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In the contemporary world, theoretical and practical medicine affects different critical areas of human lives by ensuring health and well-being of the population. For this reason, the governments of numerous countries, as well as non-governmental organizations, create programs that support medicine at different levels. Thus, global healthcare delivery has become an international concern due to the fact that collective efforts lead to the successful overcoming of various diseases. One of such programs is Healthy People 2020, which is directed toward the achievement of varied objectives associated with the improvement of the quality of healthcare in the US and the relevance of its delivery. The analysis of this strategy, as well as other regulatory guidelines, demonstrates that humanity as a whole and different nations have a valid plan for the improvement of health care issues across the globe. The reason for this suggestion is credible goals and a framework for their successful achievement taking into account diverse historical, educational, moral, economic and other perspectives of nations’ development. Therefore, if programs similar to Healthy People 2020 are designed and implemented by various nations, it would be possible to avoid the critical amount of healthcare disparities and diseases in the worldwide population.
Historical Perspectives on Concern for Global Health
The historical perspectives on global health are impacted by the most relevant social, economic, political and cultural trend, which is globalization. According to Harison (2015), the acceptance of the paradigm of globalization led to the fact that the humanity reviews all processes from a globalist point of view. As a result, global perspective liberates human potential and allows bypassing the conventional barriers of science and other issues, even time and space (Harison, 2015). One of the most compelling domains in this respect is the global consideration of different diseases, pathologies, infections and disparities as such a focus allows exploring new correlations and discoveries. Moreover, a globalist perspective on different diseases and pathologies allows analyzing them in dynamics revealing the most relevant causes of their evolvement as well as their most predictable consequences (Harison, 2015). Analyzing the effect and the history of a particular disease in the world’s scale, clinical and theoretical scientists increase the relevance of their treatment initiatives.
The analysis of health issues in different nations allows revealing specific trends in the development of various diseases and the increase in the disparity ratio. For instance, among the first organizations that could be characterized as the founders of the globalist approach to health care, there was The International Sanitary Convention founded in 1851 (Palilonis, 2015). Uniting the members of the 12 most powerful nations, it had the aim of monitoring the statistics associated with different diseases and developing a shared approach to mitigating public health issues (Palilonis, 2015). Thus, the organization was one of the first attempts of collaborating nations to develop a policy that could regulate international health. One of the first successes of the organization was the combat with a cholera epidemic, which was a feared disease in the 19th century (Palilonis, 2015). Although this disease is still present in disadvantaged communities, its mortality statistic has significantly decreased (Palilonis, 2015). Therefore, the global approach to health care started working since the beginning of the 1900s, fostering infection control and adequate health care delivery across different nations.
Education and Learning in Nursing
Education has always been a crucial concept in nursing as the quality of the educated knowledge and the ability to apply this knowledge to a concrete clinical setting positively correlates with the health care quality. In this sense, scholars admit that education “has further life course and intergenerational effects on health” (Birn, Pillay & Holtz, 2017, p. 310). A vital fact is that education and learning of health care issues have different positive effects on both clinicians and their patients. For instance, experts found a negative correlation between the level of education and literacy and the level of mortality stating implying that more years of education can reduce the rate of mortality, chronic diseases, injuries, and unhealthy behaviors (Birn et al., 2017). Thus, the citizens, who learn about their health and implement this knowledge in real life, can improve the quality of their lives and well-being without turning to medical specialists.
Furthermore, the improvement of education of advanced practice nurses and the physicians, as well as adequate programs that foster professional self-learning, can grant the validation of adequate and timely addressed medical interventions. In this sense, the aim of creating a global healthcare framework is to provide the opportunity to share the discoveries and the equipment across the globe in order to improve the lives of numerous communities. For example, a research by Namnabati, Soroush, and Zargham-Boroujeni (2016) approved that technical knowledge in nurses achieved through education diminished their work-related stress and burnout. Thus, a nursing knowledge competency is one of the core domains of nursing in a global perspective due to the fact that adequately trained nurses face less job-related stressors and efficiently bypass them (Namnabati, 2016). For this reason, different collaborative international initiatives in medicine focus mainly on the share of knowledge, equipment and the aspect of nursing education.
