Public Health Policy Emergency Preparedness and Response

Introduction

Promotion of quality healthcare is important in the development of a country’s economy. This would be done by providing citizens with modern healthcare facilities and equipment that are characterized by utilization of modern technology (Teltelbaum & Wilensky, 2013). Public health is concerned with issues that affect the nation’s population. It aims at assisting people to live healthy lives and protecting them from the dangers of their health. It is important for governments to educate their citizens for them to make informed choices with regard to healthcare issues (Teltelbaum & Wilensky, 2013).

This would help them to minimize the risks and effects of illness. Public health policy refers to the process of making decisions, planning, and taking actions in order to achieve healthcare objectives (O’Sullivan, Kuziemsky, Toal-Sullivan & Corneil, 2013). Teltelbaum and Wilensky (2013) argue that a good healthcare sector is crucial in achieving different objectives. Therefore, it is important for various authorities to introduce reforms in the healthcare sector that would promote good health for its citizens. This paper focuses on discussing emergency preparedness and response as a major public issue.

Emergency preparedness and response

Preparing before an emergency would be significant in ensuring that the required tools are available and responding in case there would be emergencies (O’Sullivan et al., 2013). It is important to provide information to various stakeholders with regard to emergency preparedness and response. As a major public health issue, it would be vital to understand what it entails, and how to respond when it occurs (Goodchild & Glennon, 2010).

It refers to the readiness of stakeholders to respond helpfully to reduce negative effects of the issue for the purposes of promoting healthcare of individuals, and ensuring that its structures and systems are effective and efficient (O’Sullivan et al., 2013). It is advisable for the organs of a state to coordinate to prepare for the uncertainties, with each playing different roles (Goodchild & Glennon, 2010). Governments should allocate enough money to cater for emergencies and enough medical practitioners and drugs to meet the needs of those that would be affected.

My choice was driven by the fact that timeline could be short. Since the issue was not new to me, I could research on it within the shortest time possible. In fact, I decided to invest in the issue for the reason that if the matter would be addressed, then it would help to reduce mortality rates. The issue has negatively affected many people. For example, it is estimated that between 1980 and 2010 about 17,557, 645 American people were affected by natural disasters (Goodchild & Glennon, 2010). From the figure, it is correct to say that the global human population is at risk of suffering from the impacts of uncertainties and disasters. Therefore, it is imperative to address the issue in order to curb the increasing cases.

Outline of policy analysis

Policy analysis consists of the following components:

  1. Statement of the problem
  2. Background information about the problem
  3. Landscape
  4. Options to solve the problem

Analysis of emergency preparedness and response

Statement of the problem

Good healthcare is essential to a country’s population and economy. According to Teltelbaum and Wilensky (2013), good healthcare is not only a right of every citizen, but also a necessity. It is evident that the quality of healthcare services has declined. This has been attributed to the introduction of free healthcare services in many countries. As a result, many people lose their lives due to poor preparations with regard to emergencies (Teltelbaum & Wilensky, 2013).

In addition, it has become a challenge to respond due to lack of the necessary equipment that are important in acting during crises. The number of people that lose lives due to disaster unpreparedness increases every year. For example, in 2009, 98,123,345 people died due to natural disasters, and in 2010, the number increased to 1,678,987 (Goodchild & Glennon, 2010). The increase has been attributed to poor planning in the department of emergency preparedness and response. This fact has been supported by Rubin (2012) who argues that the effectiveness of response to emergencies depends on planning and training, which is the responsibility of various stakeholders.

Rubin (2012) continues to suggest that planning should be reviewed to incorporate all aspects with regard to quality healthcare. Moreover, particular groups of people have been affected, especially those that live in local areas. Thus, Rubin (2012) contends that response plans should be developed to incorporate local areas that could be affected, and should be comprehensive to handle different emergencies issues. Therefore, in the view of this wanting situation, there is need to come up with methods of preparing and responding to every emergency cases.

