Write a 750-1,000-word policy brief that summarizes the issue, explains the effect on the population, and proposes a solution to the issue.
Write a 750-1,000-word policy brief that summarizes the issue
Research public health issues on the Climate Change or Topics and Issues pages of the American Public Health Association (APHA) website. Investigate a public health issue related to an environmental issue within the U.S. health care delivery system and examine its effect on a specific population.
Write a 750-1,000-word policy brief that summarizes the issue, explains the effect on the population, and proposes a solution to the issue.
Follow this outline when writing the policy brief:
- Describe the policy health issue. Include the following information: (a) what population is affected, (b) at what level does it occur (local, state, or national), and (c) evidence about the issues supported by resources.
- Create a problem statement.
- Provide suggestions for addressing the health issue caused by the current policy. Describe what steps are required to initiate policy change. Include necessary stakeholders (government officials, administrator) and budget or funding considerations, if applicable.
- Discuss the impact on the health care delivery system.
Include three peer-reviewed sources and two other sources to support the policy brief.
Prepare this assignment according to the guidelines found in the APA Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center. An abstract is not required.
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Expert Answer and Explanation
Environmental Health in Hispanic Population
Policy issue and population affected
Environmental health is considered as the interaction between people and the environment and how it influences their health outcomes. The relation between the environment and community health is an issue which many at times is underscored with minority low-income population being on the receiving end. This paper will therefore evaluate it as the target health policy issue.
The population of choice for the policy paper will be low-income Hispanics across the country. Hispanics are said to be the largest minority group in the US, standing at 17% of the total population (Velasco-Mondragon et al., 2016). According to Velasco-Mondragon et al. (2016), Hispanics being a minority group are said to face various health disparities which makes them be disadvantaged health-wise as compared to other population groups like non-Hispanic Whites. The disparities faced by this population are caused by social, cultural, economic, and environmental factors. The health issues that are prevalent for a majority of Hispanics are more pronounced in the low-income earners who belong to this community.
For a majority of low-income Hispanic families, affordability of housing in areas where the environment is conducive for healthy living is an issue. In most of the places where they live in, it is rare to find recreational facilities where they can carry out physical exercises, hence the high rates of weight and cardiovascular-related issues (Suglia et al., 2016). In such neighborhoods, environmental pollution is also usually high. Most Hispanics are also known for the provision of labor in many industries. Some of the places or industries they work in are laced with toxic pollutants which affect their overall health (Stewart, Bacon & Burke, 2014). Hence, the reason for this paper to consider them as a population of interest
Environmental factors play a vital role in the health outcomes of individuals and communities at large. Amidst the continuous degradation of the environment leading to global issues such as climate change, degradation of community health, especially minority population in low-income communities, has become more evident. Advocating for better management of the environment as a means of improving environmental health has become a hurdle, especially for the said vulnerable minority populations. It is however encouraging that, despite the disadvantaged position held by minority population, recent trends have indicated an increased awareness on environmental health by minority populations (Macias, 2016).
For the Hispanic population, several health issues faced by the community can be attributed to poor environmental health. Increased cases of cancer-related illnesses, respiratory disorders, cardiovascular problems, and even weight-related challenges can be attributed to lack of conducive living and working environment (Ash & Boyce, 2018).
Little has been done to correct this problem. This policy paper will therefore try to highlight the link between environmental factors, and the effects on health in the Hispanic population. The paper will also tackle some of the policy measures that can be put in place to improve environmental health for this population.
Suggestions for addressing the health issue caused by the current policy
There are several approaches which can be used to tackle the issue of environmental health in the Hispanic population. The first being advocacy for better living and working environment. Advocacy involves lobbying the relevant institutions, in local, state, and national level to make necessary changes to existing problems (Ray et al., 2015). Advocating for policy changes to reduce environmental pollution, especially from industrial activities, can prove to be of significant help in improving the environmental health of the target population.
Local initiatives aimed at improving environmental health can also help. Local initiatives such as health promotion programs can help to sensitize the community on the importance of a clean and conducive environment on their health outcomes. Such initiatives can be done in collaboration with community health facilities, local authorities, and learning institutions. The advantage for such initiatives is that they usually require very little budgetary implications if any.
The steps required to initiate policy changes include sensitizing the community on the policy issue, which is the effect of environmental factors on health outcomes. By making the community aware of the scope of the policy, they can then take the initiative to advocate for the required changes. Some of the stakeholders involved at this stage include institutions like local community health facilities, faith-based organizations, learning institutions, and even government institutions to list a few.
The next step is to lobby, with the support of the community, for the necessary policy framework to be put in place and implemented. Lobbying is a part of advocacy which involves seeking support from different quarters including from health institutions, government officials, private institutions to initiate policy changes (Ray et al., 2015).
