There are several health problems that exist in Hawaii and have a negative impact on the community health. One of the main factors that influence health in Hawaii is the access to healthcare itself, as people living on the Hawaii Island have limited access to medical treatment (West Hawaii Today, 2013). This, all healthcare needs of Hawaiians cannot be fully covered, and this is the most significant community health problem that exists in Hawaii.
Several factors affect the health of Hawaiian community. The first factor is the physical factor, and it is the size of the local community. According to Census, Hawaii is among the fastest-growing states in the United States (Pacific Business News, 2015), and there are basically not enough physicians to provide health care to all people who need it. In addition, considering the size of the counties in Hawaii and limited public transportation (Hawaii County Community Health Needs Assessment, 2013), there are even more difficulties in receiving healthcare for Hawaiians. Thus, both the growing size of the community, and the large territory that local communities occupy in Hawaii play a significant role in making it difficult for Hawaiian population to receive a sufficient healthcare.
Also, there are several social factors that affect health of the Hawaiian community. The first factor is high teen birth, which has a negative impact on educational and social development of young mothers and their children, and it also has a significant negative impact on the health of newborns (State of Hawaii Community Health Needs Assessment, 2013).
Another important factor is childhood obesity, as it is a widespread problem in Hawaii. Now people have access to the high sugar food, and it causes a great problem for the health of Hawaiian teenagers who spend more time playing video games than doing physical exercises (as it is hard for some families to access places where kids can exercise freely).
Poverty is another social factor that prevents Hawaiians from receiving adequate healthcare. Low-income families have neither funds to pay for their treatment nor ability to access hospitals. More than that, healthy food, such as fruits and vegetables, costs a lot, so low-income families cannot afford buying it.
There are many other social factors that affect community health in Hawaii, such as alcoholism, unemployment and domestic violence. Thus, societal change is essential to eliminate community health problems in Hawaii.
Patterns of individual behavior also have a significant impact on the community health in Hawaii. As it has already been mentioned, Hawaiian teenagers suffer from obesity, which is caused by two factors: lack of playing sports and excessive playing video games. Poor Hawaiian families do not have appropriate access to the places where their kids can play sports or freely exercise.
Also, the percentage of teenagers who play three and more hours of video games during an average school day has increased up to 37% (State of Hawaii Community Health Needs Assessment, 2013). A combination of video games and lack of physical exercises is the third factor that affects the health of the Hawaiian community.
Individual behavior of Hawaiians, lack of access to hospitals, growing population and poverty create conditions that do not let the people living on the Hawaiian Island receive an appropriate healthcare. However, the top issue facing Hawaii is the lack to the healthcare itself, so it is of the greatest importance to improve transportation and attract investments to open new hospitals across the Island, so more people can receive adequate healthcare.
Hawaii County Community Health Needs Assessment. (2013) (1st ed.). Retrieved 23 January 2016, from https://www.nhch.com/cms/Client Files/PDFs/Community Health Needs Assessment.pdf
Pacific Business News. (2015). Census shows Hawaii among fastest-growing states, Maui County ranks high among counties for population growth - Pacific Business News. Retrieved 23 January 2016, from http://www.bizjournals.com/pacific/news/2015/09/18/maui-hawaii-counties-among-fastest-growing-in-u-s.html
West Hawaii Today. (2013). Access to health care is the top issue facing Hawaii Island, assessment finds. Retrieved 23 January 2016, from http://westhawaiitoday.com/sections/news/local-news/access-health-care-top-issue-facing-hawaii-island-assessment-finds.html