categories of determinants used for creation of a National Health Care Policy
can basically be described as all the things associated with our daily lives
that in some way contribute to a healthy or unhealthy way of living.
objective of a national health policy should be to ensure good health for the
entire population. (Navarro, 2007) This is a very oversimplified
definition but an easy way of incorporating all the ideas into one philosophy.
Day to day choices, opportunities presented to us, the way we live and work as
well as governmental programs available to us all factor in. There are as many
conscious decisions made by people, such as diet, smoking, exercise, or where
we live that influence our health. These are labeled lifestyle determinants and
are the ones we make daily, the ones on a more personal level.
and more abstract determinant is the structural determinant. Some consider
these the most important however due to their importance in creating social
programs for improving health or broadening access to healthier alternatives in
our lives. The structural determinants also contribute to closing the gaps of
inequalities of a populace that when performed effectively can aid in reducing
the unhealthier aspects of a society. These might include increased access to
better schools, improved parks and exercise spaces, and better healthcare
programs for an underserved community.
determinants can be thought of as combining social and lifestyle determinants
to improve the health and/or lifestyle of the populace. These might include a
nonprofit creating a sports league where none existed for kids or a group of
people lobbying against inequalities, like we have recently seen with the LGBT
community and Congress. The empowering determinant is exactly what it is
labeled as; empowering the people to make changes. Not coincidentally, a
founding principle of our country.
People 2020 state the importance of “creating social and physical environments
that promote good health.” (Healthy
People 2020: An Oppotunity to Address the Societal Determinant of HEalth in
the United States, 2010) There are many programs created to
address and assist each of the three determinants of healthcare. These span the
federal, state, and local governments and communities. Large government
programs such as improving working conditions which is monitored by OSHA to the
FDA labeling on medications and foods to provide more information to people to
make improved and informed decisions about their health and nutrition choices
are just 2 examples of the federal level of programs for addressing the structural
component. Healthcare initiatives such as community based healthcare for low
income families is a local example. As well as increasing access to better
educational opportunities through state grants and increased funding for
secondary education show the expansive range of these programs that are in