4. Discussion

Solutions to the Health Care Problem

So what can be done? As discussed in the results tab, the key problem that makes health care so expensive and unaffordable in developing countries is not the lack of money, but the lack of organization. 

Developing countries lack not the resources or money, but lack the organizational skills to use them properly and distribute them properly. 

Thus our methods will involve improving a government’s organization and health care policies. These methods will tie in with our three research hypotheses. So let’s begin. 

And maybe, we will be able to make the world better.

Solutions to Hypotheses #03
Remember that this hypotheses is “Increasing the number of doctors and equipment to treat the increasing influx of patients.”

This hypotheses is no longer just increasing the humber of doctors nor equipment. It is the improvement of facilities, the hiring and training of locals to become medical staff, the updating of less inefficient methods and the education of proper health care. 

How are we going to pull this off? One step at a time.

1. Implement preventative health care measures. 

This sounds so deep. But let’s start somewhere shallower. 

First off, we can start off with the education of proper and simple hygiene. 

For example, we can educate parents/adults that live in areas with poor health care on the things that we take for granted: To wash their hands before and after eating meals. Don’t share food or drink with others. Cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough. Wash your hands after you sneeze or cough. And most importantly, why: so that they can prevent their child or any other parent’s child from getting sick. Then ask them to teach it to their children. 

This serves dual functions. 
  1. This convinces the parents why they should teach their child these things. They don’t want their children to fall sick. That means medical bill, months of headaches and worry about how to get the money for medicine and their children’s pain. It might even mean the possibility of death. 
  2. This also raises a new generation of adults that know the basics of simple proper health care. Continue down the road, continue teaching basic hygiene and the teachings will be passed on from one person to the next.
Another example is that we can create a proper communal dump for refuse if there isn’t one. Teach locals how to properly get rid of garbage. This stops diseases from festering or pests that spread the diseases from thriving and spreading diseases to humans.

Yet another example is to create clean accessible water for areas that don’t have it. This allows for the cases of waterborne diseases to be reduced. 

Teaching locals how to treat minor things are also another good example of basic health care. Teach parents/adults on how to use a first aid kit, treat cuts and bruises.

Of course, we need to provide the people with the resources to do so. Like providing those first aid kits at every home or sell bandages at local pharmacies and clinics. 

Which brings us to our next point. 

2. Improve the clinical and pharmaceutical facilities and services.

Make sure that the staff of the clinic and the staff of the pharmacist have the resources and the training to carry out their duties correctly. This means knowing what treatment to use, how to keep a calm head and calm down overreacting patients. 

When you provide the service and do it well, the patient will start to trust you. His neighbors will start to trust you. His family and relatives will start to trust you. Building trust is the big step that is needed at clinics. One of the reason that was stated on why patients go to hospitals instead of clinics is because of a lack of trust that the clinic doctors will be able to help them. Once you create that trust, it encourages them to go to the clinic. Making it cheaper than going to the hospital and coupled the former two with education on when to go to the clinic and voila! You got a pretty good incentive for patients to go to the clinic. 

This will also help to reduce the burden on hospitals that are bogged down with patients that don’t need the more extensive care that they provide.

Creating a new facility to house the pharmacy will help ease the burden on clinics as well. The pharmacy can help to provide medicine and medical supplies to locals whom need it and know how to use it, thus reduce the number of patients that go to the clinic to seek supplies. Education still plays a vital part in this process.

As time goes on, increase the services a clinic can provide. Maybe provide a traveling doctor that goes around and provides free medical advice and cheap but quality services. Or maybe a nurse that hands out free milk to the school children every morning. Or maybe upgrade the clinic so that it can distribute aid when needed. Create policies that ensure that when an epidemic occurs or some natural disaster, there are resources, staff and facilities to combat it. If there’s someone that needs care that only a hospital can provide, get a transpire out there and get the patient to the nearby hospital. 

The whole point is to create a trust, a relationship between the locals and the health care providers. And when trust develops, people are more liable to be more receptive to your suggestions. 

Talking about hospitals, let’s move on to point 3. 

3. Improve the hospital facilities and services.

Basically the same for what we mentioned for clinics. Ensure the proper skills and resources are there. But hospitals are larger and thus, more staff is needed. Not only do we need the doctors and specialists, we need the cleaners as well. Not only do we need the nurses, we need the administration staff. Then there are the equipment. The anesthesia machine. The X-Ray machine. The MRI scanner. These all require mechanics to repair and replace them. 

So, if you want to reduce it to really basic levels, a hospital is a bigger clinic. It has has more resources and it also has more problems. So again, organization is key. 

