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Political changes in the worlds health regarding the human development

Special Global Health and Healthcare Issues

Global health signifies political changes in the worlds health regarding the human development (Holtz, 2016). The concept of the global health includes both governmental agencies and non-governmental organizations. During the 1960s, the World Bank advocated the utilization of a global approach towards health issues; with time, it developed to the notion of global health. Globalization has also contributed to the global approach to individual health concerns across the globe (Blais, 2015). The vast spread of infectious diseases, for example, tuberculosis (TB), yellow fever, and measles, have made health a global dimension. This paper discusses global healthcare issues including the history, significance of disparities in healthcare, moral issues associated with global healthcare, healthcare costs and productivity, and availability of providers.


Historical Perspective on the Concern for Global Health Learning in Nursing

The roots of the global health concern can be traced back to the period between the 1500s and the beginning of 1700s (Kongstvedt, 2012); hence, it is not a recent phenomenon. Around that time, European nations engaged in colonizing overseas countries and global exploration in different regions including the Americas, Africa, India, and China. This new practice was instrumental in spreading various infectious diseases. For instance, smallpox was brought by African slaves that came to the lands of Native Americans together with Europeans (Garman, Johnson, & Royer, 2011).

The Industrial Revolution lead to the proliferation of the migration, global trade, and urbanization throughout the 1700s and up to the 1930s (Holtz, 2016). Therefore, new challenges concerning global, health including pandemics, related to communicable illnesses and urban sanitation. The development of commerce and migration in this period caused six cholera pandemics on the global scale (Garman, Johnson, & Royer, 2011). In this period, another substantial trend was the initiation of large-scale disease control programs, the theory of diseases, progress in the synthesis of antibiotics, and the improvement of the disease theory. The establishment of various global alliances, as well as conferences, including the International Sanitary Conferences, the Pan African Health Organization, and the League of Nations Health Committee, was yet another important trend of the period (Garman, Johnson, & Royer, 2011).

In the 1940s-1960s, global organizations, including the United Nations and World Health Organization, were formed; they encouraged the adoption of health initiatives on a worldwide scale. Furthermore, the World Health Organization and United Nations have introduced a number of universal health programs, which together with nongovernmental organizations strive to improve the quality of life of the world population (Holtz, 2016). These organizations dedicate their effort to improving the life of developing nations by implementing different initiatives and focus majorly on the disease prevention and health education. Throughout the period of the 1960s-1970s, a global initiative was introduced in order to aid in eradicating smallpox worldwide.

Between the 1980s and 2000, global organizations that aim specific healthcare aspects, for example, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria, majorly in developing nations, were established. (Holtz, 2016) In 2000, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were introduced; their vital objective is prioritizing the global healthcare. In addition, the organizations that target particular conditions, for example, the Fund to Fight AIDS, malaria, and Tuberculosis were established (Holtz, 2016). Also, private doctors began to perform a crucial role in funding and directing health efforts.

Importance of Healthcare Disparities

A health disparity is a statistically significant and persistent difference in the health indicators. Health disparities indicate comparative measurements concerning the disease burden, morbidity, and mortality issues in specific populations (Holtz, 2016). Furthermore, healthcare disparities involve variations in the access to care by a given population since there are diverse factors associated with social inequalities. Health disparities are a universal problem that influences both developed and developing countries. Health disparities affect communities in a single state and across different nations; this trend can be partly attributed to the differences in the supply of healthcare practitioners across countries (Crisp & Chen, 2014). The material well-being, life expectancy, and literacy rates in developing nations are low as compared to developed countries. Generally, the nutritional status, disability, fertility rate, birth rate, morbidity rate, life expectancy, the rate of infant mortality, and disease burden are among the indices that are used for measuring health disparities (Crisp & Chen, 2014).

Health disparities are an essential issue that lay emphasis on identifying, understanding, and eliminating variances that occur with the health status of the population based on various aspects including ethnicity, socioeconomic position, age, gender, and sexual orientation (Garman, Johnson, & Royer, 2011). In addition, understanding and eradicating health disparities is considered the primary ethical and fiscal responsibility: thus, health disparity is a universal health problem that must be addressed as soon as possible.

