Friday, July 30, 2010

What is Done Right in Public Health and Health Insurance?

Health care is taking a careful look at the current swine flu issue, while many of us are wondering how to protect ourselves if there is an epidemic or pandemic of this flu. In America, the opinion is we have the most highly functioning health care system anywhere, so that's where the explanation is as to why Mexico is facing such a huge problem in preserving life for it's people. Here in the US we have good medical care access and health insurance so are preserved from facing the Mexican issues. But why do we still maintain health better right now than the Mexican people?

Well, it is not that I don't appreciate the health care that we have here in the states, however, the main thing that Americans have that other countries don't is the CDC. This is actually a huge help when dealing with the swine flu or any disease or illness that is easily spread. The CDC works in conjunction with the WHO to help locate, detect and trace cases of spreadable diseases, and help limit them while searching for treatments, cures and vaccines. Although our medical system is more advanced in its reporting than in third world countries.

Other factors affecting other countries, making them more susceptible to health crisis like the current swine flu outbreak are other issues that the face such as: poor and dirty water supplies, lack of good nutrition or generalized malnutrition, lack of education about diseases, poor hygiene, communal living
Our country does have it's own issues within our health care system and insurance system which causes many questions from our citizens. However, our government is involved in our health care in that they provide nutritious foods, clean water and have an agency who monitors disease and informs us to keep us safe.
This crisis is really important but there are many health care issues the government provides for us, even though there are pieces and parts of this system that need work. We have the health insurance and medical coverage to keep us healthy but public health provides much more. While staying abreast of this current crisis, keep in mind we have a wonderful public health system in place to keep us all as healthy as possible.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Benjamin Disraeli - The Great British Conservative Leader Who Introduced the Public Health Act

Benjamin Disraeli, First Earl of Beaconsfield (1804-81) was a great British statesman and novelist. He was born in London and came from a Jewish family that had converted to Anglicanism.

He was a most ambitious and a larger than life individual. He dressed in colorful clothes. He always chose his words carefully and spoke only when he had something memorable and witty to say.

He began life working for three years in a lawyer's office. He then - unsuccessfully - tried to start a newspaper.

His first big breakthrough was when he achieved fame and success as a popular novelist. His first novel was Vivian Grey (1826). The most famous of his many novels were perhaps his two political novels, Coningsby (1844) and Sibyl (1845).

Disraeli joined the Conservative Party and in 1837 he entered the British Parliament as the member for Maidstone.

His first speech to Parliament was heckled by other Members of Parliament who disliked his flowery manner of speaking and his colorful clothing. In concluding his speech, he made the famous reply: "Though I sit down now, the time will come when you will hear me."

He became the leader of the Young England movement, which was home to that section of the Conservatives known as the Romantic Tories. The Romantic Tories were political conservatives who were critical of the effects of the Industrial Revolution that were occurring in Great Britain at that time. They believed that the monarchy and the church were the natural protectors of the agricultural and industrial working classes and were suspicious of the Industrial Revolution's tendency to destroy the traditional protections and obligations which had been in place in Britain since time immemorial.

He also opposed the free trade policies of his fellow Conservative, Sir Robert Peel. Peel engineered the repeal of the Corn Laws (1845-46), which controlled the price of wheat and of other types of grain via the imposition of protective tariffs on the import of foreign grain. Instead, Disraeli favored protectionism to protect British agriculture and industry. In later days, Disraeli stopped supporting protectionism to a large extent, having come to the view that the Corn Laws had mostly favored the interests of landowners and hurt the poor.

While in Parliament, Disraeli became Chancellor of the Exchequer three times and then became the leader of the Commons (the lower house of the British Parliament). In the latter role, he introduced the Reform Bill of 1867.

Disraeli served as prime minister of the United Kingdom for two terms - first, in 1868, and then, later and more extensively, in the period 1874-80. During his second prime ministership, he promoted British imperialism (that is, the extension of the British Empire) and a forward foreign policy. In 1876 he passed legislation conferring on Queen Victoria a new title: Empress of India.

Disraeli led Britain into the Second Afghan War (1878-79) and into the Zulu War (1879), and he sought to lessen the power and influence of Russia.

