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Essay: The Importance of Accessible and Quality Medical Treatments in Improving Life Expectancy Globally

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  • Published: 1 October 2019*
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  • Words: 1,085 (approx)
  • Number of pages: 5 (approx)

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In the findings of Kruk et al. (2018), about 8.6 million deaths caused by treatable conditions in low-income and middle-income countries are reported every year, for which 5 million are because of poor healthcare provided, and the 3.6 million deaths are because of inaccessibility of healthcare. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) (n.d.), life expectancy at birth in years is the average years a newborn is expected to live, assuming that current mortality rates are applied. In the data collected by Szmigiera (2022), the average life expectancy at birth of individuals in more developed countries is 76 years and 82 years for males and females, respectively. For less developed countries, an average of 70 years for males and 74 years for female individuals. For least developed countries, an average of 64 years and 68 years of life expectancy at birth for male and female individuals. Globally, the life expectancy at birth has generally increased over time compared to the previous years (Wamble et al., 2019). An increase in years of life expectancy at birth may be linked to progressive medical treatments and continuous development in technologies that have been proven to generate more significant health outcomes (Roser et al., 2019). As conditions change, new health problems arise. These are affected by different factors like environmental factors, new variants of diseases, and lifestyle choices of individuals. These said factors may pose a threat to the lives of each individual. Proper medical treatments should be accessible to everyone, and their quality should not be compromised just because it is accessible. It is crucial that appropriate quality medical treatments, equipped with emerging technologies, be accessible to everyone, especially to the minority and the low-income earner individuals.
Over the past years, there has been an increasing trend with most countries’ life expectancy at birth. According to Lindsay et al. (2014), the increase may be attributed to safer foods, improvements in managing infectious disease, public health, sanitation, and other social determinants. However, with the recent rise of the pandemic caused by the Coronavirus Disease of 2019, commonly known as COVID-19, life expectancy at birth has significantly been reduced. In the study of Aburto et al. (2021), COVID-19 prompted a rise in the mortality crisis globally and indirectly affected mortality for other conditions that cause death. Poor COVID-19 response and inefficient management choices made by individuals, especially by the government, led to higher death rates that could have been prevented if appropriate medical treatments were accessible to everyone and if the policies set by the government were carefully thought of and were efficient and effective in implementing them. As Deborah Birx, M.D. said, most of the deaths from COVID-19 after the original surge could have been prevented if proper guidelines and effective implementation had been done (Crist, 2021). Moreover, numerous individuals are also skeptical about medical treatments accompanied by technology. It was also reported by the WHO (2019) that 2.6 million individuals in low-income and middle-income countries are harmed because of unsafe medical treatments. It is reported that the use of technology has reduced the probability of making medical errors in terms of prescribing, procedures, treatments, and diagnosis (Ehteshami et al., 2014). It is also important that there is trust in the healthcare provider and the system because how healthcare providers deliver services and personal experiences influence how patients trust the technology in the medical field (Montague & Asan, 2012).
Efficient and effective management is vital in the medical field since the lives of individuals are the ones affected by their decisions. Ensuring that everyone has access to the appropriate and quality healthcare they need is a crucial factor in improving the health and well-being of the individuals. There should be accessible and appropriate medical treatments to everyone both in the urban and rural sectors, especially now that severe COVID-19 cases need specialized treatments and equipment to be appropriately treated. Vaccines should be carefully examined regarding their effectiveness and ensure the quality of these vaccines in order to disseminate them while maintaining the safety of the individuals quickly. While COVID-19 has been a priority in terms of medical treatments, it is also important to ensure that essential healthcare services and medical treatments for the various existing diseases are still accessible. The pandemic seemed to put a halt in our usual daily activities, but that does not mean that health services may be delayed as treatments to other illnesses are as crucial as COVID-19 treatment. Together with its government, each country should improve COVID-19 response while strengthening essential health services for other illnesses as aside from COVID-19, other diseases that cause death are still prevalent. In the report of Whiting (2020), cardiovascular disease has been responsible for 17 million deaths, 9.5 million deaths have been caused by cancer, and respiratory diseases have generated more than three million deaths. Most individuals that died from these illnesses were from low and middle-income countries. As problems arise in the field, it is important to ensure that even though it is challenging to improve COVID-19 response while maintaining other health services, the quality of the services rendered must also be a priority by the government and the healthcare providers. Investment in high-quality equipment and proper training to providers has been proven to ensure the quality of service is needed to lessen medical errors and heighten the efficiency of services delivered (Rutherford-Morrison, 2017). Accessible, high-quality healthcare should be accessible to all, especially in developing countries where most are substandard because they are lower in cost than other hospitals, it is needed to effectively promote good health and well-being to all individuals (Shelly et al., 2020). Projects that help improve health governance should be paid attention to as it promotes transparency, accountability, and building a relationship based on trust between the healthcare providers and the public (Western Governors University [WGU], 2021). Government intervention is also needed in regulating costs, policies, and insurances to ensure that it is accessible to everyone, even to the low-income earners.
Proper medical treatments should be accessible to everyone, and their quality should not be compromised just because it is accessible. Correct medical treatments should be accessible along with the equipment and emerging technologies available to everyone, including the minority and low-income earner individuals. This calls for the government and health authorities to take action in making quality and appropriate medical treatments accessible to everyone. As time goes on, medical treatments and technology developments should be given attention to achieve higher quality and better accessibility to services. All needed medical treatment for various illnesses should be readily accessible to individuals who need them. The quality of services rendered should not be compromised just because it is lower in cost.

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