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The Importance of Addressing Health Care Disparities
Although diseases and the quality of healthcare delivery represent a major concern for global and local health care programs, there are other critical issues of a similar importance such as the level of health care disparities that, including the lack of access to clinical services, assessment, treatment, drugs, and equipment, are a consequence of economic, social, and other healthcare barriers. These obstacles create significant gaps in the statistics of the quality of health and well-being of the population and require improvement, which can presumably be achieved by collective efforts. For instance, according to WHO, there is a 36-year gap in life expectancy between different countries whereas there is no natural reason for it (“WHO,” 2017). A significant number of differences in access to care and its quality in different countries depend on the social status of an individual, personal income, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or disability (“WHO,” 2017). Therefore, the aim of global healthcare organizations is to reveal the abovementioned disparities and the reasons for their existence and provide a valid program for their mitigation.
Unfortunately, it is impossible for international healthcare organizations to assist all the nations, especially those that have numerous critical disparities including mass violation of humanitarian laws. Similarly, it is impossible to assist every country that suffers from a humanitarian crisis or a military conflict although the global nations offer their assistance at different levels. For instance, 21,000 children die every day of pneumonia, diarrhea, and other diseases failing to reach the age of five years whereas the total number of individuals living in hunger on the planet is more than a billion (“WHO,” 2017). The indicated numbers are so huge that it is impossible to prevent the death of an every child or to provide food for every suffering individual. However, the global community sends humanitarian aid, Peace Corps, and medical services for the endangered populations to avoid the perspective of developing diseases and increasing the mortality rate. Such a level of assistance requires numerous political and economic agreements between various nations at the highest level, which is validated by the international and local healthcare organizations in the best possible way.
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Healthy People 2020 and Other Regulatory Guidelines
One of the initiatives that can be characterized as productive solutions to the major healthcare challenges for a nation is Healthy People 2020 designed in the US. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Healthy People is a science-based initiative of goals and objectives that have 10-year targets of promoting national health and preventing the incidences of diseases in the US (“Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,” 2017). The goals selected by Healthy People depend on the statistics and the ratios of different diseases and health risks in the population of the US. Consequently, this initiative has become a tool for identifying national priorities for health improvement, increasing public knowledge in relation to various health issues, disabilities and diseases, as well as for involving new stakeholders to work together towards improvement of health of a nation (“Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,” 2017). The contemporary strategic plan of Healthy People 2020 includes over 1.200 objectives in 42 areas for improving the health of the US nation throughout the ongoing decade (“Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,” 2017). The nationwide healthcare improvement validated in Healthy People 2020 demonstrates a considerable success in fighting with such issues as access to health services and up to mitigation of complex challenges including HIV, cancer, diabetes etc.
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Currently, Healthy People is not the only program directed toward the improvement of the population health from a globalist perspective. Other notable organizations involved in include The National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NCMHD), CDC, American Medical Association (AMA), and others (“American Medical Student Association,” 2016). Although each of these organizations specializes in a specific domain of activity, all of them care for the improvement of different areas of social life related to healthcare. Due to the work of these organizations, the US society has an adequate framework of the clinical and scholarly resources, valid healthcare-related policies, etc.