He showed much skillful diplomacy in protecting Britain's foreign interests. He stopped a war between Russia and Turkey by sending a British fleet to the Dardenelles. By such measures he checked Russian imperialism in Turkey and the Balkans.

In the 1878 Congress of Berlin, Disraeli successfully promoted a treaty that was most favorable to Britain. He persuaded Otto von Bismarck, the German Chancellor, to support his treaty and its clauses keeping Russia out of the Mediterranean Sea. His treaty, which restricted the power of Britain's opponent, Russia, incidentally contributed to European peace at that time and was praised by Bismarck for doing so.

During his second administration, Britain became half-owner, with Egypt, of the Suez Canal (1875). This move gave Britain power over Egypt and, more importantly, over the Suez Canal, that vital but vulnerable component in the new shorter and quicker route between Britain and its colonies in Asia, East Africa and the Pacific Ocean.

Disraeli also passed legislation codifying and extending certain social reforms - for example, slum clearance and urban renewal, the Public Health Act of 1875, and more rights to workers to join trade unions and promote their interests. However, it should be noted that many of these measures had been originally initiated under the administration of Disraeli's predecessor and great rival, the Liberal William Gladstone.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Public Health Still Not an Option

Senator's Charles Schumer D-NY and Jay Rockefeller D-W.Va huffed and puffed but could not blow the private health insurance market down.

Though I am thankful that a Public Health Option still does not seem to be realistic possibility, this AP article only further displays the complete lack of understanding that US lawmakers have of the root cause for the HealthCare "Crisis", COST!!!!

I'm not trying to pretend Health Insurers have done anything to help mitigate premium costs. What I am saying is that Health Insurers are not the ONLY bad guys and girls.

I recently went to a broker conference for a regional not-for-profit health insurance carrier. At that conference this carrier broke out exactly where every penny of every premium dollar is spent. Did you know that for every dollar you and/or your employer spend on health insurance premiums over 61 cents of that dollar goes to hospitals and doctors? Did you know that 26 cents of that same dollar goes to home health care and pharmacy?

That means 87 cents of every health premium dollar you and your employer spend goes directly to health care!!!

So 13 cents of every dollar goes to the Health Carrier. Now to be fair, 11 cents was going towards Administration costs and 2 cents towards surplus, so its not like the carrier was just banking all that cash.
What I want you to take away from this article is that COST is the infection creating the American Health Care Crisis. A Public Health option does nothing to cure our cost problem. With a Public Option, Health Insurance Premiums go down, Taxes go up...

I would love to hear your thoughts on this issue!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Asbestos - EPA Declares Public Health Emergency

In June 2009, the federal Environmental Protection Agency, EPA, invoked powers granted it in 1980 for the first time, and declared a public health emergency. The cause: asbestos and the diseases it's caused in two northwest Montana towns. In Libby and Troy Montana, more than 500 people are sick from asbestos related diseases, including asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer caused by inhalation of fibers.

The two towns' populations total about 3900 people, many of who worked in the vermiculite mine in Libby. Vermiculite is a very lightweight mineral used in insulation, and it contains asbestos. In the course of mining and processing it, the tiny fibers become airborne, and workers and town residents inhaled them. Contaminated dust and fibers deposited on workers' clothes, and was carried to their cars, homes, and anywhere else they went.

About 50 more cases of serious asbestos related disease are diagnosed every year in Libby and Troy. Asbestosis causes serious impairment of lung function, and lung cancer and mesothelioma are fatal diseases. Mesothelioma is a very slow-growing cancer, whose symptoms may not be diagnosed for 30 or 40 years after exposure. By the time it is diagnosed, the victim's life expectancy may be measured in months. Because of the long delay between exposure and diagnosis, it's likely that many more cases of mesothelioma will emerge in the coming years.

Recent research has established that exposure to airborne fibers for as little as one or two months can lead to the development of mesothelioma 30-40 years later. The vermiculite mine in Libby, run by W R Grace Co. was closed in 1990, but long-time residents and workers had been exposed for years, some for their entire lives.

Dr Alan Whitehouse, an epidemiologist and asbestos researcher, wrote recently in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine that the mesothelioma epidemic in Libby will continue probably continue to increase, peaking in 10 to 20 years. He called it a very serious public health problem, and argued for greater surveillance of asbestos use, and earlier detection of the disease.

