Best Assignment on Social Perspectives on Health and Health policy

Social Perspectives on Health and Health policy

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Introduction

Public health policies are considered as fundamental tools that help in assisting states from protecting people from potential threats that may arise in context to health thereby preventing diseases and opting to achieve a healthy population. Government takes the initiative of spreading awareness about health by encouraging people to lead a life that consists of healthy behaviour, proper consumption of food and living around in a healthy area so as to prevent diseases. Public health efforts done by the Government include educating people about healthier choices in food, for promotion of physical activity and  fitness and making sure that people consume safe food and water in communities. In many areas where there is absence of healthy water, the Government aims at treating water with fluoride so as to promote oral and dental health. They also spread awareness about smoke free environments and discourage using tobacco for preventing deadly diseases like cancer

Identifying a current public health policy and give a rationale as to why this policy has been selected and indicate how it related to social determinants of health

The National Health System in UK has come up with The Health Act, 2009 and it is considered as one of the major healthcare policies which have been developed in UK. The Health Act 2009 has been selected because it provides a detailed description about healthcare to be followed by citizens in order to have a healthy life.  This act includes detailed description of the range of policies covered in it (Carnell et al. 2019). Part 1 of this act provides help in establishing a framework which is necessary for the NHS constitution. Part 2 of this act confers power to the Government in relation to various health bodies so that they can have a review of the NHS performance regime. Part 3 of this policy contains restrictions relating to advertising and display of tobacco products and refrain from the sale of such products. Social consideration of health include factors such as the conditions in which people are born, grow, work ,live and age that influence health outcomes of people. Part 3 of this act is related to social determinants of health because it emphasizes on the wellbeing of people and aims at creating a better smoke as well as tobacco free environment for people.

Critically examine how the policy problem has been constructed and consider the social perspectives influencing the policy

The Health Act which was established in 2009 has placed a juridical authority upon all the providers and administrators of NHS care in view of the NHS constitution for all the decisions and sanctions undertaken. This means that the NHS Constitution should be at par with its pledges, principles, values and responsibilities .Their duties also extend to monitoring the policies and creating a new Care Quality Commission who would be overlooking the policies.  The secretary of the state is responsible for reviewing the NHS constitution every ten years and revising the handbook every three years and making the necessary changes. Social perspectives can either make it harder or easier for people for accepting health policies (Freathy et al. 2019). When The Health Act, 2009 was framed it took into consideration the risk factors and resources that affects the health care regime of people. They took into consideration the work environment, sanitization system, geographical location as well as the exposure of people to physical activities while framing the policy. People belonging from low income group areas are more prone to consumption of products such as tobacco and therefore the third part of the act emphasizes on strategies to prevent it.

Using an appropriate policy analysis framework, provide a critical analysis of the policy

The various stages of policy analysis are discussed below:

Agenda setting

This stage caters to a process through which a policy and its problem is recognized and the extent to which the public would benefit from it is discussed. The Health Act 2009 is divided into three parts. Part 1 of the policy focuses entirely on establishing a framework for NHS constitution and healthcare facilities which should be made available to the public and how the public would be benefited from it.. Part 2 focuses on government review of the NHS regime to understand if they are doing theory work properly and if necessary bring about a change in authority (Nicholls and Teasdale, 2017). The third party is concerned about the wellbeing of the public by putting up restrictions on advertisements related to tobacco as well as prevents other miscellaneous provisions that might cause harm to the general public.

Policy Formulation

In this stage, public administration examines various policy options that might be considered to be put in The Health Act, 2009 and the possible outcomes it will have on the general public. For example: They can improvise a change in the framework of NHS constitution

Adoption and implementation

Adoption refers to the stage where decisions are made at Government level like the policies related to promote well being of the people. Implementation of the policy refers to the parameters which are established and can directly impact the general public like part 3 of The Health Act, 2009 which have policies catering to improve physical and mental health of people.

Propose alternatives to how the problem is being addressed, discussing the alternative views

 Establishing better medical healthcare centres

For the general public to benefit more from The Health Act, 2009 is essential that they think of setting up better healthcare centres at various parts of the country so that it becomes easily accessible for the general public. Modern equipment should be set up at these health centres so that people do not have to suffer in case they are facing issues related to health. This would also help in declining mortality rates.

Regular visits by Government to rural areas

Government should more frequently visit rural areas in order to know the condition of people there and bring about chances in the healthcare policy that would benefit the general public (Gilbert et al. 2018). Regular visits would also ensure that people are entitled to have better sanitation facilities, treated drinking water as well as supply of healthy foods that would help in improving their health.

