Awareness of and attitude of elderly subjects regarding health care and welfare in rapidly ageing population in Japan.
OBJECTIVES: We aimed to obtain information on the degree of knowledge and understanding about the current systems of health care and welfare held by the elderly, in order to achieve comprehensiveness in family practice. METHOD: We conducted a study on the awareness of healthy elderly persons by direct interview. The study was carried out in Kuni Village in a remote mountainous region in Japan, where the elderly population accounts for 24.8% of the total population. The subjects were self-dependent in their daily living activities and were aged 65 years and older. RESULTS: The subjects' knowledge of health care and welfare systems was generally good, and the degree of their utilization of these systems was also good. But 83.3% of those who did not want to utilize the welfare system indicated their preference to depend on their family for support. CONCLUSION: Family physicians must endeavour to offer comprehensive care to their patients by including these systems for rapidly ageing communities. (+info)
Welfare gains from user charges for government health services.
The World Bank's Financing health services in developing countries emphasizes demand-side issues--highlighting user fees, insurance, and the private sector as tools for strengthening the health sector. That approach is a major departure from the focus on the supply side--public sector spending, costs, management, and efficiency--that has dominated the international health finance agenda for many years. An important set of empirical papers by Paul Gertler and his co-authors coincided with the release of the policy paper. Gertler's work has questioned a policy of greater dependence on user fees by emphasizing the potential welfare costs to consumers of higher fees for medical services. Many health professionals have adopted the jargon of this new approach without understanding the underlying analysis. This article attempts to demystify the debate that has ensued by illustrating economists' idiosyncratic approach to welfare, explaining how the policy paper and Gertler differ, and suggesting alternative approaches to testing the feasibility of the policy paper's prescriptions. (+info)
The impact of welfare reform on parents' ability to care for their children's health.
OBJECTIVES: Most of the national policy debate regarding welfare assumed that if middle-income mothers could balance work while caring for their children's health and development, mothers leaving welfare for work should be able to do so as well. Yet, previous research has not examined the conditions faced by mothers leaving welfare for work. METHODS: Using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, this study examined the availability of benefits that working parents commonly use to meet the health and developmental needs of their children; paid sick leave, vacation leave, and flexible hours. RESULTS: In comparison with mothers who had never received welfare, mothers who had been on Aid to Families with Dependent Children were more likely to be caring for at least 1 child with a chronic condition (37% vs 21%, respectively). Yet, they were more likely to lack sick leave for the entire time they worked (36% vs 20%) and less likely to receive other paid leave or flexibility. CONCLUSIONS: If current welfare recipients face similar conditions when they return to work, many will face working conditions that make it difficult or impossible to succeed in the labor force at the same time as meeting their children's health and developmental needs. (+info)
Five laws for integrating medical and social services: lessons from the United States and the United Kingdom.
Because persons with disabilities (PWDs) use health and social services extensively, both the United States and the United Kingdom have begun to integrate care across systems. Initiatives in these two countries are examined within the context of the reality that personal needs and use of systems differ by age and by type and severity of disability. The lessons derived from this scrutiny are presented in the form of five "laws" of integration. These laws identify three levels of integration, point to alternative roles for physicians, outline resource requirements, highlight friction from differing medical and social paradigms, and urge policy makers and administrators to consider carefully who would be most appropriately selected to design, oversee, and administer integration initiatives. Both users and caregivers must be involved in planning to ensure that all three levels of integration are attended to and that the borders between medical and other systems are clarified. (+info)
Weekly patterns of drug treatment attendance.
OBJECTIVES: This study examined weekly patterns of drug treatment attendance in relation to date of welfare payment receipt and reason for treatment absence. METHODS: Treatment attendance by Medicaid-eligible pregnant women who were drug dependent was examined by calendar week over a 29-month period. RESULTS: Time series analyses showed that attendance was lower during week 1 than week 4. Drug use was the most frequently reported reason for treatment absence during week 1 (25%) but was not reported as a reason during week 3. CONCLUSIONS: Drug-dependent outpatients had increased absences associated with illicit drug use during the first week of the month when welfare payments were received. The generalizability of the findings is unknown. (+info)
How many lives is equity worth? A proposal for equity adjusted years of life saved.
STUDY OBJECTIVE: To present a formula for equity adjusted years of life saved (EYLS). DESIGN: A mailed questionnaire. The survey participants were given a scenario describing a trade off between a health maximization programme and a programme that is less efficient, but eliminates social inequalities. SETTING: Swedish politicians responsible for health care in the county councils. PARTICIPANTS: A sample of 449 Swedish politicians responsible for health care in the county councils. MAIN RESULTS: The principle of health maximization was rejected. Under certain conditions, the Swedish politicians are prepared to sacrifice 15 of 100 preventable deaths to achieve equity. Based on the results a formula for EYLS is presented. CONCLUSIONS: An equity adjusted formula for years of life saved has been proposed, but must be developed and revised according to each country's specific conditions and value premises. In the future, such formulas could serve the purpose of incorporating explicit considerations of equity into cost effectiveness analyses. (+info)
Lobbying and advocacy for the public's health: what are the limits for nonprofit organizations?
Nonprofit organizations play an important role in advocating for the public's health in the United States. This article describes the rules under US law for lobbying by nonprofit organizations. The 2 most common kinds of non-profits working to improve the public's health are "public charities" and "social welfare organizations." Although social welfare organizations may engage in relatively unlimited lobbying, public charities may not engage in "substantial" lobbying. Lobbying is divided into 2 main categories. Direct lobbying refers to communications with law-makers that take a position on specific legislation, and grassroots lobbying includes attempts to persuade members of the general public to take action regarding legislation. Even public charities may engage in some direct lobbying and a smaller amount of grassroots lobbying. Much public health advocacy, however, is not lobbying, since there are several important exceptions to the lobbying rules. These exceptions include "non-partisan analysis, study, or research" and discussions of broad social problems. Lobbying with federal or earmarked foundation funds is generally prohibited. (+info)
Human rights is a US problem, too: the case of women and HIV.
Overall, US AIDS incidence and mortality have shown significant declines since 1996, probably because of new antiviral therapies. For women, however, these benefits have been much less pronounced than for men. At the heart of women's HIV risk is gender-based discrimination, which keeps women, and especially women of color, poor and dependent. Although human rights issues are often linked with AIDS issues abroad, in the US they receive insufficient attention in our response to women's HIV risk. Advocacy from public health professionals is needed to overcome the longstanding paternalistic attitudes of federal agencies toward women and to change the paradigm of women's HIV/AIDS prevention and care. Examples of unjust and punitive social policies that may affect women's HIV risk include the 1996 welfare policy legislation, drug treatment policies for women, and women's access to medical research and technology. The overriding public health response to AIDS consists of behavioral interventions aimed at the individual. But this approach will not successfully address the issues of women with AIDS until efforts are made to eliminate society's unjust and unhealthy laws, policies, and practicles. (+info)