Background information about the problem

According to Goodchild and Glennon (2010), one of the major factors in the development of every state is good healthcare. A healthy population participates in various industries that work together to improve development in a country. The public health sector is composed of different networks that consist of people and companies that coordinate to benefit the public with regard to healthcare. For example, health agencies, such as locals, states, and federal agencies, communities, and businesses. Information that is given by healthcare providers plays a crucial role in planning for emergencies. This is for the reason that it is used for analysis that is vital in detecting crises.

The Healthcare providers play vital roles in public health’s detection and prevention of diseases (Parente & McCullough, 2009). For proper planning and responding, it is important to offer training to medical practitioners for them to prepare adequately for emergencies. States that have defined the roles of their health centers have managed to minimize deaths that are caused by unpreparedness (Parente & McCullough, 2009). However, many nations have poor healthcare systems. This is so, particularly in the department of emergency preparedness and response, which is characterized by inadequate professionals, equipment, and poorly trained healthcare practitioners (Parente & McCullough, 2009). Every state needs to prepare well because this will reduce mortality rates.

Landscape

The following stakeholders are significant in relation to the public health issue: government’s locals, states, and federal agencies, healthcare service providers, public safety agencies, emergency directors, the media, healthcare delivery systems, and businesses. Based on the interests of the stakeholders, it is crucial to note that they play significant roles in public health, with regard to handling emergency cases. For example, healthcare practitioners provide relevant information, which is important in the detection and prevention of emergencies (Goodchild & Glennon, 2010).

Options to solve the problem

The following options could be used to solve the problem:

  1. People should be educated on how to prevent and respond to emergencies
  2. The government should allocate more funds to cater for emergencies in public healthcare sector.
  3. More laws should be adopted to govern emergencies in the healthcare sector
  4. Emergency management preparedness should be developed using an interdisciplinary approach with collaboration of all stakeholders.
  5. Modern technology should be utilized to assist in responding to emergency cases.

Recommendations

The allocation of sufficient funds from the government would greatly prevent the negative impacts of emergencies and disasters. Some monies could be utilized in training medical practitioners for them to respond quickly to emergency events. Enough funding will be essential to educate every citizen to offer first aid services. As a result, death cases that are related to unpreparedness would reduce. Remuneration of medical practitioners using the funds that would be allocated by the government would motivate them to respond appropriately to emergency cases. It is vital to underscore that social change implications in the future would result from continued education, which would focus on behavioral change with regard to preparedness and responses. Thus, the biggest percentage of the money should focus on training of medical practitioners and educating the public.

Conclusion

Having looked at the emergency preparedness and response, it is evident that they are key to quality healthcare in a country. Every citizen has a role to play in preparing and responding to emergency cases. Various stakeholders are expected to collaborate to manage different issues that result from poor planning and response. It would be vital for the stakeholders to utilize a multidisciplinary approach in curbing the rising deaths related to emergency cases. Reforms should be introduced to develop efficient and effective mechanisms that would be important in preparing for emergency events. Therefore, there is need to address the issue urgently.

References

Goodchild, M. F., & Glennon, J. A. (2010). Crowdsourcing geographic information for disaster response: a research frontier. International Journal of Digital Earth, 3(3), 231-241.

O’Sullivan, T. L., Kuziemsky, C. E., Toal-Sullivan, D., & Corneil, W. (2013). Unraveling the complexities of disaster management: A framework for critical social infrastructure to promote population health and resilience. Social Science & Medicine, 93(4), 238-246.

Rubin, C. B. (Ed.). (2012). Emergency Management: The American Experience 1900-2010. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.

Parente, S. T., & McCullough, J. S. (2009). Health information technology and patient safety: evidence from panel data. Health Affairs, 28(2), 357-360.

Teltelbaum, J., B., Wilensky, S. E. (2013). Essentials of health policy &law (2nd ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlestts learning.