What Does Accessible Health Care Look Like

What Does Accessible Health Care Look Like

Health care for underprivileged citizens and communities should be easy to find, use and pay for. According to the World Health Organisation, at least half the world lacks accessible health care. This means that millions of people are being pushed below the poverty line just to pay for good health. 

While these realities around the world may seem daunting, there are some places where health care accessibility is at the forefront of policies and laws. In this blog, we investigate what these places do to ensure their health care services are accessible.

Affordable, No Matter Your Wage or Location

Paying for a range of health care services can be overwhelming and sometimes unaffordable. While some countries have systems in place to cover public or private health care services, such as rebate schemes, not all countries have this luxury. 

For instance, countries such as Australia and Malaysia have a universal government-funded health system – where government-funded public health care is available for anyone, no matter their status. Meanwhile, other countries focus their health care schemes on private or public health care insurance. 

There are, of course, some countries that don’t provide universal health care or insurance for their citizens at all. These citizens must pay for all aspects of health care. When you’re struggling to make ends meet, finding yourself deciding between putting food on the table or going to the dentist can be scary to think about. 

Accessible health care means anyone, regardless of their wage or location, can pay for it without chewing into savings or spending most of their week’s pay. 

Locations People Can Access at Any Time

Part of the conversation around accessible health care pertains to physical access. This also includes the building itself – having accessible entrances for wheelchair users and people with disability is vital for supporting everyone on their health care journey.

Finding a local health care practitioner that meets your needs, rather than spending hours travelling elsewhere, is part of what makes health care accessible. 

During the pandemic, many health care providers shifted to online or over the phone health services. This helped lots of people to access general or specialised health care from their home. If health care providers keep these services available now and in the future, it will support thousands of people to receive the health care they need.

Providing at-home support is another way health care services can keep their support accessible. By having the doctor or nurse come to the patient, it means people who might struggle to travel can get the support they need in their own home.

Reliable Health Care Information

Medical information can sometimes be overwhelming and complex. When you factor in people who speak English as a second language and people with reading or learning disabilities, health care information can become totally foreign.

An accessible health care service has readily available information in different formats, such as multiple languages or easy-to-read versions. This ensures everyone gets the information they need in a way that suits them. 

Additionally, information shouldn’t always be available online. People who can’t use technology, like older people, might struggle to navigate a website without support. Having physical pieces of information in different formats and languages is an accessible way to connect with patients who can’t use technology well.

Notably, if a health care provider publishes online content, it must meet WCAG standards. This can help people who use screen readers to seamlessly navigate content and receive the same information as their sighted counterparts.

Help Us Make Health Care Accessible For All

Having accessible health care empowers everyone, no matter their situation, to enjoy the support they need to live and thrive.  

Here at The Health Collab, we’re passionate about making health care accessible on a global scale. Donate to our cause today, and you can shape the future of accessible health care.