The US Department of Health and Human Services will grant $6 million to the Lincoln County health department. The funds will cover health care for residents suffering from related diseases that is not covered by their insurance, and will pay for all medical expenses for workers who are uninsured.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Debate Over the Public Health Insurance Option

There has been too much of debate over which is the right health care reform to be implemented in the United States.

These debates have cross party lines and are heating up as the general public is getting involved in the debate. The main sticking point is the public health option being put forward in order to have a meaningful reform that affects millions Americans. But then there are too many things to sort out so that we can have a better picture as to the advantages and disadvantages of a public option.

The contention of those who are in favor of the public option is that it will make health insurance more affordable and available to millions of Americans. Most of the more 40 million Americans either lack health care insurance from their employers or they simply cannot afford it. Making it more affordable is the main goals for the reform so all these people that were not able to get coverage before will now have health care coverage. It is ideal in the sense that it will provide affordable health insurance for many poorer families.
On the other hand you those people who oppose such government program or corporation to undertake or underwrite this coverage. The other drawback to this is that private insurance companies might be hard hit and go under or go bankrupt.

If you have a government Run Corporation competing with the private sector will have benefit as it will neutralize the high premium rates charge by private companies.

But then if the private sector cannot compete, it will because low cost rates from the government run insurance, it will eliminate competition and thus become a government monopoly. The government run corporation will take over the whole industry and that is not good for the both the industry and the economy. It is indeed very tough to determine what will become of this proposal should it pass through congress and that public option health will be available.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

PhD in Public Health to Keep in Shape

If you are currently employed in an environment which focuses on public health, obtaining a PhD in Public Health certainly gives you potential for a jumpstart in your career. Since numerous institutions offer this degree as a form of online education, you do not need to forsake your current job and paycheck. Being a doctorate degree, financial aid or funding opportunities may be more easily obtained from governmental sources or the institution itself.

Typical of any doctorate program, a student is required to conduct research and analysis in the areas of interest leading to his thesis. Public health offers a vast area for address as students can opt to delve further into epidemiology and discover factors which affect the health and ailments of a population. Community health is also an interesting area of study as geographical elements wield some form of influence over the health of its residents. Whether it is due to lackadaisical attitude or actual lack in educational opportunities, health education and promotion is a subject which needs to be more projected into the population to reduce or even eliminate certain health issues. Occupational health is also drawing attention from various quarters as work-related health issues are more evident. They display themselves in physical, mental as well as psychological attributes. It is essential to address these problems as down time easily translates into sick days and financial loss for employers.

A major part in getting a PhD in Public Health is the research work. To deliver effective healthcare service to the public, health policies need to be developed to address current and future needs. Having a short term goal will not address health issues and may cause detrimental effect. Effective management and implementation of health policies is essential to ensure desired results are achieved. As part of the process of enriching public health, health education and promotion are best for implementation as many health issues can be avoided if the public is sufficiently educated on the do's and don'ts. Prevention is better than cure.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Choosing a Career As a Public Health Nurse

If you enjoy assisting others with their healthcare concerns and being a teacher at the same time public health nursing may be for you. Public health nurses specialize in treating and preventing ailments. Many work for local clinics and community health centers. They also spend a great amount of time traveling and educating individuals on health care issues. Many also travel to make home visits to seniors who are unable to leave their homes to go to doctor's appointments or to visit new mothers to ensure that their newborn babies are developing properly. Being a public health nurse will allow you to use a variety of skills in a variety of different settings.

One of the main responsibilities and goals of a public health nurse is the focus on prevention. In clinical settings such as hospitals the goal is to treat a condition and cure the condition if possible. Public health nurses do treat ailments, but their main objective is to prevent diseases and complications from occurring. Many work in organizations such as Planned Parenthood to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted infections through community outreach programs directed towards schools and high-risk populations. Some also participate on councils and assist in research projects to offer data and suggestions on improving access to healthcare for specific populations and communities with the goal of increasing awareness and improving the health and lifestyles of individuals in order to prevent the onset of disease and conditions.

