Health Needs Assessment

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Health Needs Assessment

Health Needs Assessment


Health disparities and research related to this topic have been an important concern in medical sociology for decades, but the term health disparities has become more central in medical sociology as well as in public health and medicine more broadly during the past decade. Sometimes the research area is also known as health inequalities, especially outside the United Kingdom (Smedley, 2007).

Within the United Kingdom, this area of research has received more attention because a reduction in health disparities has been listed as one of the major goals of the Healthy People 2020 report, a major goal setting and reporting effort within public health and the U.K. government. As specified by the goals of that project, the United Kingdom strives to eliminate health disparities among segments of the population, including differences that occur by gender, race or ethnicity, education or income, disability, geographic location, or sexual orientation (Morone, 2007). Collection and reporting of data on health care disparities are complex.

Inequalities in the providence of health facilities are a key issue in Britain. The core of the issue lies in the strata that the society is divided into. Those belonging to the lower strata of the society are deprived of state of the art health facilities and thus leave for their eternal abode even when there are chances that they could have been saved. It is estimated that nearly 7500 deaths of the age group younger than 65 occur due to poverty and low caliber health facilities. Keeping in view the government's definition of child poverty it is estimated that in a year some 1,400 lives of those under fifteen years of age would be saved if child poverty were wiped out. Thus it can very well be concluded that inequitable distribution of wealth has the greatest absolute effect on the health of people in terms of numbers of lives saved and the only viable solution for lowering the mortality rate is to narrow the widening pecuniary gap and reduce poverty (Keppel, 2006).

In order to build a nation of healthy and worthy citizens it is of utmost priority to address the key poverty issues and reduce the menace. For this purpose the government of Britain needs to implement three basic social and economic policies. Firstly the distribution of wealth should be done in a modest fashion (British Department of Health and Human Services, 2006). The gap between the rich and poor in Britain dates back to the era between the 80s and the 90s. This was vividly reflected in the rising mortality rate in which most of the people that died belong to the lower strata. In order to better understand the relation between health and poverty lets take the example of Birmingham Ladywood where most of the people work manually and lie on the poverty line. In 1990s, 275 people of less than 65 years of age died in this area annually. If they would have been given better health facilities, on 182 ...
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