Discuss the strategies to be employed from findings of the policy analysis in order to influence policy makers

Employing more medical practitioners in healthcare centres and giving free medical checkups in rural areas

With an increase in the number of healthcare centres it is essential for the Government to recruit more medical practitioners at various healthcare centres. This would enable better handling of patients and ensure that every patient is entitled to high quality treatment and medicines that would help them in better coping up with their diseases and get better (Helfaya and Moussa, 2017). Free medical checkups campaigns can be set up in rural areas at regular intervals to keep an eye on people’s health care regime. Free medicines can be given to them along with spreading awareness about healthcare and hygiene and the way it impacts physical and mental health.

Setting up campaigns to prevent intake of tobacco and importance of physical exercises

Campaigns can be set up in rural and urban areas where emphasis should be given upon the harmful impacts of having tobacco and the extent to which people might suffer if they consume it regularly. Anti tobacco campaigns should be there to help people get rid of the habit of consuming tobacco and emphasis should be given on the importance of physical activities that would help people remain fit and healthy.

Importance of public health policy

Public health policies are essential for promoting the wellbeing of people and incorporating ways in which it can be improved so that people are benefited from in the long run. Health policy is essential because it promotes the wellbeing of a state or a country in general. It focuses on methods such as providing a healthy environment to people, incorporating better sanitation facilities, setting up campaigns to spread awareness about smoking and consumption of tobacco to ensure people are well aware about their well being (Rutter et al. 2017). They also spread awareness relating to the importance of physical exercises in day to day life and its long term impact on health and wellbeing of people.

Impact of public health policy and legislation on health and wellbeing at individual, local, national and global levels

Public health policy and legislation have a great impact on the wellbeing of people at individual, local, national and global level. In UK, the Federal along with the State Government share equal responsibility for securing the health of people. The state has a great role to play in case of public healthcare policy by making people aware on a local level about the importance of healthy habits and improvise ways to implement it. They can come up with campaigns and advertisements that would help people better understand the importance of public health policy. The federal Government on the other hand has resources, expertise and are obliged to do a thorough examination regarding the health of the nation and come up with strategies and make recommendations for improvement regarding the policy. The role of the government in fulfilling public health policy and legislation that would have an impact on individual, local, national and global levels can be described interims of three core functions. The functions are:

  • Assessment of health status and health needs which means that examination should be done on individuals and communities to better understand their health status and health needs
  • Policy development taking into consideration health statuses of people and the impact it would have on people
  • Assurance that necessary services will be provided to people so that their overall health status can be improved

Strategic context of policy development

Strategic context of policy development refers to the planning that is done for developing, drafting and preparing a policy before it is enacted. It refers to a specific plan that is made for achieving the objectives mentioned within the framework of the policy according to a set of rules set by Government in order to make a rational decision. The various steps that need to be followed in regard to strategic context of policy development are listed below:

Developing a community vision

Integrating and choking out policies and objectives that would be best suited for different communities. This involves working with communities from grassroots level in order to understand what is important for them and formulate ways to develop policies and recommendations that would be best suited for every community.

Setting up priorities

Working with communities from grassroots level and brainstorming a list of potential priorities that need to be worked upon in order to frame policies is essential (Thomson et al. 2017).  Addressing each priority from scratch would not only enable for better results but also help in implementing strategies that would suit each community.

Setting of visions, objectives and indicators

Once vision and priorities are set up, it would become much easier for setting up visions, objectives and indicators for each area. It is essential to start with long term vision and priorities as this will help in better implementation of policies. Objectives can be made more specific so that policies framed would become easier to apply and increase the rate of success of the policy.

Understanding political environment of an organization and how it affects its policies and strategies 

Political environment of an organization refers to the policies and measures taken by the Government for promoting its well being that determines the rate or success or failure that a business might encounter. Political environment plays an important role in organizations as it helps in determining its success or failure rate. Promoting a particular kind of business can result in increased revenues for the Government but can lead to losses of other industries. Government takes into consideration all these risks and effects while framing up policies that would impact the overall economy. The political environment of an organization has a huge impact on the amount of tax that is leveraged on them which in turn is leveraged on their customers thereby hampering their policy of ensuring quality products to their customers at a lower price (Lau et al. 2017). Employment Laws of an organization is also influenced by its political environment. For instance if the political scenario of a country has labour laws where  organizations are not allowed to make them work overtime for more than 4 hours a week, employment laws of the organization would be framed according to that. An organization would be forced to change its policies and strategies if the Government brings about a change in regulations catering to business.

