Thoughts on Changes in Healthcare

The healthcare industry in the United States of America is undergoing many changes. As a result, people wonder if their health benefits will stay the same, or how they will be impacted negatively.  Even the wealthy with many assets and investments are facing the potential of more of their income going towards healthcare expenses.  As we have seen with the housing market, there will come a point where the bubble is forced to pop. In other words, the empire of healthcare that has been so lucrative to some is bound to falter.

Even in the best case scenario,  the USA  has a long way to go to compare to the standard of healthcare in places like France, Sweden, Japan and a host of other countries. While the USA is a leader in innovation and research, it has failed miserably in terms of affordable care. On top of that, the USA is a huge tourist destination for healthcare and has assisted many internationals looking for advanced treatment. As such, the market has become more diverse. Similarly, as the physician shortage gets worse in the country, people are being recruited from all over the world to fill in the gaps.

The downside to all of this is that changes are coming too quickly. Decision makers are struggling to keep up with the cross-cultural changes in healthcare, in addition to the other demands faced by the changing system.  There are few things in place in most contexts to prevent Physician burnout and improve cross-cultural awareness.  This has caused various problems in terms of efficiency of communication between medical professionals and their patients, and even malpractice suits.

While the situation is complicated, it’s not unsolvable.  If the USA wants to continue to be a world leader, there needs to be a huge overhaul of the system. As we have seen with the recent debates in healthcare, there are many values and worldviews in play. It will take more than a political measure to change the healthcare system in the USA.  It will take a collaborative effort from all spheres and socioeconomic sectors of society to improve healthcare for all. If one culture or group does not have a voice, the solution may come more slowly.  Our world is not a utopia. However,  we believe that it is part of the responsibility of those with influence to use their power and position to empower and educate those that do not have a voice.   In addition, those without a voice should not feel entitled or rely too much on those in power, but take initiatives to use the limited resources they have to bring about positive changes for their communities.

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