The health industry has been through a rough patch lately, and it doesn’t look like we’re going to get out the other side anytime soon. One could examine certain specific examples for health care in certain countries. We could examine the impact of the attempted Republican reform of Obama Care. Or, we could explore the issues that make the NHS in the UK a never ending debt making machine. But actually, there are broader issues that are causing havoc across the board. Let’s look at some of the major issues in healthcare today and perhaps even explore a few solutions.
Resistance To Antibiotics
Yes, research shows that patients all over the world are becoming too dependent on antibiotics. Due to this, the drugs are becoming less and less effective when treating issues such as colds, infections, and viruses. In fact, visit your doctor this year, and they might tell you that there is no need to see a doctor for any of these issues unless the symptoms have not faded after a couple of weeks. But even then, you’ll probably find that the doctor doesn’t actually prescribe you any drugs or help you with your condition in any way. Is it that they like seeing you suffer? Of course not, but by giving out fewer antibiotics, doctors can perhaps tackle the issue of resistance to antibiotics and in doing so combat the more serious problem that comes with it.
Superbugs Born In Hospitals
The issue of hospital superbugs is becoming more common across the world. We are constantly reading reports where people have contracted a disease that again, can not be treated by antibiotics. Now, while this does sound bleak, all hope isn’t lost. Most, of these ‘superbugs’, do respond to other forms of treatment and researchers are constantly developing new medicine for them. However, there are rare strands that can not be cured at all and as such are nothing more than a death sentence.
The most depressing part of this is that the viruses can be found in hospitals, places where people go to get better, rather than getting worse. That’s why many health professionals encourage people to avoid getting medical treatment unless absolutely necessary. The two-week rule is largely being recommended. If your symptoms haven’t cleared up in two weeks it could be something serious, but nine times out of ten they will.
Since research is constantly on going into superbugs, it is possible that eventually, they will respond to new medicine. The only issue is that once this happens, the process starts all over again. It could become an endless cycle and as such, reducing the dependency on medicine could be the only real option.
Lack Of Staff
Another problem for the medical industry is the lack of staff in one particular field. Nursing staff are in short supply at the moment and have been for quite some time. It’s not hard to understand why there are fewer nurses now. It’s a job that demands a total commitment, includes long hours and doesn’t give the same level of pay as doctors. Although doctors require higher levels of training, nurses spend more time with the patient treating them. So, it could be argued that they are far more vital and should be paid more. Be that as it may, the government is doing what it can to encourage more individuals into a nursing career. Better salaries are being offered, and there are new courses that will allow nurses to boost their knowledge and training, expanding their career. With a nursing MBA, it’s possible for these trained professionals to earn more money and gain some of the responsibilities of a doctor. That’s important because doctors actually spend very little time with their patients. This brings us to yet another issue in the health industry today.
Personal care is slowly slipping out of the health industry. Patients are being encouraged to try video calling their doctors rather than going into see them. In other cases, tablets and other devices are used to provide feedback to patients after treatment. This is instead of a conversation with their doctor. There are many hospitals around the world today that are test driving a more automated form of care. Instead of working employees, patients interact with software and computer technology. They sign themselves in, get information from computer screens and can leave the hospital without ever meeting a doctor.
Now, on the one hand, this could be beneficial. It might reduce waiting times, and it could lead to a reduction in the spread of infections. That said, it’s also possible that it will lead to lower levels of care and serious symptoms of illness being missed. It all depends on how the new model is run, but it does seem as though this is the future of medicine.
Long Wait Times
We briefly mentioned that automated models of patient care could be a great way to reduce patient wait times. Regardless of what you think of that particular solution, a solution is certainly needed. Wait times in hospitals can be anywhere from months to even over a year for some patients. It’s not uncommon for patients to actually die or for their condition to grow worse while they are waiting for treatment.
Aside from automation, it could be argued that the health industry needs greater levels of funding and higher numbers of staff. We’ve already mentioned how the government is aiming to get more staff in the health industry at a ground level. Right now, it’s unfortunate to say that the health care system is somewhat broken. You can opt for private treatment, but not everyone can afford this possibility.
Healthcare does vary depending on where you are in the world, whether you are in Spain where healthcare has the highest rating or the USA where things are significantly worse. However, these issues are prevalent in all sections of the industry, and we can only hope that the future brings the answers to some of these massive problems.