Socio-cultural factor directly influences the attitudes of the population towards health and common behaviors related to health issues. For example, the age of childbirth is directly affected by such components of the socio-cultural factor as religion, education, ethnicity, national traditions, etc. Economic factor also has a huge impact on health care, as it shapes the scope of services provided by health care system, the availability of certain equipment and medications, etc. Legal factor influences the way medical services are delivered as it guides the activity of all employees involved in the health care system. Political factor also shapes the face of health care, as it is considered to be related to the equality in medical services. For example, Zhu and Clark (2015) conducted a study proving that Democratic-controlled state legislatures eliminate the negative effects of racial diversity on inequality in health.
Regulatory agencies directly affect patient care quality by providing efficient control over the delivery of medical services. They are responsible for determining the requirements for ensuring the workplace safety and defining the scope of practice of health care professionals. Regulatory agencies play an essential role in providing regular examinations and necessary improvements in every area of medical practice. However, a too complex system of regulatory authorities appears to cause health care professionals pay more attention to complying with the rules than to doing their main work (Field, 2008).
Health care policy impacts access, equity, affordability, and social justice in health care through guiding the way the medical services are delivered and ensuring the ability of health care to cover all groups of patients who need care. For example, Medicare directly affects all of the mentioned issues, as its functioning influences the ability of different people to use medical services. Such policies can promote the effective use of medical services and discourage their overuse (Garber, 2008).
Field, R. (2008). Why is health care regulation so complex? Pharmacy and Therapeutics, 33(10), 607-608.
Garber, A. (2008). Commentary: The impact of Medicare coverage policies on health care utilization. Health Services Research, 43(4), 1302-1307.
Zhu, L., & Clark, J. H. (2015). “Rights without Access”: The political context of inequality in health care coverage in the U.S. States. State Politics & Policy Quarterly, 15(2), 239-262.