We can take a leaf out of MED International’s book. Teach locals the art of mechanics and of repairing machines. Implement systems to keep track of hospital equipment and where it is in the building. Improve the catalog system so that it is possible to easily know where an important item is in the hospital and the fastest way to get there. 

And as with the hospitals, once proper service and care takes place, trust is not far away.

Solutions to Hypotheses #02
Remember that this hypotheses is “Finding cheaper ways of implementing existing solutions.”

Cheaper ways of implementing existing solutions. One thing can help to lighten up this financial burden. Education of the locals. 

How does educating the locals help?

  • It takes up less equipment and resources.

One point Mr. Chia made was the problem of where the first world countries would ship equipment and resources to developing countries. The equipment would spoil and instead of repairing it, the hospital what owns it would request for another one as they had no way of repairing it. 

So Mr. Chia and MED International designed courses to teach locals how to fix those broken machines with available materials. That was infinitely cheaper.

So, instead for requesting for new stuff, we teach locals. Teach them how to be a doctor, a nurse, a mechanic. Teach them how to run health care services, be it from the tiny clinic to the big hospital. 

Thus, the start-up cost will be less. 

  • Send in “fishing rods”, not “fish”. 

Ever heard of the old saying? “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” What does that have any relevance to what we are doing here?

Well, instead of giving the locals aid perpetually, give them items and teach them skills that will allow them to become more self sufficient. That way, instead of spending lots of money to keep them growing, give them the skills and items to build health care infrastructure (like the skill of repairing medical machines) so that eventually, you can stop giving them support altogether and let them stand on your own two feet. 

And thus, you have a system that slowly winds down its dependency on you. It’s a good thing as this gives the locals a sense of independence, a boost of self-confidence. It doesn’t make them feel as if they’re depending on handouts. It doesn’t make them feel like a pitiful beggar in their eyes. It shows them what they can do with the help of others as well as helping themselves. 

Solutions to Hypotheses #01
Remember that this hypotheses is “Implementing Affordable Health Care.”

A good point that came up during our interview with Mr. Bali was with how health insurance works; where a large group of people come together to pool their money together into a large collection of money. Thus, when someone gets sick, they can draw on this pool of money to pay partially for their medical bills, while the rest of it is paid by themselves. 

We think that this is a good method to implement as this helps to lessen the economic stress that it places on a low-income family. It also helps the community to feel a sense of pride, for helping those whom were less fortunate than them. 

We do realize that most of the locals may not have much to contribute at first, so the government can set aside money to contribute to this communal pool of cash for each community. As time goes on, the government gives a lesser sum of money, but it will never stop giving. 

And isn’t everything we’ve talked about involve saving money? Preventing people from falling sick so that they don’t even have to pay for medical bills in saving money. Making sure people go the right place and thus don’t spend an excessive amount of money, that’s also saving money. 

Law and Order - the Government 

Through all of this planning and talk, we realized “what if someone broke the rules?” Cheated someone out of their money? Or caused a disturbance or even endangered others’ lives by damaging vital resources?

Then we thought “That’s where the government steps in”. 

You have to remember that it is only the government that can change the system. Not other organizations - they have the limited resources obtained from charity, fundraising, donations and small business. Governments have the resources of their entire country. Thus, the government has a lot of power. Why not use it to enforce health care laws?

It’s like the “carrot and the stick” analogy. Give the people something to work towards. In this case, the improvement of their community’s health care. 

Give the people an incentive to work for. Maybe in this case, a job with steady payment so that they can support their families. 

Give the the people a drive to work for. Reward them for doing a good job, or some praise and recognition for their achievements. This will spur them on. 

And if someone creates trouble, punish the person. In order for the locals to better trust the government, the government will need to be able to carry out what it promises to carry out. That includes the enforcing of the law and carrying out punishments. For example, when someone causes a disruption to the distribution of aid, they need to be punished as

They might have endangered someone’s life.
Other dissidents need to be discouraged from doing the same thing. 

Carrot and stick indeed.

Our Conclusion

We believe with these suggestions implemented, we will be able to make health care affordable and bring it to those whom need it most in developing countries. 

But the impact of these changes are even wider than that. 

Our solutions involve hiring locals and teaching them skills in health care. Doesn’t that create jobs? Create economical growth? And as it grows, the health care gets better and hence the locals start using less money on health care and more on other things. Like say, a better education? Which might lead to them getting a job? 

That would lead to locals having a shot at getting a better life.  

No comments:

Post a Comment