The majority of public health nurses work for the local government, although many can be found working in clinics, schools, community centers and other establishments. Unlike nurses who work in hospitals,  you could expect to work pretty conventional hours. In addition, many enjoy the flexibility to travel and the pace is typically different from the pace of a hospital. Salaries for nurses in this field tend to be a bit lower than nurses in a clinical setting. However, those nurses who choose public health nursing find that there are other benefits such as government job perks or a conventional schedule that make up for the difference in clinical nursing salary. Furthermore, most professionals in this field do possess a bachelor's degree in nursing and at least a year or two of clinical nursing experience. Having these requirements provides a base upon which a public health nurse can utilize skills already applied in a clinical setting from previous employment and experience.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Vital Role of Public Health Nursing

A survey done by the Department of Health of United Kingdom reveals that about 74% of adults in United Kingdom consumed an alcoholic drink daily. Worse still, more than 37% individuals reported they didn't know the harmful effects of addiction to alcohol. These statistics reveal two things and they are as below:
- Adults getting addicted to alcohol and
- Adults are unaware of the health consequences.

These worrying signs could be replicated to almost any country. That is probably why public health nursing plays a key role in curbing this menacing statistic.

A public nurse would work to create awareness in the community about certain health issues. They identify the health care needs of a population and further, find out the needs depending on the sub-populations, families etc. This way, families who could be at a risk of infecting a certain disease receive immediate healthcare aid thereby ensuring good health at all times. The public health nurses normally adopt a systematic approach to finding a fix for the health care needs of a society. They would meet community heads, families and study data related to the general health of the section of the society.

Bio-terrorism and epidemics are a serious threat to any society, and public health nurses with their regular campaigns work to ensure people are constantly updated about these issues and how to tackle them, if and when they arise. Most importantly, they would also study the possible risk factors to health of a society based on the demography of the society. For example, a public health nurse would counsel and advocate health protective measures to a society if it is in the vicinity of a chemical factory. In such an example, the nurse would counsel on what needs to be done in case of a chemical leak and so on.

Public nurses take a scientific approach to help them fix some health issues plaguing the society. Basically, they educate the society about possible health problems and ensure that the society and the community, as a unit responds to any health challenge posed to them. They also help in providing healthcare aid in the event of a community epidemic. By all counts thus, the role of a public health nurse in ensuring good health of individuals, cannot be discounted.

Friday, July 9, 2010

The Importance of Water Quality to Public Health and Individuals

The question why water quality critical to public health and Individual mentioned by many people. Drinking pure source water is an issue of concern for people's health in developing and developed countries throughout the world.

The importance of water and human beings' health.
The wonder of why is water quality so important to a person's long-term health has to do with different things. The human body is primarily a bag of fluids. Water is essential to the mechanics of the human body. Our bodies cannot work without having it just like a car cannot run without gas and oil. In the fact that, all the cell and organ functions made up in our entire anatomy and physiology depend on water for their functioning. Water serves to alleviate constipation by moving food through the intestinal tract and thereby eliminating waste- the best detox agent as a lubricant; forms the base of saliva and fluids that surround the joins. Water regulates the temperature of our body and metabolism.

In addition to that, water is the daily maintenance of our bodies; moreover water plays a key part in the prevention of disease. Drinking nearly 1 little of water daily can decrease the risk of colon cancer by 45%, bladder cancer by 50% and it can potentially even reduce the risk of breast cancer.

Since water is such a key component to our physiology, it would make sense that the quality of the water must be just as critical as the quantity. Drinking water must always be pure and free of contaminants to ensure individuals health and wellness.

According to Clean Water Action, the recent news and reports show that in the U.S. Most contaminated taps are not safe for drinking due to heavy industrial and environmental pollution. Hence, approximately 40 percent of rivers fail to meet pure water standards, and an estimated 7 million Americans be sick yearly from impure tap water, toxic bacteria, chemicals and heavy metals routinely penetrate and pollute our natural water sources and nearly 6 million individuals die of waterborne or water-related diseases through out the world.

A good water filtration system set up in your home is the only way to actively monitor and ensure the quality and safety of your drinking water. Pure source 2 water filter systems can remove 90-99% of all contaminants from city and well water to deliver healthy drinking water for you and your family.

