In Sickness and in Wealth

I did pretty decent on the Health Equity quiz, but I was also pretty surprised by it as well. I ended up getting a 7/10, which wasn’t too bad. I definitely didn’t expect the quiz to be as economical or as political as it was, but I was able to at least make educated guesses for most of the questions. For the questions I did get wrong I was really interested in learning the correct answers. The fact that I was most interested in and that completely took me off guard was about new immigrants being the healthiest of all people in the United States. I had no idea that was true, and I would have definitely though that it would a wealthy U.S. Citizen or something like that.

 

The case study that I chose was “In Sickness and in Wealth”. The study showed the lives of four families living in very different social and economic situations. The video does a pretty good job of showing the vast differences in health in all of the situations. It didn’t surprise me that the family with the highest status had the highest level of health. They were able to eat healthy, fresh foods. They could relax, exercise, and take vacations. All of the reasons help this group achieve the highest life expectancy. As the socioeconomic class went lower, the video showed that their life expectancy would drop as well. These classes might not have the same access to foods and health care that the higher classes might have. Another possible reason is that higher classes are usually spaced out more as far as their living situation. Lower classes might be in apartments or slums that are very close to each other, which would spread disease easier.

 

Politics, economics, environment, culture, biology and choice all have a part in the development, spread and treatment of illness. As I mentioned disease spreads much easier among lower classes that are grouped very close together, and lower economic classes have less access to health care. Politics can affect who gets what level of health care. Culture can determine how common regular health practices are or if it is “normal” to see any kind of medical professional versus a medicine man. And then of course individual choice has a part to play because we are all on some level responsible for what we do with our bodies.

 

1 thought on “In Sickness and in Wealth

  1. From your summary I would identify the health problem as lack of resources (relative to health) for lower income families. A possible solution to this health problem would be a different national health care system. For example in Sweden they have guaranteed health care at the expense of higher taxes. Of course U.S is based on individualism and not community so it will most likely never do this. Also in the health equity quiz it talked about how reforms made a large difference in life expectancy. Programs created to make health resources more accessible would be a good start. For example, Detroit is considered a food dessert (no grocery stores for a large distance), which means the local population doesn’t have access to healthy food. Programs like urban farming are being introduced into some areas of Detroit to combat this. Responsibility should fall into the hands of locals to push for reforms and programs/grants to curb the class health disparities. I would say the government should be responsible but if the government is supposed to represent what the people want (in theory, not practice), then the people should push for it and the government should answer that push. The pro of this solution is that it may potentially make a dent in class health disparities and possibly increase autonomy and sustainability of communities. The con would be that it would cost money and taxes. If lower classes need the most improvement, and the lower classes live in poorer areas where government has less money, then health won’t be a priority to government or the people and ultimately will not happen.

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