Introduction Complexity faces the provision of health care is today. Consequently, there is need for health care practitioners to categorically identify mechanisms for dealing with the challenges that face health care service provision. In the traditional model, individual practitioners gathered their personal judgments and experiences in order to ensure that health care provisions become more effective. However, embedded within the challenges faced by the public health care sector is the need to find more workable and practical aspects to be considered when dealing with the challenge of providing competitive and high quality services (Birch1999).
This paper will discuss three factors: public health and health inequalities, improving service-user interaction, and health behaviour as some of the key issues that impact access to health care by individuals. In particular, the paper will emphasize on addressing the impacts of the aforementioned issues on access to health care. Experts in health care provision should therefore find useful mechanisms of building a health care system that can address such issues in order to improve the wellbeing of every individual. Gender - inequalities in health Gender differences influence the ability of individuals to enjoy good health, at least to some extent.
Health care practitioners, who basically have an aim of improving the well being and health of individuals, should consider the notion of gender inequality in health. However, reports indicate that women appear to be more frequently attacked by illness and sickness than men. Another paradox is associated to the fact that men have higher rates of respiratory illness, cancer, heart disease and accidents, while women experience illnesses that are longer standing (Kinger 2005). Health care services that are provided to men and women indicate the state of inequality in health care provision.
Services available for screening women’s health problems for instance breast screening, cervical smear screening and preventive measures such as vaccination of teenage girls against cervical cancer are easily available and accessible. In contradistinction, NHS healthcare procedures have neglected male health needs and not put in place campaigns to screen men of the age of approximately 40 years old and above for prostate and testicular cancer. A recent release by NHS Board survey in April 2009 indicated that there is a higher intake of women (60.40 percent) as opposed to men (53.0 percent) in bowel screening programmes.
However currently, more cancer cases are detected in men as opposed to women. Health practitioners should therefore develop mechanisms of ensuring that there is equality in terms of provision of health care services (National Health Service 2010). Health related behaviour also depicts the aspect of gender inequality in health. There is therefore need for health practitioners to analyze the differences in the behaviour of men and women and the impact that they have on susceptibility to illness.
For instance, traditionally, the proportion of men who drink alcohol has been higher than that of women (National Health Service 2010). Nevertheless the current trend in alcohol consumption indicated by a study in 2007 showed that 24 percent of women and 13 percent of men had been drinking before their first sexual experience (McConnell 2007). Such findings show that the risk of sexually transmitted diseases can be more prevalent among young women.