Major Government policies related to health and well being, inequalities and their connection 

Putting patient first

In UK, the Government follows a policy where they prioritize patients which mean that they put forward the needs of patients rather than focusing on the benefits that would be incurred to them from patients. This ensures that every patient is attended and given priority by medical professionals who are responsible for looking after them.

NHS outcomes framework

It consists of a set of indicators which are developed by the Department Of Health And Social Care for monitoring the outcomes in accordance to health parameters of adults and children in UK (Jetten et al. 2017). The framework helps in providing an overview of the way NHS is performing its duties and comes up with strategies for betterment.

All these policies are related to each other in a way that they focus on the well being of people and constantly improve themselves in order to promote better services

NHS National service frameworks and strategies

They help in setting up clear quality requirements which are necessary for extending care facilities for setting up measurable goals that can be achieved within a stipulated time period.

Understanding social, cultural, emotional and psychological factors leading to perceptions of well being, health and illness

Social factors:

Childhood experiences constitute a major factor that helps in building up social perceptions in accordance to well being, health and illness. Adverse childhood experiences lead to increased rates of poor health in adult life and can even lead to mental disorders catering to domestic violence, abuse, depression. Factors leading to adverse experiences in adolescence can also hamper social health in adults. Social support is essential for enabling individuals to manage stressful life and mitigate adverse experiences.

Emotional and psychological factors:

Illness arising from emotional and psychological factors refers to stress that arises from workload leading to severe health problems like anxiety and depression. Stress can also impact physical health like the creation of fatigue within the body, gaining or losing weight (McColl-Kennedy et al. 2017). Psychological factors can also impact health behaviours like probing people to drink more alcohol and indulge in chain smoking.

Cultural factors:

Cultural background relates to the way a person has been born and brought up and religious values incorporated within them.  Perceptions about health and illness are related to material and social circumstances where people belong from or find themselves. These can act as a barrier leading to unhealthy lifestyle thus preventing people from adopting healthier ways to lead their life.

Political knowledge for improving health and wellbeing in given range of interests

Wellbeing is related to factors affecting the mental and physical health of people and the measures to be taken for improving health conditions. Government plays a vital role in improving health and wellbeing of people by improving their quality of life (Schneider and Harknett, 2019). Government can come up with well being analysis for improving the quality of evidence on which policies are based and develop a national strategy that would ensure the well being of every individual. Prioritizing well being can help in improving the effectiveness related to public spending and encourage changes in policy making processes at local and national levels.

 

Theoretical perspectives and methods of enquiry of science concerned with human behaviour

Disciplines concerned with human behaviour include psychology, anthropology, history and sociology. Although they differ from each other in terms of their perspectives and methodologies, they overlap each other in a way that each of these functions complement each other and help in better understanding of human behaviour (Walther et al. 2017). Application of theories and researches on their part can help in better explaining behaviour of individuals, groups within populations as well as healthcare organizations. Detailed research on these theories can help in better understanding different concepts catering to health, well being and illness and its evolvement through societal and cultural changes.

Illness as a social role 

Illness as a social role is based on the behaviour of patients, doctors and caregivers and is related to communal approaches which cater to sickness. Social roles catering to illness refer to the doctor patient relationship which can be classified into two types: doctor centred care and patient centred care.  In case of doctor centred care, doctors act as the major authority and they communicate with patients in a direct accurate style (Schwartz et al. 2018). Here the doctor is seen as a major caregiver while patients act as a major caretaker as the doctor makes necessary decisions about patients. In case of patient centred care, the doctor patient communication takes place in an open forum where patients patiently listen to doctors and raise doubts as and where they arise. Here patients are reassured to be actively involved in self care and have access to notes and correspondences given by doctors.

Concepts of primary and secondary deviance; stigma and ways to tackle it

Primary deviance consists of acts which possess any causes before they are characterized to the public and consist of negligible connotation in regard to status and psychological structure of the concerned person. In cases related to sickness, primary deviance represents only the illness experience (Bisel et al. 2020). Secondary deviance is much more significant as it helps in altering a person’s self interest and their communal roles in the society. Secondary deviance constitutes a direct response that helps a person in changing their behaviour in accordance with various labels. It can be better explained through the process of diagnosis where doctors engage in a process to classify whether a person is ill or healthy. Stigma often takes place as a consequence of characterizing which can result in an individual being treated differently or even lead to their execution from society. In order to prevent stigma following measures can be taken:

  • Legislation can be done to outlaw certain indications like abusive behaviour
  • Making people educated and raising awareness about illness
  • Giving language acknowledgement related to labelling
  • Refraining from public acknowledgement of problems
  • Giving essentials treatment as and when necessary

