Free «Colombia Is a High Mortality Rate Country» Essay Paper

Colombia Is a High Mortality Rate Country

Introduction

Colombian medicine is frequently referred to as a technological medicine. New technologies both in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases are born today at the junction of medicine and other sciences as chemistry, cybernetics, comprise physics, biology, and computer science. The effective functioning of the Colombian healthcare system in accordance with the concept of the development of the healthcare system of Colombia until 2020 is determined by the main system-forming factor. As a rule, they include the development of infrastructure and resource provision of healthcare comprising the financial, material, and technological equipment of medical and preventive institutions on the basis of innovative approaches. In turn, technological equipment of medical activities is directly related to achievements in the field of biomedical sciences, which stimulate the decrease of the mortality rates in Colombia. The level of medical science development determines the prospects for improving the entire health care system and mortality rates in Colombia. At the moment, the state of medical science in Colombia is characterized by blurring of priorities, low innovation potential, poor communication with state customers, a weak system for introducing scientific results into practice. The development of modern scientific research in the field of medicine is possible only on the condition of an integrated approach based on the involvement of the development of fundamental medical-biological, natural and exact sciences, as well as new technological solutions. Therefore, mortality rate in Colombia becomes lower under the impact of the political, economic, social, and technological aspects as the government of Colombia makes numerous attempts to reduce the mortality rate in the country.

The Impact of the Country’s Healthcare System, Education, Economy, and Political Factors on the Healthcare and Policy Decisions

The government of Colombia has long been working on the measures to stimulate medical tourism in the country, investing heavily in improving the medical infrastructure and helping leading hospitals receive international accreditation. The most prevalent medical destinations in Colombia are plastic surgery, infertility treatment, stem cell therapy, cardiology, stomatology, neurology, organ transplantation, and treatment of dependence (Navarrete-Aldana, Cooper, & Holle, 2014). However, from the political point of view, any treatment in Colombia can be obtained for a sum that is 1.5-3 lower than in the United States of America, Canada, and the United Kingdom (Cardona-Ospina, Henao-SanMartin, Paniz-Mondolfi, & Rodríguez-Morales, 2015). In terms of quality, treatment in this country is in no way inferior to most other popular medical approaches, for example in Brazil or Mexico.

From the point of view of the healthcare system and economy, it is not recommended to look for a hospital that is cheaper in the Colombian province because there may be problems with infrastructure, modern equipment, hospital standards, and good specialists. All the potential of technical and human resources in local medicine can be viewed to be concentrated in several of the largest cities in Colombia (Navarrete-Aldana, Cooper, & Holle, 2014). Colombia is one of the most visited countries in South America, especially after the end of internal conflicts that previously deterred tourists from this stunning country. The non-residents of Colombia, that are patients from the USA, Canada, Europe, and Latin America, come here to enjoy exotic landscapes and get acquainted with the rich history and culture participating in famous festivals (Cardona-Ospina, Henao-SanMartin, Paniz-Mondolfi, & Rodríguez-Morales, 2015). According to the study by Cardona-Ospina, Henao-SanMartin, Paniz-Mondolfi, and Rodríguez-Morales, (2014), Colombia has one of the most advanced medical infrastructures in Latin America. There are more than 50 providers of medical services in the country, and a number of large hospitals have the so-called Joint Commission International (which is usually abbreviated to as JCI) certificates.

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There are many advantages of medical approach in Colombia. The first is the strategic location (for the non-residents of Colombia, it is a convenient flight from the USA, Canada, and the countries of the European Union) (Cardona-Ospina, Henao-SanMartin, Paniz-Mondolfi, & Rodríguez-Morales, 2015). Secondly, the availability of qualified doctors includes those with diplomas from Western universities (Cardona-Ospina, Henao-SanMartin, Paniz-Mondolfi, & Rodríguez-Morales, 2015). Excellent accommodation conditions and developed infrastructure in large cities are important as well (Cardona-Ospina, Henao-SanMartin, Paniz-Mondolfi, & Rodríguez-Morales, 2015). The tropical climate is perfect for the recovery after some diseases. Moderate pricing policy allows saving a lot in comparison with Western clinics.

The Organizational, Political Processes, and/or Grassroot Legislative Efforts to Influence Healthcare Policy and Advocate for Diverse Populations at Local, State, National, and Global Levels

The steps taken by the Colombian government in the field of the healthcare system are based on the appropriate organizational, political, and legislative basis. The regulations developed by the government of Colombia resulted in the plentiful benefits for the miscellaneous populations at local, state, national, and global levels (Navarrete-Aldana, Cooper, & Holle, 2014). Thus, firstly, there is an acceptable cost of treatment. The government provides the partial coverage of the insurance for the patients. In Colombia, in large hospitals with worldwide recognition, you can get quality treatment, which sometimes will cost only 30-50% of the cost of the same procedures in the US or Canada (Cardona-Ospina, Henao-SanMartin, Paniz-Mondolfi, & Rodríguez-Morales, 2015). In this case, it is worth considering the low-cost accommodation, food, and entertainment on the territory of Colombia. It means that the patients may be provided with the things necessary for living which would not cost much.

