Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

[News Report] Cuts to Local Health Departments Hurt Communities

From the 14 November 2013 Science Daily Report

Local health departments (LHDs) can play pivotal roles in U.S. communities by helping to link people with medical services and assuring access to care when it is otherwise unavailable. However, a new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine finds that many LHDs aren’t able to meet these goals, which could spell trouble for the uninsured and underinsured.

“Our report shows that in 2010, about 28 percent of LHDs had not conducted any of the three targeted activities in our study,” which looked at how LHDs assessed gaps in care, increased access to health services and used strategies to meet the health needs of the underserved, said lead author Huabin Luo, Ph.D, former research fellow with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and assistant professor in the department of public health at the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University.

Screen Shot 2013-11-16 at 7.20.15 AM

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S074937971300487X

In recent years, deep funding cuts have impacted local health departments. For example, between 2008 and 2009 alone, over 23,000 LHD jobs were eliminated. This combined with an increase in demand for health care services can mean an increase in health disparities for those who rely on community health care.

The study found that LHDs with larger budgets in bigger population centers were more likely to provide access to health services compared to smaller LHDs with fewer financial resources, where they may be needed more.

 

Hanen noted that as health insurance coverage becomes more widespread, LHDs will continue to identify and link people without health insurance to programs that provide health care services. “It cannot be overstated enough that poor housing, education, low income, unemployment and lack of transportation in a neighborhood are all interconnected and are all factors that determine health.”

Read the entire article here

November 16, 2013 Posted by | Public Health | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Comprehensive Framework for Human Resources for Health System Development in Fragile and Post-Conflict States

From the report at Plos Medicine

Summary Points

  • Responding to the global human resource crisis requires systems thinking if a more comprehensive approach to human resource management and development is to be achieved.
  • We present a comprehensive and visible framework for human resource system development. This has been derived from the lessons learned in supporting human resource system development in three fragile and post-conflict health systems in Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Cambodia.
  • The efforts of development partners and the government typically concentrate on the “production” and training of health personnel, but this approach neglects other elements and often the necessary linkages between them. While there is potential value in focused forms of support, they will be much less effective, with negative effects on both systems and population health, when they are unbalanced, incomplete, or miss the necessary linkages between them.
  • While the “house model” contains elements similar to the World Health Organization HRH Action Framework, some functions are extracted in order to draw more attention to them. Issues such as the legal and regulatory framework, coordination, and monitoring are often neglected. We also place particular emphasis on the linkages among elements by highlighting some core functions of human resource management (production-deployment-retention), or by separating the foundation components (policy and planning, finances, legal) as primarily the responsibility of the government.
From the Background section

Responding to the global crisis in human resources for health (HRH) requires systems thinking if a more comprehensive approach is to be promoted. This differs substantially from the traditional emphasis on pre-service education, in-service training, and personnel management [1]. The elements to be included in a more comprehensive assessment and response to HRH system development need to be derived from experience and evidence from the field, and should be validated into the future in different settings.

In post-conflict situations, large numbers of development partners, including United Nations (UN) agencies, international and local non-government organizations (NGOs), and various others, literally “rush in.” The situation is often characterized by a weak health system, and is complicated by the limited quantity and quality of human resources [2]. New governments and emergent ministries typically have limited capacity to manage all the tasks necessary for reconstruction. ….

January 6, 2012 Posted by | health care | , , , | Leave a comment

   

%d bloggers like this: