US Healthcare System Overview: Rhode Island
Rhode Island is a state that is healthy in many ways, but several citizens are not as healthy as they should be. Health organizations and scientists indicate that the environment we live in affects our health long before we even visit the doctor (Ritchie, 2015). To ensure that there are equal opportunities in health for all citizens of Rhode Island, I as the governor will work through crafting strategies, providing leadership and assessing progress to ensure that vulnerable communities within the state get easier access to quality healthcare.
There are disparities or variations in the quality of health care among various communities in Rhode Island. They prevent the state from achieving maximum functionality, especially in the healthcare sector. There are therefore different areas of society that need focus to ensure an achievement of quality healthcare for all citizens of Rhode Island as stated by the Rhode Island Commission for Health Advocacy and Equity(Rhode Island Commission for Health Advocacy and Equity, 2015). The plan will, therefore, include individuals and organizations like the state government, state agencies, elected officials, healthcare facilities, health care professionals, community-based organizations and the Rhode Island citizens.
There are also many stakeholders who are part of the process. They are individuals and agencies that offer input to the health care system in Rhode Island. They include the patients, the financial community, suppliers, and the special interest groups and in this case the vulnerable communities involved in the project. There are however major stakeholders who include the state government, non-governmental organizations, health care providers, the public health insurance and hospital governing bodies and administrators. All the parties concerned have an essential role to play in the plan. There, therefore, needs to be an initial plan on which everything will have a basis.
Rhode Island Healthcare
The plan spells out every role each stakeholder taking part in the project will play. There are sectors of the health care system where each of them has the expertise and the resources to address them. It will, therefore, require that each of them is assigned areas of the project to work on and therefore the work is evenly distributed. The plan will have strict guidelines for each of the stakeholders to follow and thus help prevent their improper influence. There will also be an opportunity where they would be allowed to give input into the plan in a forum where all of us are present, and if it is helpful to the vulnerable communities, it will be in the reforms.
With Rhode Island being an integrated state with varied ethnic communities and various vulnerable communities with unique needs. There is the issue of financial constraint which will be a barrier for ensuring that the program is successful. It is a project that needs requires the state government to use a lot of financial resources to ensure that the care for the vulnerable communities is improved. Considering that the state has other projects it is working on the improvement of healthcare will also strain the government financially. There will, therefore, need to be a distribution of financial resource for all the projects that will be ongoing including improving the health care system in the state.
The state has a population of ethnic and racial minorities which keeps rising each day. It is evident that approximately twelve percent of the population has disabilities. The average income of Hispanic or Latino, Native-American, African-American and Alaska Native citizens in the state is often lower than that of the nation’s average. The income is also lower than the mean of Asians and whites in the states. It, therefore, means that this will be a barrier to the plan in place. It is so because the reforms under development will need the citizens to cater for the financial implications. It will be a point of constraint on them meaning that it may be one of the reasons that prevent the plan from working out.
Culture and Healthcare
The diverse ethnic communities in the state expect that their cultures are varied. They will, therefore, have various ways of viewing healthcare and what may be helpful for one group may not work for the other. There is the issue of language barrier where about thirteen percent of citizens in Rhode Island are born in foreign countries. Fifty-one of these individuals become United States citizens through naturalization. Twenty-one percent of these people who are five years and older speak another language other than English. 8% of these individuals speak English less than very well (Silow-Carroll et al., 2002). It is, therefore, a clear indication of the language barrier that will be an issue to implementing the planned program.
Various ways will go into dealing with these obstacles. We will work on reforms that are within the budget of the groups we need to help. There is a basic health care plan that they qualify for, and in this case, the program is often available to individuals who may not afford an expensive healthcare plan. Through this, we will ensure that the reforms we come up with do not strain the vulnerable communities financially or in any other way but help them access quality health care. There is also the issue of the reforms presenting a form of financial constraints in the state. It will be with through involving other stakeholders who are willing to fund the changes. The stakeholders may include citizens from the country who are ready to help those who are vulnerable or non-governmental organizations that mainly work in helping these individuals.
There are also cultural considerations that we will need to address. As identified by the vulnerable communities contain people from various ethnic and cultural backgrounds due to the integrated communities in the state (Ferguson, 2016). We will, therefore, ensure that the reforms are in line with the different cultural aspects of these groups. The reforms, though similar and equal, will be tailored to suit the cultural beliefs of these groups. These changes are for making adjustments in the health system that will suit the health needs of the vulnerable individuals in the state.
The changes will only work and be successful through the cooperation of all stakeholders and persons involved in the process. It will be necessary that every individual or organization play their role and work for the success of the reforms. Much of the success will depend on the acceptance of the improvements by the target groups. Therefore the improvements will need to be appealing and helpful to the individuals for them to accept what they will get. Therefore there will be an initial pilot test to identify the capability of these reforms and how they will work out. We will observe areas that will need reforms and those that will be working well before we official apply the changes. Considering that we are basing the changes of the Affordable healthcare act the process may be a bit easier because many of these individuals will access health insurance that is at their financial capability level. We, therefore, estimate that the reform process may take between two to four years.
Ferguson, C. (2016). Barriers To Serving The Vulnerable: Thoughts Of A Former Public Official. Healthaffairs. Retrieved from http://content.healthaffairs.org/content/26/5/1358.full
Ritchie, D. (2015, November).Health in all Policies: A Multilevel Approach in Rhode Island from Legislation to the Development of a Diversified Community Health Workforce. In 143rd APHA Annual Meeting and Expo (Oct. 31-Nov. 4, 2015). APHA.
Rhode Island Commission for Health Advocacy and Equity. (2015). Legislative Report, 1-52.
Silow-Carroll, S., Waldman, E. K., Meyer, J. A., Williams, C., Fox, K., & Cantor, J. C. (2002). Assessing state strategies for health coverage expansion: Case studies of Oregon, Rhode Island, New Jersey, and Georgia. Report to the Commonwealth Fund. Publication, (565).