 
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Secondly, there is a high-quality specialized treatment standard in the healthcare system of Colombia. This standard was established mainly due to the numerous organizational processes which took place in the government as it released the regulations of the standards in the Colombian healthcare. Colombia has established itself as a provider of quality medical services in the field of dentistry, cardiology, cosmetic and plastic surgery, ophthalmology, gynecology, transplantology, otorhinolaryngology, and infertility treatment. Herein, the national and global levels presuppose that the Colombian specialists underwent American training. In Colombia, there is not yet a very strong system of medical education (Navarrete-Aldana, Cooper, & Holle, 2014). Most health professionals who are engaged in medical tourism have completed their studies in Western countries such as the US and the UK. Therefore, local doctors have no problems with English; they are well acquainted with modern medicine and international standards of treatment and able to work with new equipment.

In addition, in Colombia, there are the hospitals with international accreditation. The Colombian government is working hard to create the optimal climate for medical tourism in the country. In particular, it assists local hospitals in obtaining international accreditation. Today, 12 medical institutions of Colombia have accreditation of JCI; among them, there are such well-known names as Fundacion Santa Fe de Bogota, Fundacion Cardiovascular de Colombia, and Fundacion Cardioinfantil (Cardona-Ospina, Henao-SanMartin, Paniz-Mondolfi, & Rodríguez-Morales, 2015). People visiting Colombia can note the minimum waiting time for routine treatment. On the contrary, in some overloaded clinics in Asia or the Middle East, one has to sign up a few weeks before the procedure (Navarrete-Aldana, Cooper, & Holle, 2014). Then, as a rule, one can agree on treatment for the next few days and then spend the rest of the vacation on the beautiful ocean beaches to recover.

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Colombia has all the necessary conditions for the foreign patients which require the comfortable infrastructure. Although in the Colombian province medicine can not boast of something outstanding, large cities have everything necessary for medical tourists. Medical facilities here are equipped with the latest technology, which allows for complex laparoscopic operations, organ transplants, cardiac catheterization, plastic surgery, etc. Some hospitals provide apartments corresponding to the level of a 5-star hotel.

Healthcare, hospitals, and doctors in Colombia play an important role. Colombia is one of the fastest growing economies in South America, and it was recently included in the list of the main areas of medical tourism. Against the backdrop of economic problems in developed countries, people often choose quality treatment in countries such as Colombia. On the level of development of the health care system, Colombia ranks 22nd in the world (del Rosario Aldana, & Navarrete, 2015). The medical reform launched in the 1990s led to a significant improvement in the quality of medicine in the country; nowadays, more than 95% of the country’s population has access to medical care (Cardona-Ospina, Henao-SanMartin, Paniz-Mondolfi, & Rodríguez-Morales, 2015). The Colombian healthcare system consists of the private and public sectors both of which play an important role in the development of medical tourism in the country. Among the best hospitals in Colombia where foreign patients are treated, there are both private and public institutions.

At the national and global levels, there are 16 of the 40 best hospitals and clinics in Latin America are located in Colombia. One of the best medical institutions in the country – Fundacion Santa Fe de Bogota – has JCI accreditation and many national and international awards (Cardona-Ospina, Henao-SanMartin, Paniz-Mondolfi, & Rodríguez-Morales, 2015). Cardiology, oncology, and organ transplantation are the main directions of the hospital’s work. Santa Fe Hospital has recently concluded a research partnership with the Johns Hopkins Hospital (USA) (Cardona-Ospina, Henao-SanMartin, Paniz-Mondolfi, & Rodríguez-Morales, 2015). In addition, Colombia is developing its own research base participating in international research. Priority areas of Colombian medical science are pacemakers, minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery, transplantology, and others.

The Impact of Cultural, Societal, Legal, Environmental, and/or Nutritional Factors Contributing to Health Disparities

The important factors affecting the health of the population and its mortality rate, in addition to the age factor, include the level of well-being and living conditions of people. In many countries of the world, the structure of the population by income level is very contrasting. The ruling classes constituting a very small part of the population (often less than 5%) own the bulk of national wealth and have a high standard of living (Cardona-Ospina, Henao-SanMartin, Paniz-Mondolfi, & Rodríguez-Morales, 2015).

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An important criterion for the standard of living of people and the state of their health and working capacity is a full-fledged diet. First of all, it implies diversity: about 18% of the diet should be proteins (at least a third of them are animal proteins), 42% should comprise fats, and 56% should be carbohydrates. Nevertheless, according to the UN, only 1/3 of humanity is provided with enough calories (2,400 kcal per day per person) and high-quality food (Cardona-Ospina, Henao-SanMartin, Paniz-Mondolfi, & Rodríguez-Morales, 2015). In many economically underdeveloped countries, food shortages are chronic, and the food crisis is catastrophically aggravated during periods of drought and other natural disasters. Using the data of the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of the Colombian population, the researchers found that in Colombia, the problem of nutrition based on the norms of total calorie content was almost solved (del Rosario Aldana, & Navarrete, 2015). This was achieved to a large extent by consuming carbohydrates (bread, potatoes, and sugar), per capita consumption of meat and other livestock products, while fruits and vegetables remained below the optimal rate. Alcoholism causes a great damage to the health of a significant number of people, which dramatically increases the risk of death from coronary heart disease, liver cirrhosis, many other diseases, as well as in accidents (del Rosario Aldana, & Navarrete, 2015). The average life expectancy of alcoholics is 10-15 years less than of an average person. All this explains the great attention that must be given to the struggle to eradicate alcoholism and drunkenness in the countries of the world community. In any case, the health disparities are regulated by the governmental acts, and it means that they are given the necessary and timely help.

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When it comes to the environmental aspects of Colombian healthcare, it is possible to mention the geographic location of the country and its climate. Secondly, the strategic location of the country is paramount. Herein, the political basis is important. Colombia is located in the north-western part of South America, just a couple of hours of flight from the United States (Cardona-Ospina, Henao-SanMartin, Paniz-Mondolfi, & Rodríguez-Morales, 2015). Large cities of the country that may be interested in medical tourists have international airports that accept regular flights from Europe and North America. Furthermore, the favorable climate of the country stimulates the development of its medicine and, in addition, determines the decrease in the mortality rates. Colombia is an equatorial country where warm, sunny weather prevails throughout the year, with an average monthly temperature of around 30° C in the lowlands (in the mountains it is much cooler) (Cardona-Ospina, Henao-SanMartin, Paniz-Mondolfi, & Rodríguez-Morales, 2015). The diversity of climatic conditions in the four natural zones of Colombia is suitable for rest and recovery after suffering illnesses or undergoing surgeries. This factor positively contributes to the health disparities in the country which are not numerous, though. The country’s local population does not have any difficulties in accessing the healthcare and medical services. The country provides all the necessary conditions for the patients (both local and foreigners) to obtain the medical services in an accessible way.

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How Can Science and Technology Impact Colombia’s Healthcare Trends?

One of the priority areas of new technologies application in Colombia in health care is information and communication. Currently, in many countries of the European Union there is being created a common information space in the medical field. The use of modern computer technologies in Colombia allows the introduction of electronic document management, the electronic exchange between treatment and prophylactic institutions, the creation of standard databases, so-called registries for various nosological units and other indicators (del Rosario Aldana, & Navarrete, 2015). In addition, it optimizes the conduct of preventive and dispensary examinations and, what is especially important, information technologies find application directly in the medical and diagnostic process.

From the position of a modern scientist, the human body is considered a set of numerous information-control systems the malfunctioning of which leads to disruption of homeostasis and the formation of a pathological condition. On this approach, the latest achievements in the field of neurology, psychiatry, oncology, gynecology, and gastroenterology are made in Colombia (del Rosario Aldana, & Navarrete, 2015). The new diagnostic and therapeutic devices are being developed within the Colombian healthcare system; even whole directions are developing: information-wave therapy, quantum, and nuclear medicine (del Rosario Aldana, & Navarrete, 2015). Stem cells investigation takes special place in Colombia in innovative medical research as their use made possible the intervention to relieve diseases that previously were regarded incurable (del Rosario Aldana, & Navarrete, 2015). The use of cellular technologies is associated with successes in the treatment of many oncological, hematological, neurological, immunological, endocrinological, and other diseases.

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The next most common cause of morbidity and mortality in Colombia is oncopathology. The development of new methods for the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of neoplasms has become particularly relevant in the situation of cancer spread in youths. The study of the mechanisms of carcinogenesis made it possible to work more in the preventive direction and develop a number of measures aimed at preventing the development of malignant neoplasms.

Conclusion

The development of medical science as the basis for improving public health and demographic indicators is a national strategic goal. To reduce the mortality rates in Colombia, it is paramount to formulate the standards and procedures for the provision of medical care to the population of different levels and develop the new forms and mechanisms of the health care system as well as medical and social rehabilitation. In addition to this, new diagnostic methods, modern technologies for the treatment and rehabilitation of patients, methods for the prevention of socially caused and infectious diseases, and quality medical products should be based on the state and national needs. They should also comprise the steps to raise awareness of a healthy lifestyle of the population, as well as the formation of targeted departmental research programs aimed at creating breakthrough medical technologies. These are the main tasks for the coming years.

 

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