The impact on the health care delivery system
It is expected that with the necessary policy changes put in place, the environmental health of the population is going to improve tremendously. Prevalence of certain diseases like cancer, respiratory problems, among others, is going to reduce drastically (Hartig, Mitchell, De Vries & Frumkin, 2014). It is also expected that the existing gaps in health disparities faced by the target community are also going to reduce. Environmental health takes a proactive approach to enhancing community health.
This approach is usually considered to be more cost-effective, which means there will be a substantial reduction in healthcare costs spent by the vulnerable Hispanic population. The policy, if implemented is also expected to devolve the mandate of promoting good health to the local community, where the community is going to be empowered to be champions of promoting good environmental health
Ash, M., & Boyce, J. K. (2018). Racial disparities in pollution exposure and employment at US industrial facilities. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 115(42), 10636-10641.
Hartig, T., Mitchell, R., De Vries, S., & Frumkin, H. (2014). Nature and health. Annual review of public health, 35, 207-228.
Macias, T. (2016). Environmental risk perception among race and ethnic groups in the United States. Ethnicities, 16(1), 111-129.
Ray, M. M., Roberts, S., Foley, M., Dodd, C., Whelan, E. M., & Woody, M. P. (2015). Lobbying policymakers: Individual and collective strategies. Policy & Politics in Nursing and Health Care-E-Book, 390.
Stewart, I. T., Bacon, C. M., & Burke, W. D. (2014). The uneven distribution of environmental burdens and benefits in Silicon Valley’s backyard. Applied Geography, 55, 266-277.
Suglia, S. F., Shelton, R. C., Hsiao, A., Wang, Y. C., Rundle, A., & Link, B. G. (2016). Why the neighborhood social environment is critical in obesity prevention. Journal of Urban Health, 93(1), 206-212.
Velasco-Mondragon, E., Jimenez, A., Palladino-Davis, A. G., Davis, D., & Escamilla-Cejudo, J. A. (2016). Hispanic health in the USA: a scoping review of the literature. Public Health Reviews, 37(1), 31.
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Health Policy Issues Examples
Healthcare policy plays a critical role in shaping the healthcare system in any country. It outlines the framework for the delivery, financing, and organization of healthcare services. With the rise in healthcare costs and the increasing demand for quality care, policymakers and stakeholders need to be aware of current health policy issues to address challenges effectively. This article provides an overview of some of the most pressing health policy issues facing the healthcare industry today.
Healthcare policy issues refer to challenges that affect the healthcare system’s ability to provide accessible, affordable, and quality healthcare services. These issues can be categorized into various domains, such as healthcare financing, healthcare delivery, and healthcare workforce. Here are some of the significant health policy issues that policymakers and stakeholders are grappling with today.
Rising Healthcare Costs
The cost of healthcare is continuously rising, making it challenging for people to access affordable care. Health spending in the US, for instance, reached $3.8 trillion in 2019, accounting for 17.7% of the GDP. The high cost of healthcare is attributed to various factors, such as the high cost of prescription drugs, advanced medical technologies, and an aging population.
Lack of Universal Health Coverage
Universal health coverage is crucial in ensuring that all people have access to quality healthcare services. However, many countries, including the US, do not have a comprehensive healthcare system that covers all citizens. This lack of universal health coverage results in disparities in healthcare access, quality, and outcomes.
Inadequate Funding for Public Health
Public health initiatives, such as disease prevention, health education, and community health, are critical in promoting healthy living and preventing diseases. However, many public health programs suffer from inadequate funding, which undermines their effectiveness.
Health Information Technology
Health information technology (HIT) has the potential to revolutionize healthcare delivery by enhancing patient care coordination, improving patient safety, and reducing healthcare costs. However, the implementation of HIT has been slow, mainly due to a lack of resources, limited technical expertise, and concerns about privacy and security.
Access to Care
Access to care is a significant health policy issue, particularly in rural areas and low-income communities. Many people in these areas face barriers to accessing care, such as transportation, language, and cultural barriers.
Health disparities refer to differences in health outcomes between different population groups. These disparities are often linked to social and economic factors, such as poverty, discrimination, and limited access to education and employment opportunities.
Shortage of Healthcare Workers
The shortage of healthcare workers, such as doctors, nurses, and other allied health professionals, is a global issue that affects the quality and accessibility of healthcare services. The shortage is due to various factors, such as an aging workforce, increasing demand for healthcare services, and limited resources for training and education.
Burnout and Job Dissatisfaction
Healthcare workers, particularly those on the frontlines, such as doctors and nurses, often face high levels of stress, burnout, and job dissatisfaction. These issues can affect the quality of care provided and contribute to high turnover rates.
