Providing access to resources for maternal health is one of the foundational requirements that healthcare policies must meet. However, due to the lack of updates and resources, some of the states may have less than satisfactory policies on the subject matter. Due to high poverty rates and the resulting lack of resources, as well as low health literacy rates among its citizens, the access to maternal health resources remains low in Hawaii (Guo & Zan, 2018). In turn., local policies appear to have little effect on the specified issue due to the absence of focus on the need to promote health literacy and take the poverty issue into account.
The lack of appropriate policies that allow better allocation of maternal health resources often leads to detrimental effects for mothers. In a range of cases, fatal outcomes occur among mothers due to the absence of available resources. In turn, the failure to provide appropriate regulatory standards for the allocation of resources for mothers causes mothers to adopt risky behaviors, such as the consumption of substances (Kemet et al., 2018). As a result, immediate changes must be made to the current approach toward access to maternal resources in Hawaii.
At the same time, several aspects of maternal health have recently been updated in Hawaii to an impressive extent. For instance, in 2016, the Hawaii governor signed a policy allowing public and insurance providers to cover abortion-related costs (The.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2020). Therefore, women with health insurance can afford abortion services. However, since not all Hawaii women have health insurance, the specified regulation may imply the absence of access to abortion for a substantial portion of the target population. Therefore, the current policies concerning the access to basic health services for women and, particularly, mothers.
Likewise, recent policies for contraceptive care in Hawaii have offered increased access to birth control for Hawaiian women. Specifically, the current Hawaiian legislation states that “A pharmacist may prescribe and dispense contraceptive supplies to a patient regardless of whether the patient has evidence of a previous prescription for contraceptive supplies from a licensed physician” (The Senate, 2017). Therefore, contraceptives are bound to become more available to a range of women in Hawaii.
To explore the effects of the policies listed above on the quality of maternal care and the well-being of the target population, one may need to look at the current maternal and infant mortality rates in Hawaii. Specifically, the 2020 data indicates that, for 100,000 births, there are 584.9 deaths, which is a very large number (Neal, 2020). Therefore, immediate actions must be taken on a legislative level to reduce the levels of maternal death and create a safer environment for women.
The issue of infant death is also quite troubling in Hawaii. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (2020), the 2017 infant mortality rates were 7.6 deaths per 1,000 births in Hawaii. The specified number is quite high compared to what could be observed across other states at the time (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2020). Therefore, changes in the current policies concerning the allocation of and access to resources for maternal health are needed.
To address the specified concerns, policies that allow increased access to healthcare services for women must be provided. The specified change should embrace not only mothers and pregnant women, but also every female citizen of Hawaii. Thus, the quality of healthcare is expected to improve. A particularly strong emphasis on health literacy among Hawaiian women should be considered so that the target demographic could seek health services and address healthcare practitioners before their health concerns become unmanageable.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020). Pregnancy mortality surveillance system. Web.
Guo, J., & Zan, H. (2018). Policy development and advocacy: The analysis of a paid family leave bill in the Hawaii state legislature. Social Work & Society, 16(1), pp. 1-15.
Kemet, S., Lundsberg, L. S., & Gariepy, A. M. (2018). Race and ethnicity may not be associated with risk of unintended pregnancy. Contraception, 97(4), 313-318. Web.
Neal, C. R. (2020). Hawaii health equity facts. Web.
The Senate. (2017). A bill for an act relating to contraceptive supplies. Web.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2020). Infant Mortality and Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders. Web.