Sunday, June 13, 2010

Barriers to health care

I have written previously about this issue. Even in Canada, with our health care system, there are barriers.

Barriers to health care

We know what works in health care: prevention, early identification, efficient treatment.
We know how to prevent chronic diseases: stop smoking, eat well: a balance of food groups, exercise (FITT- flexibility, endurance, strength), relax, socialize, monitor your blood pressure, live well, and listen to your body.

The Canadian Institute for Health Information published a report: Reducing Gaps in Health: A Focus on Socio-Economic Status in Urban Canada. In it Low Socio-Economic Status (SES) is identified as a barrier to good health.


Within the Ontarians with Disabilities Act (ODA), a barrier is defined as “anything that prevents a person with a disability from fully participating in all aspects of society because of his or her disability, including a physical barrier, an architectural barrier, information or communications barrier, an attitudinal barrier, a technological barrier, a policy or a practice” (ODA, 2001).

    Family issues - dysfunctional families
•    Communication deficiencies or disorders: language barriers, auditory, visual, cognitive disorders
•    Pregrieving issues: anger, denial, bargaining, caregiver issues,
•    Bias or prejudice - i.e., inaccurate statistics: women die of stroke and heart disease, fears, = mistakes in diagnosis or treatment
•    Language barriers, expressive or receptive language disorders
•    Poor or ineffective treatment plans
•    Cognitive disorders - delirium, dementia,
•    Mental health issues
•    Attitudes: i.e., discrimination, being treated as incompetent, Primary Care workers who speak down to patients, or use acronyms, or complicated language
•    ACCESS: Wait times, lack of staffing, crowded hospitals
•       Socioeconomics, e.g.,   lack of awareness of dental hygiene, undiagnosed diseases

The RN Association of Ontario has created a learning experience:

Interested in learning more about how poverty can affect one’s health? Come join us for a special community performance of In My Shoes: A Play About Poverty on Friday, June 18, 2010 at the Innis Town Hall Theatre in Toronto. The play shares experiences and reflections of a group of people living in poverty in Sault Ste. Marie. The play will be followed by a discussion with the audience. Admission is free of charge.

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