Healthcare Disparities Are An Emerging Problem In A First World Country

Healthcare Disparities Are An Emerging Problem In A First World Country

Reasoning with mortality in a first world country.
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I'm not going to fill this article with statistics and "Did You Know" facts. I think that's the point in healthcare where we lose the sense of patient care and fall into stocks and marketing. That should not be a priority in healthcare. I've learned, unfortunately, through personal experience, that healthcare does revolve around that.

So let me start off by saying that I am shocked and perplexed that even in first world countries, patients die due to policies and quotas, approvals, evaluations, and signatures. Insurance companies deny patients the critical care that they need on the mere basis of this checklist. They assign patients certain dates on which their plans will "go into effect" and quite frankly some (if not most) of these patients do not have that time. All they can do is remain calm and wait. And if that wasn't all, their doctors also have to suffer at the hands of these aforementioned policies. They have to make phone calls and seek out loopholes.

For example, I have encountered a patient in the oncology ward who could not see her oncologist and cardiologist on the same date because her "insurance did not approve and authorize the visits." That is preposterous. This poor woman and her family probably have other things on their mind...like treatment. Getting to appointments and sticking to their medication regimen should be their only concern.

On another more personal note, while I tried to get one of my own family members the treatment they need for a serious illness, I was told to wait for approvals. I think if it weren't for the team of doctors who have been so supportive, I would have been a mere case number. A worried family member who remained on a waitlist. Wasting valuable time (I was told three months) that could be spent on getting treatment.

I am a very patient individual but these policies have taught me that being patient gets you no results. You have to be assertive and speak with authority (while still being kind and not outright rude). And that is hard. At times, these people on the other end of the line have treated me like a child. But I've had to remain calm, collected, and cogent. And persistent.

But seriously! Who has time for all that nonsense? My top priority should not have been that. It should've been to make my family member comfortable. The doctor should not have to spend hours being transferred from office to office to get their patient the treatment they need. There are immigrant patients who have family members who do not even speak English. They do not have a grasp of these procedures. There are patients who have no family and they cannot be put on hold. There are patients who need medication but their insurance does not allow their doctors to refill their prescription because "it's too soon for a refill. You picked your medication up 20 days ago. You need to wait." No. They. Cannot. Wait.

People in third world countries die because they do not have access to good doctors. I did not know that people in first world countries also die because they have to wait to get access to good doctors. We have a gift. But no means to get the gift. The gift is on the other end and there is no proper bridge that connects the patient to that gift. And for that reason, I say such a gift is not a gift at all, but rather a mirage.

So until all of these grievances are addressed, no matter how great the doctors are, we will always have high mortality rates and not because of medicine, but due to the lack thereof.

Cover Image Credit: freestocks.org / Unsplash

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April Is Alcohol Awareness Month, But Most Of You Don't Even Care

It sounds like April is not a rainy season after all.
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People have to get rid of the stigma that surrounds them reaching out to others who are unable to reach out in need of treatment for recovery.

According to NCAAD.com, Alcohol Awareness Month was established to raise awareness among people to reach out to others for any alcohol-related issues including alcoholism and recovery. If anything, people can contract it quite easily, similar to some chronic and progressive diseases which develop rapidly when not treated properly with care and treatment.

What's in store for us?

Adolescents as young as teenagers consume high amounts of alcohol and plunge into addiction. Our parents just think of underage drinking as a " right of passage." That said, we are encouraged and free to do whatever we want as kids. Additionally, parents feel we will get "through this time" by taking an active role to gain more information about alcohol, so we learn about its effects ourselves.

Sometimes parents who talk to their children about the dangers of alcohol prevent their kids from overdosing from it. And then there are those who fail to learn about the consequences. After these situations, perhaps learning about the dangers of alcohol isn't actually "a rite of passage" after all.

As parents foster "changing attitudes," they hope to reinforce the idea to their children that drinking isn't an important factor to "fit in" to society.

Do you want to participate in raising public awareness of alcohol or reflect upon alcohol-free days to let others know about NAACD and identify alcoholism and its symptoms? I would suggest giving it a go and learning more about the dangers of drinking before continuing to ignore the entire idea.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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Just JUUL-ing

The company's slogan is "simply satisfying" and after being a frequent user of the JUUL, it is very satisfying.
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The JUUL is claimed to be "the smoking alternative, unlike any E-Cigarette or Vape" that has become quite popular on college campuses. Since the JUUL is not considered to be a cigarette, the extra chemicals and toxins are left out of the pods yet has a dosage of 5% nicotine. You can find 0.7 ML of E liquid in the JUUL pods including glycerol, propylene, glycol and benzoic acid (found in tobacco plants). So what really makes the JUUL so popular?

The whole point of the JUUL, even according to the company, is to improve the lives of smokers. It is said to be an alternative for adult smokers to make the switch from cigarettes to vapes as easy as possible. However, it is causing an epidemic among teenagers and college students who are becoming more prone and addicted to nicotine.

So how exactly does the JUUL work? Honestly, it is way easier than lighting a cigarette and does not smell at all. The JUUL either comes by itself with a USB charger when you first purchase it or you can buy the starter pack which comes with the flavored pods. The JUUL alone costs around $39.99 and a 4-pack of pods are around $20. On the company's website the starter pack or kit costs $49.99. No one said smoking is an inexpensive habit.

So what is so satisfying about the JUUL? Well for one thing, 5% nicotine is a decently high amount for a vape or e-cigarette. I know plenty of people that went from smoking the JUUL to smoking cigarettes, or got hooked on both. The company's slogan is "simply satisfying" and after being a frequent user of the JUUL, it is very satisfying.

The stress of college may what really be what drives students into this JUUL craze. Not to mention, smoking one pod is equivalent to 1-pack of cigarettes. So in a way, smoking the JUUL may be less dangerous than cigs but it still has a very addictive quality to it and you may realize that when you try to go a few days without it.

Since the JUUL cuts the smell of cigarettes, it comes in flavors of mint, mango, crème brûlée and more. So when choosing out a pod you have a few different selections. All in all, the JUUL may be a safer alternative rather than smoking cigarettes but the whole point of this vape or e-cigarette is to help adults quit smoking yet it is doing the opposite among college students.

Cover Image Credit: Wikipedia Commons

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