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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I Woke up In The Middle Of The Night To Write About My Fears, They're Worse Than The Dark

One minute I'm thinking about what I want to do after college next thing I know I'm remembering the time I tried talking to a boy and choked on my spit.

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It is one of those nights when I am tired, but for some reason, I can't seem to fall asleep. So, what do I do? I pull out my laptop, and I begin to write. Who knows where it will lead. It could lead to a killer article or something that does not make sense. I mean it is almost 2 A.M. In my mind, that's pretty late.

Anyways, let's do this thing.

Like many people, thoughts seem to pile up in my head at this time. It could be anything from a time when I was younger to embarrassing stories to wondering why I am "wasting" my time somewhere to thoughts about the future. All of these things come at me like a wildfire. One minute I'm thinking about what I want to do after college next thing I know I'm remembering the time I tried talking to a boy and choked on my spit.

The thought that is going through my mind as I write this is about the future. It's about the future of my fears. Let me explain. I have multiple fears. Some of my fears I can hide pretty well, others I am terrible at hiding. My fears may seem silly to some. While others might have the same fears. Shall we start?

1. My career

I don't know where to begin with this one. For as long as I can remember, my consistent dream job has been working in the world of sports, specifically hockey. A career in sports can be and is a challenging thing. The public eye is on you constantly. A poor trade choice? Fans are angry. Your team sucks? "Fans" are threatening to cheer for someone else if you can't get your sh*t together. You can be blamed for anything and everything. Whether you are the coach, general manager, owner, it does not matter. That's terrifying to me, but for some reason, I want to work for a team.

2. My family

Julie Fox

Failing with my family, whether that be the family I was born into or my future family, it terrifies me. I have watched families around me fall apart and I have seen how it has affected them. Relationships have fallen apart because of it. I have heard people talk about how much they hate one of their parents because of what happened. I don't want that.

3. Time

This could be a dumb fear. I'm not sure, but I fear time. With every minute that passes, I am just another minute closer to the end. With every day that passes that I am not accomplishing goals or dreams I have, I am losing precious time. It scares me to think of something horrible like "What if I die tomorrow because of something horrific?" or even worse, "What if I don't make it through today?" It's terrible, I know.

4. Forgetting precious memories

When I was younger, I had brain surgery. It is now much harder for me to remember things. I am truly terrified that I am going to forget things I will want to hold close to me forever, but I won't be able to. I am scared I'll forget about the little things that mean a lot. I'm afraid of forgetting about old memories that may disappear. I'm worried that I'll forget about something like my wedding day. That might seem out of this world, but it's a reality for me.

5. Saying "goodbye"

I hate saying bye. It is one of my least favorite things. Saying bye, especially to people I don't know when I'll see again, is a stab in the heart for me. I love my people so much. I love being around them. I love laughing with them. Thought of never having a hello with them again scares me beyond belief.

6. Leaving places that I love

Alright, let me start off by saying this- it takes a lot for me to love a place. It has to feel like home. It has to make me feel comfortable. It has to be a place I can go to and be myself. Thankfully, I have had and still have multiple places that are like that. I have also had places I could not wait to leave. I think that's why leaving places I love is so hard and something I fear so much. I am afraid I'll never get that place "back", for lack of a better term. I guess, I'm trying to say, it's like a piece of me is leaving as well.




These six things are just the start of my fears. Some of these might seem "dumb" or "ridiculous" to you, but for me, it's my life. These are the things that I think about the most. These are the things that feel like a pit in my stomach. These six things are parts of my life that mean a lot to me.

Cover Image Credit:

Emily Heinrichs

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Addiction Prevention And Recovery Starts At Home

You can make a difference without leaving your house.

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The town in which I attended high school is a small one. It's a town where everyone knows your name, and if you're like me, you probably have at least 30 cousins in the area.

It's a place where we spend most of our lives- living, loving and growing. Many of us will even raise our future families here and watch them leave their mark on the place that made us who we are today.

But lately, this town has seen a dark cloud hover above it. That cloud is addiction.

It seems as though more often than not, I'm scrolling through my news feed and I stumble across an obituary of a former classmate or an old friend. It's sad to read the stories and see the photos of so many young people who lost their battle.

The truth is, each one of us can probably name at least three people who have overdosed and died without having to think too hard.

It seems that in this community losing young lives is all too normal.

Which beckons me to ask, what are we doing to prevent this from becoming "normal?"

While of course many of us don't have huge platforms or opportunities to increase and expand on the drug prevention efforts in schools, we do have the opportunity to be positive figures in our family units.

I won't pretend that I know exactly what goes on in the mind of an addict, but as someone who has been indirectly affected by addiction, I do think what matters most is what goes on at home.

More often than not, I hear people say that "you need to be a parent, not a friend." I for one think it's important to be both. Of course, discipline your child! Don't encourage bad behavior or decisions, but by all means, try your very best to keep an open dialogue going with your children.

Talk to your kids about topics that are maybe a little bit uncomfortable, give them a safe place to ask questions and discuss.

I urge you... if your child does become involved with drugs or anything else for that matter, don't turn your back them. As families, many of us are familiar with the term "unconditional love." So if that term means anything to you, then do your best to show it in trying times.

Do your best to provide them with helpful resources and hold them accountable, but most importantly shower them with love and encouragement. Help them find the motivation they need to become the best possible version of themselves.

Although it may not seem like much, it very well could save someone's life.

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upload.wikimedia.org

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