas lack resources and technology that serves as a huge limitation to the healthcare systems. Poor technology and resources attributes to lack of full health care to individuals and also plays as a limitation to people with chronic diseases as they have to be transferred to urban hospital centers.
One of the strategies implemented by the Health Care Act is setting up a Rural and Remote Fund that can be easily accessed by physicians working in rural areas as well as individuals who need to seek immediate medical attention and do not have enough money to cover travel cost. This fund can be managed by welfare department as a way of helping people and attracting physicians into the rural setting. In addition, the healthcare system in the rural areas face a huge difficulty in recruiting health care practitioners. As a result, the Health Care Act can create some financial incentive in rural areas so as to attract many physicians into settling for the rural hospital centers. In the long run, people in the rural areas can enjoy good and practiced physicians to take care of the sick in the town.
Another strategy to curtail the loss of physicians to urban setting is through education programs that exposes future physicians to rural areas so as to have a wider perspective on their field. For example undergraduate students in the British Columbia practice part of their training in rural areas. This rural interaction and experience makes one appreciate the different form of life people in the rural areas live in compared to rural settings. This program creates a path of student physicians learning more on the need of becoming physicians and how their professionalism can help change the scope of the society. Research shows that through spending quality time in rural settings, one’s emotional attributes are drawn to the surrounding area in that one may be empathetic of the fact that rural areas have few health care practitioners. In addition, British Columbia program has enabled student to experience the rural life in their programs. Some of the experiences learned in the field is the clerkship program, which has also been integrated into the school’s courses. This clerkship program is essential for all nurses in case they are deployed in a rural setting or make a personal choice to work in a rural area. Geographic isolation of rural areas makes it special in that nurses have more responsibility in rural areas than urban areas. Due to fewer physicians in the area, most health care practitioners are forced to conduct several roles as demanded by the sick. This means that working in rural areas; physicians have great responsibility as well as independence to cater to the sick because of geographic disparity. Physicians can be required to conduct a surgery to helping a mother give birth and administering anesthesia at the same time. This shows a range of responsibilities and experiences that one has when physicians practice health care in rural areas.
This strategy innovated by British Columbia as a way of exposing aspiring physicians to the rural world is essential as it makes one aware of the limitations to health care rural people get. At least one-third of people in Canada live in rural areas making the issue of health care in rural areas essential. Most physicians have been taught that practicing medicine in rural areas not only gives you experience, but it creates physician-patient relationships. Due to the small community, a doctor can establish high care for various patients that may need it. This social integration attributes to a sense of oneness and community in rural setting unlike urban areas where everything is always on a move. This program allows medical students be a part in solving the countries problem by creating experiences and innovations that would attract physicians into the rural settings.
Improved technology in the rural areas would be another innovative approach that would enhance the efficiency of most hospitals. Through technological advancements like the urban hospitals, most physicians would be willing to serve the community at large (Miller et al, 2012). In addition, the rural patients could be easily treated without seeking support from the urban centers. This means that patients would save travel costs to the urban centers where they traveled for treatment. Improved technology will also enable doctors to carry yearly medical check-ups on the rural people so that those with the risk of attaining chronic diseases through genetic mutation can be aware and more careful. This means that technology will not only help the efficiency of physicians to treat many patients but also people based in the rural setting do not have to travel in urban hospital centers for treatment. Technological innovations would change many things in the rural centers and that through the government’s health care funds, new and effective equipment could be supplied in these hospitals as a way of improving healthcare. This way, the Canadian Health Care Act policy would be put in practice for the 33% of population living in rural areas in that technology will enable a variety of people to be served immediately, which in turn will save their travel costs to urban areas (Thouez et al., 2008).
Technology can be used as a prime factor by patients through innovation of telehealth. Telehealth is an information technology that aids in linking patients and healthcare physicians so as to improve health care services. This form of technologies saves the patient travel costs, which may be an advantage to the rural communities in dire need of health care services. Telehealth helps in linking patients from one geographic setting to a physician who may be in another geographic setting. This means that this form of technology is convenient to patients and can serve as an advantage to rural communities that have limited healthcare accessibility. It is important to note that physicians can use telehealth for patient consultation, treatment, and diagnoses their patients despite the distance (Thouez et al., 2008) In addition, patients can easily get vital information from the health care professionals and through that they can get educated concerning some health issues. The government should support this innovative strategy as it helps to link the patient and the health care specialist easily and at a convenient time. Some of the countries that have implemented this form of technology is Australia among others and they have found that it is quite helpful. Telehealth gives benefits to the patients as they save cost and receive better health care in the long run. Thus, telehealth would be an idealistic and important approach to giving healthcare to the rural communities.
In conclusion, it is evident that geography plays a key role in determining the availability of health care in Canada and around the world. The rural communities are often left out as they have to travel for a long distance to get to a hospital. This is not fair in that the Canadian Health Care Act cites that everyone should enjoy equal health care benefits. Rural people have expensive health care costs due to travel costs as they need to travel to urban settings for better healthcare services. Thus, this issue needs to be accounted for as there are about 33% of people living in rural areas in Canada. Some of the ways to improving better health care is through creating financial incentives for physicians to practice their professionalism in rural areas. The British Columbia school has innovated a program that requires student to spend time in rural setting to practice their health care knowledge as they help the people in remote areas. In addition, technology is a prime factor in ensuring that rural hospitals have current equipment so as to enable efficiency. Technology can also be used to implement telehealth services that would be vital to rural communities as it saves them travel cost. Telehealth also promotes privacy and relationship between the physician and the patient. As a result, the government should chip in and ensure that all citizens enjoy equal health care services despite their geographic settings.
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