Healthy People 2020 and Other Regulatory Guidelines

Healthy People 2020 is the U.S. national program. This initiative is based on the prevention that is realized by the federal government and aims at enhancing the health of all Americans. Primarily, the program strives to help the U.S. population live healthily and longer lives (Holtz, 2016). Moreover, the program aims at eliminating disparities, as well as creating social and physical environments that are proficient in promoting the good health of every individual. Disparities are the key objectives of the Healthy People 2020 (Holtz, 2016). Specifically, the prevention initiative highlights the necessity of achieving the health equity by enhancing every individuals heath status and eliminating health disparities. In the US, among other federal government programs that address the issues of the health disparity, there are Veterans Health Administration (VHA), the State Children Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), Medicaid, and Medicare.

Moral Issues in Global Healthcare

The formation of global health initiatives creates the need for a review of ethical and moral values. An ethical element is an essential requirement of the global health. There exist various ethical principles that can be useful in guiding different global health initiatives such as the utilization, rights, equity, and humanitarianism (Holtz, 2016). The ethical principle of utilitarianism concentrates on the maximization of happiness for the greatest number of people. Therefore, enhancing the health of individuals is considered the primary interest of every individual in the society. Objectively, the rights aim at satisfying obligations for the self-respect of others. Therefore, the principle of the rights ensures that healthcare respects the dignity of every person. The ethical principle of equity involves ensuring that health capabilities are fairly distributed, and every person has the same ability to maintain good health (Holtz, 2016). Humanitarianism is the overarching principle that us guiding the foreign aid policy of the U.S. government and NGOs operations. Humanitarianism is concerned with utilizing upright means only.

Healthcare Productivity and Economic Cost

The productivity of a healthcare system is usually described by the concept of the production function that characterizes the current relationship between the input and outcomes (Holtz, 2016). The output can be measured with various aspects such as the cancer detection, mortality rate, and duration of hospital stays. In turn, inputs include tests, treatment procedures, and expenditures. The productivity of the healthcare system at the cross-country level depends on the income level of the state that is measured on the basis of lifestyle elements such as the prevalence of smoking, the rate of literacy, and gross national income per capita (Holtz, 2016).

Availability of Healthcare Providers

There is an ongoing crisis regarding human resources in healthcare that threatens the quality and sustainability of healthcare systems globally (Blais, 2015). Currently, healthcare specialists implement various employment opportunities abroad; they have led to a sizeable migration of healthcare practitioners to high-income countries. The WHO presented reports that demonstrate a shortage of approximately 4.3 million healthcare providers, physicians, midwives, and nurses (Holtz, 2016). Although the number of physicians in the US is expected to increase from about 205.000 in 2010 to about 220.800 in 2010, it is still projected that in 2020, the US will experience a shortage of 20.400 physicians. This shortage can be attributed to the forecasted increase in the demand for care services (Kovner, Brewer, Fatehi, & Katigbak, 2014). There are about 222.000 nurse practitioners, who are licensed in the United States. This number is expected to increase to 244.000 in 2025 (Auerbach, 2012). The number of advanced registered nurse practitioners was 27.700 in 2010, which is expected to increase to about 43.900 in 2020 (Auerbach, 2012).



The global health concern is an existing phenomenon that has been advancing since the early 1500s. The growth of the global migration and industrial revolution are among the developments that have played an important role in enhancing the significance of the global health. Disparities are among the main concerns of global healthcare that create fundamental difficulties that must be overcome or mitigated. Another primary component of global health is the moral dimension that creates the necessity of taking into account various ethical principles such as equity, rights, utilitarianism, and humanitarianism. In addition, another crucial issue related to global healthcare includes the availability of healthcare practitioners that is affected by the relocation of healthcare providers from underpaid countries to high-income nations. The result is an imbalanced distribution of healthcare practitioners in developing states in spite of having a sizeable share of the illness encumbrance.

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