The observed recent advancement in preventive, primary health care, early intervention programs, coordinated health care trials in Australia as well a the population health developments have tried to explore the possibility of changing the current emphasis of health care from the responsive acute care to the more integrated system where the entire whole population is managed for the well being of all (Michael2003). In this concept it is thus generally accepted that much of the illnesses experienced in the communities are preventable or can be managed in a more constructive manner rather than the way it has been up to today.
From this view therefore, much of the disabling illnesses need not occur but rather be avoided through the better managed models, lifestyle changes and education programs (Hugh 2003). Health and wellbeing In this modern world that is becoming more and more business oriented, the idea of prevention rather than cure seems to be more appealing due to the quality of life that the individual leads as well as the health outcomes in general (Flowers 2002). A costly health care is avoided when prevention is given the first priority while at the same time helping the community to better understand how to live a more fulfilling life (Keyes 2002).
The opposite to prevention would to continue to respond to the emerging health problems at a much more expense and to thus accept that a great amount of GDP would be spent on health care not forgetting that this would degrade the quality of life that the citizen lead. It is in this light therefore that the concept of a better sustainable natural health environment turns out to be even more appealing hence carrying a greater part of the community priorities (Hugh 2003).
This calls for a greater consumer participation where the awareness of what supports a healthy/unhealthy lifestyle is taught to all. But though very attractive, one realistically questions if this is a workable context (Michael2003). It has been noted that the social inequality is increasingly characterizing the Australian society and thus the main concern here is that the economy may not be able in the future to support the living standards that the Australians are used to (Richard2002). For the rural communities, the problems seem be doubled.
In the rural communities, the wealth that they used to create is diminishing and what used to be the rural production in Australia is now continuously being replaced with a dominating mineral industry. It was only until the early 1980s that agricultural products used to be the single most important source of income for most of the Australian community. The rapid growth of the mineral industry has replaced agriculture to an extent that the earnings from mining nearly double those from agriculture (Hugh 2003).
This reduced generation of income in the rural community implies that the distribution of wealth will definitely be affected (Flowers 2002). Some observers have linked a sustainable economy to a sustainable health. Australia is however still not yet a nation that does recognize the great importance of linking the wellbeing of the general community to the economic activities (Smart and Sanson 2005). Though this be the case, the European population could maybe be regarded as the healthiest population as it enjoys a life expectancy of over 80 years (Keyes 2002).
Good health and expanding economies are two ideas that are mutually compatible and thus are able to co-exist though this is not yet achieved. From this perception thus, a principle of sustainability in an environmental and economic sense can be generated and be considered to apply both equally to the ideology of shaping the health care system as well as coming up with a preventive approach to the wellbeing of the community (Hugh 2003). The Australian health system has like the education system become institutionalized and thus does no longer serve the community needs (Flowers 2002).
In this regard, it is no longer able to respond to the values of as well as aspirations of the people but on the centrally alienates them from the control of their own values and consciousness (Keyes 2002). This has been the case since when the health system are under the control of institutions, then the power of the individual to determine how they exists within these structure is lost and with this kind of loss, such society ills as stigma cannot be avoided (Michael2003). It is within these communities where a strong move towards an economically rational view of capital as well as of service provision is upheld (Richard2002).
In this view when the health system is seen as a ‘marketable good’ just any sector such as education, then the view of taking health care to be a public good cannot be put in question. From the WORLD health Organization, health is defined as the state of complete mental, physical, social well being and thus not just the absence of an infirmity or disease (Smart and Sanson 2005). Since most of the modern perspective is financially based, then even the health system is planed from this perspective.
It is not possible to attain the vision of a well society while at the same time one is not realistically considering the all elements that would be required to make such a realization a possibility (Hugh 2003). It is within the human rights framework where the guidance of how to respond to the public health challenges is supposed to come from. Wellbeing is often measure interms of satisfaction in life and happiness (Richard2002). Wellbeing is actually about having and maintaining a meaning in life; being able to fulfill our potential and thus feel that our lives are a worthwhile.
Our subjective or personal wellbeing is usually determined by our genes, social conditions, personal choices and circumstances as well as the complex manner in which all of these interact with one another (Flowers 2002). By affecting our personality, genes influence our wellbeing. This could thus translate to such traits as neuroticism and extraversion that are all associated with a lower and higher wellbeing respectively (Keyes 2002). Since the genetic influences here are not immutable or fixed, they are frequently shaped by the environment, upbringing, general conditions of life and the personal experiences.