To get better informed about the available choices you have in relation to the Pure source 2 water filter you can establish at your family and what I personally commend, Go to my website.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

PhD Programs For Public Health

You enjoy caring for our societies most vulnerable citizens and have dedicated your life to the Public Health System. Still there are limits to the impact you have on how public health is being delivered. You can make an enormous difference in this area by continuing your education and obtaining your PhD in Health Services. Lack of time can no longer be the excuse for not taking that extra step. It doesn't take long to fire up your laptop and research the many Online PhD programs available in the field of Health Services.

Issues facing our public health system and health services programs are becoming more complex in today's growing communities. If you want to be part of these changing times in public health the need to advance your education has become significantly more important than ever before. Make sure you are in a position to positively impact your public health career by obtaining your PhD in Health Science through an Online Doctorate degree. It is extremely easy and takes very little time to browse the many PhD programs available Online. In the time it takes you to have your morning coffee you could be on your way to advancing your career.

Take your education that one step further and be prepared to serve at the forefront of health care services in both the private and public sectors. Rather than simply providing care according to regulations that have been determined by other professionals be part of the elite group of recognized leaders shaping the future of how health care is being delivered. You have already invested a great deal in your education make sure you are not the one being left behind by taking a few minutes to research Online PhD programs.

Further you education now and be in a position to influence social policy and empower citizens. You will be recognized as a world leader in the field of Public Health and invited to speak at national and international symposiums. As a highly sought professional your views and opinions will be listened to by respected piers. Don't let your dreams fade on the back burner any longer and investigate the many Online PhD programs available in the Science of public health.

A Doctorate Degree will also provide you with the knowledge and skills required to conduct independent research within the public health arena. You will also be well qualified in pursuing a career in academic settings such as government, industry, consulting and community health agencies. Belong to the elite circle of health professionals responsible for shaping the way health services are delivered right across the country.

It is an enormous responsibility and privilege to care for the most vulnerable people in society. Take your academic career to the next level and be part of the important task of shaping our public health care system. It just takes a few minutes on your computer and a few clicks of your mouse to choose an Online PhD program and reach that level of excellence that will help propel you in the all important field of public health care.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Public Health Insurance is Possible Under Obama

With rising health care costs, it is a relief to know that the Democrats in Congress are inching towards health reforms that would include public health insurance. Public health insurance works very much like private insurance policies, except that it is the federal government, and not an insurance company, that would pay for all your claims. President Barack Obama had revealed this plan during his campaign period.
But how will public health insurance affect the entire United States?

Those opposed to public insurance option are understandably wary that it would put private health insurance companies out of business. While there are some people who would not be upset about driving insurance companies out, the prospect of a virtual monopoly in health insurance is making many Americans a little nervous.

Lewin Group, in a recent study, confirms that a public health insurance policy could force private insurers to fold up by offering deeply discounted premiums. However, the potential for their doomsday really depends on how well public healthcare plans are received by the public, or who is eligible for such a healthcare option.
Key findings in Lewin's study include:

  • If the public healthcare insurance plan uses Medicare payment levels, the premiums significantly less (up to 30 percent) than the comparable coverage by private companies. Hypothetically, a family would be spending $761 on a benefits package under a pubic plan, compared to $970 per family under private companies.
  • If eligibility is limited to small employers, freelancing individuals, and self-employed people, around 42.9 million people would enroll, while the number of people with private coverage would fall by 32.0 million. However, if the public plan uses the reimbursement levels of private companies, only 10.4 million people would switch to the public plan.
  • If the public health insurance plan is available to all employers, at Medicare payment levels around 131.2 million people would enroll, while the number of people with private health insurance would decline by 119.1 million. In effect, the private health insurance industry would suffer a two-thirds reduction in their business. There are currently 170 million people with private health care coverage. But if private payer levels are used, only 12.5 million people will switch to the public program.
  • Assuming all individuals and employers are eligible, net hospital revenues would fall by 4.6 percent or $36 billion, while physicians' net income would fall by 6.8 percent or $33 billion. If eligibility under the public plan is restricted to certain individuals and small companies, the net revenue of hospitals would actually increase by $11.3 billion because of an increase in the number of newly-insured individuals. However, the net income of physicians would decline by $3.0 billion.