Lack of Diversity in the Healthcare Workforce
The lack of diversity in the healthcare workforce has significant implications for healthcare delivery and outcomes. A diverse healthcare workforce can better address the healthcare needs of diverse patient populations, reduce health disparities, and promote cultural competence.
Healthcare policy issues are complex and multifaceted, requiring a comprehensive approach that involves all stakeholders. Addressing these issues requires a commitment to evidence-based policymaking, increased collaboration between policymakers and stakeholders, and investments in research, education, and infrastructure. By prioritizing these issues, we can create a healthcare system that provides accessible, affordable, and quality care.
Controversial Health Policies: Balancing Public Health and Personal Liberties
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought unprecedented challenges to the global healthcare system, with governments around the world implementing various health policies to curb the spread of the virus. However, many of these policies have been met with controversy, with some arguing that they infringe upon personal liberties and human rights. This article explores the topic of controversial health policies, examining the balance between public health and personal freedoms.
The topic of controversial health policies is a complex and nuanced issue that has gained significant attention in recent years, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. On one hand, these policies are often necessary to protect public health and prevent the spread of disease. However, they can also infringe upon personal liberties and human rights, leading to heated debates and disagreements. In this article, we will explore the topic of controversial health policies, examining different perspectives and arguments for and against them. We will also discuss potential solutions and ways to strike a balance between public health and personal freedoms.
Examples of Controversial Health Policies
- Mandatory vaccination policies: These policies require individuals to receive certain vaccinations, such as for measles or polio, in order to attend school or work in certain industries. While many believe that mandatory vaccinations are necessary to protect public health, others argue that they infringe upon personal freedoms and individual choice.
- Mask mandates: During the COVID-19 pandemic, many governments around the world implemented mask mandates, requiring individuals to wear masks in public spaces to prevent the spread of the virus. However, some people have pushed back against these mandates, arguing that they are unnecessary or violate personal liberties.
- Lockdowns: Lockdowns involve restricting people’s movements and closing non-essential businesses and services to slow the spread of disease. While lockdowns have been effective in reducing the spread of COVID-19 in some countries, they have also had negative economic and social impacts and have been met with resistance by some.
- Travel restrictions: Governments may implement travel restrictions to limit the spread of disease across borders. However, these policies can also disrupt trade, tourism, and other industries, and may be seen as violating personal liberties.
Arguments For and Against Controversial Health Policies
Arguments for controversial health policies:
- Public health: The primary argument in favor of controversial health policies is that they are necessary to protect public health and prevent the spread of disease. In many cases, policies like mandatory vaccination, mask mandates, and lockdowns are effective tools for reducing the spread of infectious diseases and keeping communities safe.
- Responsibility to others: Some argue that individuals have a responsibility to others in their community, and that complying with controversial health policies is an important way to fulfill that responsibility. For example, getting vaccinated not only protects the individual, but also helps prevent the spread of disease to others who may be more vulnerable.
- Cost-effectiveness: In some cases, controversial health policies may be more cost-effective than other interventions, such as treating individuals who become sick with a disease. For example, implementing a mask mandate may be less expensive than providing medical care for large numbers of people who become infected with a disease.
Arguments against controversial health policies:
- Personal freedoms: Perhaps the most common argument against controversial health policies is that they violate personal freedoms and individual choice. For example, mandatory vaccination policies are seen by some as an infringement on personal autonomy and the right to make one’s own healthcare decisions.
- Economic impacts: Many controversial health policies, such as lockdowns and travel restrictions, have significant economic impacts. Businesses may be forced to close, individuals may lose their jobs, and entire industries may suffer. Some argue that these policies do more harm than good in the long run.
- Unintended consequences: Finally, some argue that controversial health policies can have unintended consequences that are difficult to predict or mitigate. For example, lockdowns may lead to increased rates of domestic violence, mental health problems, or other negative outcomes. Mask mandates may lead to social isolation or reduced access to healthcare. While controversial health policies may be effective in some ways, they can also have unintended consequences that need to be carefully considered.
Finding a Balance
Finding a balance between protecting public health and respecting individual rights and freedoms is a difficult task for policymakers when it comes to controversial health policies. Here are some strategies that can be employed to find a balance:
- Transparency: Clear communication and transparency about the rationale behind a controversial health policy can help to build trust with the public and address concerns about personal freedom. Policymakers can explain the evidence that supports the policy and how it aligns with public health goals.
- Education: Providing education and resources to the public about a controversial health policy can help to dispel myths and misinformation, and can help people understand why the policy is necessary. This can also help to reduce resistance to the policy.
