HIC to host local initiative One Health on four-day medical mission

Caribbean Heart Institute on Balmoral Avenue

Health care for poor and vulnerable populations is a significant global issue. This problem is more pronounced in many developing countries like Jamaica, where resources are limited and the gap between rich and poor is wider.

Global health experts have long recognized that wealth and income disparity are a leading cause of social disorder. Yet recently, we have begun to appreciate the devastating impact of income disparity on population health. Widening gaps between rich and poor lead to a highly unequal society, and unequal societies have been shown to have pervasive social and health problems, including rising violence, obesity and trauma. We now recognize that this economic aberration is one of the main causes of population health inequities.

A recent analysis by the World Bank shows that 80% of the world’s gross domestic product (GDP) is controlled by less than 20% of the population, while the poorest 60% of the population have access to only 5% of the GDP. global. Interestingly, this pattern repeats itself across countries, as the bottom 60% of the population are significantly disadvantaged and have much more limited access to resources compared to the top 20%. This pattern was first recognized in 1906 by an Italian sociologist and political philosopher Vilfredo Pareto, who observed a similar pattern of poor distribution of access in Italy. This observation, widely recognized as the Pareto principle, is evident in the unequal distribution of health care demand and supply. Globally and within countries, access to health care resources and the allocation of health care has always been biased against the poor. In most societies, we find that the richest 20% of the population have access to 80% of health care resources within the community, while the poorest 60% have access to less than 10% health care resources. . The picture is much worse when you look at the bottom 20% of the population.

The imbalance is rooted in poverty and lack of access to adequate education. Poorer citizens are more likely to be less educated and socio-economically disadvantaged and, therefore, more likely to lack access to various social strata and structures, including adequate health care. Due to the social and economic exclusion of the poor, they lack effective advocacy and empowerment. It is therefore not surprising that health care outcomes are much worse for the poor and less educated, regardless of the disease being studied. Who defends the poor? How to create a more equitable society and a more inclusive health care system to improve the health of the population? We attempted to answer these difficult and thorny questions at a recent high-level Caribbean Health Summit held at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel last month. As we continue to address these fundamental issues and intersecting social determinants to ensure structural adjustment to improve access to care, we must also find ways to address the immediate health needs of the poor. Health care.

Delayed or deferred care

Delays or postponement of care are more likely to affect the poor. Poor people are more likely to seek care in the public system than in the private system due to cost considerations. The public system is therefore chronically overloaded because demand often exceeds supply. Due to competing government demands, public sector health care funding may not be sufficient to meet demand. This problem is compounded by the recent global novel coronavirus pandemic, which has created a huge economic burden for governments around the world over the past three years at a time of reduced productivity. This is likely to persist as many central banks around the world forecast a period of economic slowdown and uncertainty with rising interest rates and depressed demand for goods and services.

As global and national economies slow, the poor are likely to become poorer and demand for public systems and infrastructure, especially health care, is expected to increase. The delay and postponement of care during the novel coronavirus pandemic is already evident in the long waiting lists for many services at local public hospitals. Many of these hospitals have also suffered a significant loss of key personnel to more developed economies, creating a paradox of rising demand at a time of shrinking human and capital resources. It was not surprising to learn that there is a backlog of 7,000 surgeries in the public sector requiring the Minister of Health to initiate a public-private partnership to use operating room capacity and the private sector human capital. This welcome initiative would encourage more private sector entities to come together to find immediate humanitarian solutions to what is clearly a health care crisis for the poor.

Huge numbers of people in developing countries are at risk of being medically destitute. In low-resource countries like Jamaica, social safety nets have a limited ability to absorb the economic costs of health care demands for vulnerable people, as the level of funding for these programs may not be sufficient to meet the needs of the population. myriad of health problems that exist. Many poor people therefore have to rely entirely on the generosity of family, friends and a relatively small number of health care facilities, such as the Caribbean Heart Institute, for subsidized or free care when these care is either unavailable or systematically inaccessible. in the public sector. Unfortunately, economic pressures on these entities and structural changes that negatively affect input costs and increased operational expenses in the private health sector can only hurt the amount of charitable care these facilities can continue to provide. . While a long-term, well-planned, sustainable and inclusive solution to caring for the indigent is needed, there is now an urgent need for humanitarian intervention to decongest and lighten the public health system.

Humanitarian Medical Mission at HIC

In response to the World Health Organization’s call for One Health, the Caribbean Heart Institute (HIC) will host a four-day humanitarian medical mission to HIC’s 23 Balmoral Avenue from October 26-30 as part of Nigeria’s Independence Day celebration in October. This is a doctor-return initiative that we hope will bring relief to hundreds of patients who have been excluded due to poverty. In this initiative, we will be working closely with the Association of Nigerian Physicians USA (ANPA), the Nigerian High Commission in Kingston, and many Jamaican and Nigerian health professionals in Jamaica. They graciously gave of their time and effort to serve the most vulnerable. We call on other corporate bodies and citizens of goodwill to join us in this effort to extend lifesaving care to our most vulnerable citizens. HIC is now accepting and reviewing medical records to pre-qualify patients for this program. We encourage all patients who think they might benefit from this to contact HIC at 876-906-2105-2108 to register for the assessment.

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