Moral Issues in Global Healthcare
Moral issues are a specific concern of global healthcare due to the fact that cultural and ethnic diversity occasionally bypasses the process of standardization of the nurse’s activity. For this reason, nurses and physicians may perform morally inappropriate actions when being aware or unaware of their nature and outcomes, which require prevention and regulation. For instance, a physician’s treatment decisions may be negatively affected by his or her biases toward a patient as well as clinical uncertainty (“American Medical Student Association,” 2016). For this reason, different organizations introduce medical education policies that oblige colleges and universities to establish diverse cross-cultural education programs. The modern scholars approve that the benefit of a global approach to healthcare is the recognition of the major areas of moral malpractice and their mitigation by study abroad programs, interprofessional exchanges, seminars, and culturally diverse workshops (Opollo, Bond, Gray & Lail-Davis, 2012). As a result, advanced practice nurses obtain critical leadership skills and occupational competencies for delivering culturally relevant care, which excludes the perspective of occasional negligence based on intercultural biases (Opollo et al., 2012). Due to the above mentioned educational initiatives, the modern healthcare providers bypass diverse moral issues present in the local healthcare systems of the past.
Healthcare Productivity and Economic Costs
Due to the fact that a disease or a disability decreases an individual’s workplace efficacy, the contemporary initiatives for the improvement of population health include such an aspect as their economic costs. The modern governments are aware of the fact that workforce absenteeism and early retirement associated with a disease or a disability leads to significant productivity and economic losses (“US Chamber of Commerce,” 2016). Similarly, prominent business leaders recognize that civil societies and business across the globe must incorporate their resources for the provision of health and well-being of diverse nations (“US Chamber of Commerce,” 2016). For these reasons, different businesses and non-governmental agencies participate in population healthcare programs as partners, volunteers, or investors. These initiatives have the aim of decreasing the economic burden on the nation produced by numerous chronic diseases as well as major occupational health hazards. For example, global business enterprises finance programs that provide access to innovative and effective healthcare products and services (“US Chamber of Commerce,” 2016). Business leaders explain the basis for these strategies as the need for cooperative work in order to maintain healthy employees and prevent the economic losses associated with health-related issues (“US Chamber of Commerce,” 2016). Therefore, the modern globalized healthcare is far more effective than its previous local frameworks considering that it has a comprehensive financial and human resource support from different stakeholders who are interested in sustainable profitability and corporate growth whereas they realize that the latter factors critically depend on workforce health and well-being.
Availability of Healthcare Providers
One of the most critical issues taken into account by the contemporary global policies that require mitigation is the lack of nursing and clinical workforce. Thus, experts indicate that the US population is growing by twenty million people each decade whereas there is the persistent lack of health care professionals (Grant, 2016). The problem is aggravated by the fact that the population of the US, as well as of the whole world, is aging at an increasing ratio (Grant, 2016). Thus, one of the goals of the contemporary global healthcare policies is to engage as much qualified nursing personnel in the healthcare sector as possible. This issue is critical due to the fact that the decreased ratio of nurses per patients positively correlates with the failure to deliver adequate care and treatment (Grant, 2016). Due to nursing staff shortage, advanced practice nurses often suffer from workload pressure, persistent stress, and burnout that lead to their acquittal from the profession (Grant, 2016). As a result, hospitals and clinics may have a higher incidence of patient falls and the ratio of fall-related injuries of the patients etc. Therefore, the modern global healthcare initiatives empower both clinical and education systems for letting new specialists to enter the profession. Consequently, as far as a globalized approach to healthcare allows recognizing more gaps in different health care systems, it makes it possible to develop global fixes for the revealed issues.
Summarizing the presented information, it is appropriate to come to a conclusion that the modern healthcare policies are impacted by the framework of globalization, which improves their relevance and efficacy. This increase in the efficacy of global healthcare systems is granted by the presence of a global analytical vision of the major healthcare issues and the recognition of the multiple governments, which cooperation with multiple nations fosters the improvement of global population health. Likewise, global and local initiatives such as Healthy People 2020 have powerful stakeholders such as corporate business enterprises, volunteers and non-governmental agencies that share similar healthcare-related goals. Disregarding the fact that governments and businesses may be guided mostly by economic motives, their financial and human resource support promotes the protection of the population from different occupational risks, chronic diseases, and disabilities. Consequently, global healthcare policies improve the quality of healthcare and the relevance of its delivery due to a comprehensive approach to the problem shared by numerous nations across the globe.