Health is a state of full well-being where infirmity and disease are absent. It entails the absence of disease, disability or deformity and is an inclusive term that includes psychological and social aspects. The subject has been the source of many debates as to what constitutes health. On one side it is considered a state of being healthy, while on the other hand it is considered a state of being unhealthy.
Health and its importance in life cannot be questioned. However, health and its significance to an individual, family and society are a continuing discussion topic. A complete physical and mental make up should have been achieved at birth for proper development. As people get older, the chances of acquiring health problems increase significantly. Therefore, old and disable people require special attention in their life course and a holistic approach in health and its management.
In order to tackle health disparities and attain complete wellness, different policies have been adopted at various levels of government. There have been policy changes at the governmental, social and health policy levels. For instance, there have been policies formulated to address disparities in gender. There are also changes in the allocation of resources at the neighborhood level. Public health organizations have been given additional responsibilities and budgeting powers to cope with existing and impending health disparities.
A major step taken by governments to combat health disparity is the promotion of health and fitness through a balanced diet, regular exercise, weight loss and improved socioeconomic status. There are various programs designed to reduce the health disparities among all socio-economic groups. The focus is on reducing health disparities by improving the health and fitness of the poor and the disadvantaged U.S. population. The program targets the development of a better lifestyle through education, prevention and early treatment of diseases. By promoting better health, it is hoped that the gaps in health behaviors will be lessened.
Prevention is considered the best method of controlling health disparities. There have been efforts to improve preventable illnesses such as diabetes, osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, obesity, drug abuse and sexually transmitted diseases. The objective of the National Campaign for Health Equity in Healthcare (NCHEE) is to eliminate health care disparities by promoting access to quality, effective and affordable health services for all Americans, regardless of their health status or socioeconomic status. They are also working towards eliminating health equity due to environmental disadvantage. NCHEE has launched the Next Generation Healthcare Research Institute to support research in the field of public health, especially focusing on issues of health and environment and the reduction of health care disparities. They also support efforts aimed at achieving equity in the health care system.
Since the 1990s, when health care reform became a reality, efforts have been made to address health care disparities. Although, there is still more work to be done to eliminate the health care disparities. It is important that all Americans have access to the same high quality health care.