By: Hina Bana
When most people go to the grocery store, their main goal is to get what they need, normally at a low cost that’s affordable to them; not having to worry about factors like the price of oil, a war in a country or hurricane in another part of the world can make the prices of produce increase or become not available. In the same way when it comes to health, most people don’t worry about it until they are sick and need the service. At that point all they want is to be treated by a doctor, given medications and released. The fact is that health management is controlled by a lot of factors (like your grapes that shipped from Chile) and its inner functioning plays an important role in the delivery of health services. Without a health management system, health services can’t be delivered effectively. While no system is perfect, it is only with understanding how health management works that one can go about creating changes to make a health system better.
One essential component is the human resources that make up a health system, “which can be defined as the different kinds of clinical and non-clinical staff responsible for public and individual health intervention” (Kabene et al 2006). As arguably the most important of the health system inputs, the performance and the benefits the system can deliver depend largely upon the knowledge, skills and motivation of those individuals responsible for delivering health services. As well as the balance between the human and physical resources, it is also essential to maintain an appropriate mix between the different types of health promoters and caregivers to ensure the system’s success. Due to their obvious and important differences, it is imperative that human capital is handled and managed very differently from physical capital (Kabene et al 2006).
Another factor when examining health care is a country’s level of economic development. There is evidence of a significant positive correlation between the level of economic development in a country and its number of human resources for health. Countries with higher gross domestic product (GDP) per capita spend more on health care than countries with lower GDP and they tend to have larger health workforces. This is an important factor to consider when examining and attempting to implement solutions to problems in health care systems in developing countries. We also need to consider the ageing population, which can lead to an increase in demand for health services and health personnel. In addition, it is essential that cultural and geographical factors be considered when examining global health care systems. Geographical factors such as climate or topography influence the ability to deliver health services; the cultural and political values of a particular nation can also affect the demand and supply of human resources for health (Kabene et a 2006).
The fact is that no system is perfect and can/is influenced by the factors surrounding it. As citizens and consumers of a product “a strong understanding of the human resources management issues is required to ensure the success of any health care program” (Kabene et al 2006) in order to make changes to the system or parts that don’t work. Otherwise, when the bill comes we’ll be left scratching our heads as to why this is so high like the prices of milk, eggs and produce?
Kabene, S. M., Orchard, C., Howard, J. M., Soriano, M. A., & Leduc, R. (2006). The importance of human resources management in health care: a global context. Human Resources of Health, 4(20), 1-17.