- Collaboration: Engaging with a broad range of stakeholders, including community groups, healthcare providers, and businesses, can help to ensure that a controversial health policy is grounded in the needs and values of the community. This can also help to identify potential unintended consequences of the policy.
- Flexibility: Being willing to adjust or adapt a controversial health policy in response to changing circumstances or new evidence can help to build trust and credibility with the public. This can also help to address concerns about the potential negative impacts of the policy.
- Balancing risks and benefits: Policymakers must consider both the risks and benefits of a controversial health policy in order to find a balance between protecting public health and respecting individual rights and freedoms. This involves weighing the potential harms of the policy against the potential benefits and finding a solution that minimizes harm while maximizing benefits.
Finding a balance between protecting public health and respecting individual rights and freedoms is an ongoing challenge for policymakers when it comes to controversial health policies. However, by employing strategies such as transparency, education, collaboration, flexibility, and balancing risks and benefits, policymakers can work towards finding a solution that is acceptable to a broad range of stakeholders.
Controversial health policies often involve a delicate balance between protecting public health and respecting individual rights and freedoms. While these policies can be challenging to implement, they are sometimes necessary to address public health threats. However, policymakers must find ways to mitigate resistance to these policies while still achieving public health goals.
To do so, policymakers can employ strategies such as transparency, education, collaboration, flexibility, and balancing risks and benefits. By doing so, policymakers can work towards finding a solution that is acceptable to a broad range of stakeholders.
Ultimately, the goal of controversial health policies should be to protect public health while still respecting individual rights and freedoms. While this may be difficult to achieve, it is essential for creating policies that are both effective and acceptable to the public.
Why is addressing climate change important for public health
Climate change is a global issue that affects every aspect of our lives, including our health. The Earth’s climate is changing at an unprecedented rate, primarily due to human activities such as burning fossil fuels, deforestation, and industrial practices. These activities release large amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, which trap heat and cause the Earth’s temperature to rise. As a result, we are experiencing more frequent and severe weather events, rising sea levels, and changes in precipitation patterns.
Climate change is not only an environmental issue but also a public health issue. The effects of climate change are already visible, and they are projected to worsen in the future. From increased air pollution to food and waterborne diseases, the effects of climate change on public health are numerous and far-reaching. In this article, we will explore why addressing climate change is crucial for public health.
The Impact of Climate Change on Public Health
- Air Pollution and Respiratory Health
Climate change exacerbates air pollution, which can lead to respiratory problems such as asthma, bronchitis, and lung cancer. The increase in temperature and humidity can also worsen allergies and cause heat-related illnesses.
- Vector-borne Diseases
Climate change alters the geographic distribution and behavior of disease-carrying insects such as mosquitoes and ticks, resulting in the spread of vector-borne diseases such as malaria, dengue fever, and Lyme disease.
- Food and Waterborne Diseases
Climate change affects food and water safety, leading to an increase in foodborne and waterborne diseases such as cholera, salmonella, and E. coli. Extreme weather events such as floods and hurricanes can also contaminate water sources, making them unsafe for human consumption.
- Mental Health
Climate change can have a significant impact on mental health, particularly in areas that are more susceptible to extreme weather events such as hurricanes and floods. Natural disasters can lead to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and anxiety.
- Heat-related Illnesses
As temperatures rise, so does the risk of heat-related illnesses such as heat exhaustion, heatstroke, and dehydration. These conditions can be particularly dangerous for vulnerable populations such as the elderly, children, and individuals with pre-existing medical conditions.
Why Addressing Climate Change is Important for Public Health
- Mitigating the Effects of Climate Change
Reducing greenhouse gas emissions and transitioning to renewable energy sources can help mitigate the effects of climate change. This, in turn, can help protect public health by reducing the prevalence of air pollution, vector-borne diseases, and heat-related illnesses.
- Building Resilience
Addressing climate change can also help build resilience in communities, particularly those that are more vulnerable to the effects of climate change. This can include investing in infrastructure that can withstand extreme weather events and developing early warning systems for natural disasters.
- Protecting Public Health
Taking action on climate change is essential for protecting public health. By reducing greenhouse gas emissions and transitioning to clean energy sources, we can help mitigate the effects of climate change and reduce the prevalence of air pollution, vector-borne diseases, and heat-related illnesses.
In conclusion, addressing climate change is crucial for safeguarding public health. The effects of climate change on our health are numerous and far-reaching, and they are projected to worsen in the future. By reducing greenhouse gas emissions, transitioning to clean energy sources, and building resilience in vulnerable communities, we can help mitigate the effects of climate change and protect public health for generations to come. It is essential to act now to ensure a healthy and sustainable future for ourselves and future generations.