In regard to health, most of the characteristic and qualities that are related to the wellbeing of a person are also related to the health of the individual. Thus wellbeing has been regarded as one that does play a central role in enhancing health through the direct effect in such processes as the immune system, physiology, diet, exercise, drinking, smoking and other lifestyle behavior (Michael2003). The question of what cause what then emerges (Hugh 2003). A human right approach Human rights can be considered from two levels. First from the international system of treaties and from a conceptual framework that shapes the action (Richard2002).
In Australia, the Consumers Health Forum of Australia (CHF) is what is concerned with the voicing the concerns of health consumers. Being an independent non-governmental organization it mainly shapes the Australian health system by having the consumers involved in the health policies (Smart and Sanson 2005). If the health sector and the wellbeing of the citizens is taken from a wider view, then it is possible to invest more resources in a more effective manner so as to optimize these benefits to the whole community (Flowers 2002).
Adopting this concept would require the identification of some of the key elements that would encompass a healthy society from which it would be expected that health individuals would live in. some of these concepts include but are not limited to;
1. recognizing the impact and role of work in the wellbeing of the individuals. 2. enhancing more consumer participation and improving community education. 3. Coming up with policies that will enhance a healthy sustainable environment both social and natural. 4. ecognizing the major role that the lifestyle choice plays in enhancing the community as well as individuals wellbeing. 5. implementing early prevention and intervention programs in a more extensive manner rather than having to wait to have endpoint interventions. 6. promoting the idea of having to a lead a qualitative kind of life as opposed to the quantitative view. Such a approach to a sustainable health system will be a gradual process. Many of the factors that contribute to the well being of the individual are interrelated (Michael2003).
The relationship between these factors are in most cases reciprocal. A good example is the observation that happier people are more likely than the depressed sad families to do better work, have more friends, and even earn higher income. The interrelation of these factors with well being are quite clear. As work offer purpose in life, unemployment is associated with a loss of income. Other factors such as being religious offer a good flow of social connections, sense of purpose, spiritual support and a moral code that eventually sums up to the wellbeing of the person (Hugh 2003).
The lack of one of these factors sometime is compensated though partly by the presence of the other. It has been estimated that an average Australian rates their satisfaction and general happiness to about 75 per cent. Of late, the Australian government has stated that a growing strong economy is their main responsibility and goal. Economic growth has in the past been associated with the indicators of better health, wellbeing and a high quality of life. In this regard, it is globally accepted that money matters most as it does help people to meet their basic needs (Flowers 2002). The link between health, law and human rights.
Health systems in all sectors of life can be analyzed for the impact they have on equality, human dignity and freedom as well as how effective they are in treating or preventing disease or ill health (Smart and Sanson 2005). The close association that is there between law and health is rarely fully appreciated by the health care providers (Hugh 2003). The law and in particular that which is mainly concerned with the provision of human rights should be well understood by the health care providers who are usually reluctant to engage in it so as to be better placed to improve health care quality (Michael2003).
If this is to be achieved then the following need to be achieved; 1. Ensure that all persons are empowered as well as informed to make responsible decisions regarding medical care and treatment on the basis of a genuinely informed consent. 2. Take all appropriate administrative and legislative measures to ensure that all people enjoy the right of attaining the highest possible health standard without any form of discrimination. 3. take all administrative measures to ensure that access to healthcare facilities is made possible to all persons (Flowers 2002).
Conclusion Just like the wider economic system, health care is increasingly becoming concerned with prevention, sustainability, early intervention as well as the long-term management of the wellbeing of its citizens. This would imply having to move health care issues beyond the reactionary crisis that is mainly based on acute care model and thus in its place have a more integrated program that is based on preventive care. This can be accomplished on the recognition that ‘health’ is usually a function of various environmental and social variables.
To prevent the health care from collapsing in the future due to the heavy weight of acute care needs, health professional must become more involved in the education, community care, self-management, prevention as well enhance the consumer empowerment processes. It is worth noting much of the illnesses today in the health sector such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and the respiratory diseases are all preventable or manageable if not totally preventable and thus it is within the realistic aim to lessen the burden.
Courtney from Study Moose
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