Imparity, disability and handicapped

Impairment refers to a problem that caters to a structure or organ related to the body. Imparity of a person can be temporary and it can be cured with regular treatment. For instance if a person is unable to move his hand or carry weights resulting from any problem, it can be considered as imparity. Disability refers to a functional limitation of a person  in regard to a particular activity. For instance if a person is incapable of moving his hands, it would be considered as a disability (Boardman and Hale, 2018). Handicapped refers to a disadvantage that prevents a person from doing an activity in day to day activities. For instance a person has lost his right hand in an accident and that prevents him from performing certain jobs that could be done by right hand only.

Social and structural iatrogenesis

Structural iatrogenesis refers to the adverse consequences which are associated with medical interference like adverse drug reactions resulting from consumption of medicines which did not suit that person and infections that have been acquired from hospitals like fever, flu, cough and cold (Schout and de Jong, 2018). Social iatrogenesis refers to the way in which medicine is seen to ruin people’s ability for managing their own health and cope with pain caused, suffering arising due to illness and non acceptance of death as the ultimate reality of life.

Role of medicine in society

Medicine as a social role is responsible for promotion of health and preventing ill health arising from unhealthy practices. The major role of medicines is to cure, heal and provide comfort to people. With the increasing demand and needs for medical care among people, medicine has become an essential part in everyday life of people. The history of medicine to be socially important emerged in the 19th century and is integral for understanding what doctors should be doing with patients suffering from illness (Fan et al. 2017). Common principles which have emerged in relation to the role of medicine in society can be divided into three parts such as social and economic conditions which impact the health of people, emergence of diseases and practice of medicines in order to prevent it and health of population which is impacted by healthy practices followed by them and maintenance of standard of safety and hygiene.

Experiences of illness: differences of gender, ethnicity, employment status, age and social stratification

Gender differences result in a number of injustices and unfairness in case of health status. Inequalities can be related to diseases that affect men and women separately because of the presence of emotional and biological factors affecting their body. Inequalities arise from differences arising from emotional, behavioural and civil temperament that result in men and women behaving and being treated differently in society. Ethnicity refers to the genetic conditions that become more prevalent among certain ethnic groups of people due to their genetic factor (Assari et al. 2017). Age is an important factor for experiencing illness as younger people are less prone to being ill while older people are more prone to getting ill frequently. Employment status has a huge impact on illness as the work environment of a person is directly related to their physical and mental well being depending upon their workload. Social stratification refers to the wealth of a community. If a community is poor, people there are more prone to being ill regularly due to unhealthy environment conditions. If a community is rich, people are less prone to being ill because they have a healthy environment to reside.

Role of social, cultural, psychological and family relationship factors in the etiology of illness and disease

Adverse childhood experiences lead to increased rates of poor health in adult life and can even lead to mental disorders catering to domestic violence, abuse, depression. Factors leading to adverse experiences in adolescence can also hamper social health in adults. Illness arising from emotional and psychological factors refers to stress that arises from workload leading to severe health problems like anxiety and depression. Psychological factors can also impact health behaviours like probing people to drink more alcohol and indulge in chain smoking. Perceptions about health and illness are related to material and social circumstances where people belong from or find themselves (Popkirov et al. 2019). These can act as a barrier leading to unhealthy lifestyle thus preventing people from adopting healthier ways to lead their life.  Support provided by family members help in impacting the health of individuals to combat illness that might arise from social isolation or depression and anxiety.

Social capital and social epidemiology

Social capital refers to the value attributed in the context of a social network. Social capital is a function catering to social integration and it is appreciated with the help of bonding within other social networks and promoting unity between networks and operating at micro, meso and macro level (Moore and Kawachi, 2017).  Micro and meso level refer to interactions that take place between individuals and between their immediate family members or community members. On the other hand macro interactions refer to the level of interactions which take place on a national platform like political and cultural institutions. Social epidemiology refers to the study of socio cultural effects catering to health. This policy is based on assumptions that distribution of advantages and disadvantages in a society helps in reflecting the distribution of health and diseases among people.

Conclusion

Public health policies are essential for promoting mental and physical health and promote the well being of people. UK government has already come up with policies that would help them   in better combating illness and mental depression arising in the minds of their people. Their main aim is educating people about healthier choices in food, promoting physical activity and fitness, ensuring that people consume safe food and water in communities. They have already put in a lot of effort and would even continue to put more effort in order to eradicate the problem from grassroots level.

References

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