Quality healthcare services are paramount to human beings irrespective of their age, gender, ethnicity, or culture. Different governments have enacted policies to facilitate access to quality medical care services; however, some children are facing challenges accessing quality healthcare services. The challenges range from political, social, economic, and resources distribution factors.
From economics and resources-distribution perspective, some places have limited number of medical facilities; such a situation reflects in the poor performance of the health care system of that area. In those places where the medical facilities are near, poor families hardly can afford to cover the medical costs. Thus, the fees paid for medical service provision become another challenge.
From sociological, cultural, language and ethnicity-related perspectives, some regions have beliefs that discourage the natives of the use of modern medical facilities. The above mentioned social-economics challenges are also combined with the lack of knowledge and awareness mostly from illiterate communities (Siponen, Ahonen, Savolainen & Hameen-Anttila, 2011).
Medical insurance policies have been developed to cater for medical needs of communities. However, majority of people fail to enroll in such programs leading to limited provision of the last. Children are the main victims as they depend on their parents to be able to get an appropriate medical care.
There are also other policies that discriminate against children. On the other hand, those people who have insurance policies are facing challenging times since some hospitals offer high quality services only to those people who pay cash and have lower keenness on those with insurance policies. The end result is a society where medical services within community are not of the right quality.
Children can hardly express what they feel, so it depends on the experts in the medical field if they are able to understand them. However, it is a challenge in most cases. Another challenge facing children from poor families arises from the structure of modern medical industry as there is a tendency that health facilities serving poor and marginalized population are typically of worse quality than those taking care of rich people; this disadvantages the poor on the socio-economic basis (Bhuiya, & Chowdury, 2002).
Current policy that aims at eliminating barriers for children
The United States Department of Health and Human Services has noted the need for quality and affordable medical care services to its citizens, particularly children from poor families. It developed Medicaid program which is funded and managed both by the state and federal governments to ensure that everybody in the community gets access to quality medical care.
Under the program, patients, both the outpatients and the inpatients, requiring special attention or other services can get the services at subsidised rates at eligible facilities.
To ensure that the numbers of facilities under the programs are well distributed, the United States government has started aggressive upgrading of the medical facilities in low income areas. Other than the upgrading exercise, the government also finances new facilities.
The coverage of Medicaid extends to prenatal care, vaccination, family planning services, and provision of home health care for persons eligible for skilled-nursing services, and paediatric and family nurse practitioner services. It supplies rural health clinic services. Though some services are mobile, but to some areas, the current system has never been able to reach.
The program initiated by the United States government aims at ensuring that there is quality medical care provision in the country. The medical department is determined to prove that irrespective of one’s age, socio-economical status or cultural orientation, access to medical care facilities is easy. Through Medicaid, the government advances the pillars of a quality medical care provision which are accessibility, affordability, high-quality, and improved community health (MediLexicon International Limited, 2010).
Bhuiya, A., & Chowdury, M. (2002). Beneficial effects of a women-focused development on child survival: evidence from rural Bangladesh. Social Science and Medicine, 55(9): 1553-1560.
MediLexicon International Limited. (2010). What is Medicare / Medicaid. New York: Wiley.
Siponen, S. M., Ahonen, R. S., Savolainen, P. H., & Hameen-Anttila, K. P. (2011). Children’s health and parental socioeconomic factors: a population-based survey in Finland. BMC Public Health, 11(1), 457-464.