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Running head: SUMMARY OF THE ISSUES 1 IHP 501 Final Project 1 Milestone 2 Summary of the Issues Sarah Hadley Southern New Hampshire University
SUMMARY OF THE ISSUES 2 Switzerland is a small, neutral European country with direct democracy and a high- quality healthcare system. According to a study conducted by the Healthcare Access and Quality Index regarding the quality of 195 countries healthcare systems, Switzerland’s is the third best in the world (World Health Organization [WHO], 2018). The Swiss government controls the healthcare system, and offers both mandatory (MHI) and voluntary health insurance (VHI), ensuring that all Swiss residents have equal and affordable access to first-rate medical care (Lucchi, 2017). The country is divided into 26 cantons (Swiss equivalent to U.S. states), and healthcare system related duties and responsibilities are divided among the cantonal, municipal, and federal levels of the government (Sturny, 2015). Despite the fact that there is universal health coverage, the country suffers from health-related issues such as noncommunicable diseases, high unemployment rates due to mental illness, and a lack of disease prevention, but actions have been taken by both national and international stakeholders to address such issues, including the impact of social, cultural, and economic factors on such issues. Social factors that can affect anyone’s health include the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work, and age. Such circumstances are shaped by money, power, and resources at the global, national, and local levels, which themselves are influenced by policies. Examples of social determinant topics include culture, income, education, occupation, family structure, service availability, sanitation, exposure to hazards, social support, racial discrimination, and access to health related resources (Muhwava, 2014). Economic factors such as financial status and economic stability can have a major impact on one’s health. In many instances, economic factors can be directly linked with the impact of social and cultural factors on a person’s health. If there are few health related supplies and services provided by the government then individuals must contribute more to their health care, which can be extremely costly (Marmot, 2002). It is
SUMMARY OF THE ISSUES 3 clear that social, cultural, and economic factors are closely linked with health related issues such as NCDs, mental health, and disease prevention. Noncommunicable Diseases Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), which are non-infectious and non-transmissible diseases, are the leading causes of death in Switzerland (WHO, 2018), with 2.2 million Swiss people currently living with an NCD as of 2018 (Federal Office of Public Health [FOPH], 2018a). With a population of about 8 million (World Travel Guide, n.d.), this means that a quarter of the country suffers from an NCD. According to the Federal Statistical Office (FSO), one in twenty die of lung cancer, one third of heart disease, and 6,000 of dementia each year (FOPH, 2018a). NCDs are responsible for about 80% of all healthcare costs and 60% of all premature deaths (Mattig & Chastonay, 2017).

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