In the event that there is a budgetary restraint that would limit the study in the 42 topic areas that Healthy People 2020 focuses on, the top ten areas that would be worth considering as most significant to address include Access to Quality Health Services, Cancer, Diabetes, Disability and Secondary Conditions, Family Planning, Immunization and Infectious Diseases, Maternal, Infant, and child Health, Nutrition and Overweight, Physical Activity and Fitness, and Substance Abuse (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2001; People, H., & US Department of Health and Human Services, 2011).
Why consider these areas?
When in search for a long-term solution to any national health problem or issue, many a times the solution is not obtained by curing the individuals who are already affected, but pretty much about providing a preventative measure and educating the public about the subject [creating public awareness]. The top most significant areas that are highlighted above are thought of as most significant to undertake first whenever there is a budget or financial restrain that would limit their study based on the fact that an effective solution to one of the areas is likely to spread or extend to a larger population of the society, which could equally be shared in other topic areas of the Healthy People 2020 topic areas (People, H., & US Department of Health and Human Services, 2011). For example, an action taken to focus on the subject area of family planning and a solution delivered, therein, would as well become a solution on major topic areas under reproduction, such as Maternal, Infant, and Child Health, Sexually Transmitted Diseases, and HIV. In a similar manner, an analytical study done to focus on the topic of Substance Abuse, and a solution obtained therein, would be applicable to other subject areas that are found in the Healthy People 2020 program such as mental health and mental disorders, abuse of tobacco, and sexually transmitted diseases (People, H., & US Department of Health and Human Services, 2011). It similarly goes without mention that a special study done to focus on the subject of mental health and a solution delivered within this study can be applied to other subject areas which are found in the Healthy People 2020 topic areas of focus such as the use of tobacco, substance abuse, and obesity (People, H., & US Department of Health and Human Services, 2011).
Access to Quality Health Care is always can easily be achieved by the ownership of a health insurance, and this is significant in making sure that many people in the society can have easy access, predominantly, to primary health care givers or providers. The possession of a health insurance is significant in attaining a general reduction in the prevalence of health issues or problems that are related to health, more so to the society’s low income earners. In this regard, this is an area that should be given a first priority in any study because it can combine several other subject areas that include diabetes and immunization, which require primary health care attention. With a wide scope of the study covered in one subject area, the financial constraints and expenses would be greatly reduced.
The subject of Nutrition and Overweight can be associated with several other health issues such as cancer, hypertension, and other heart complications or diseases (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2001). As such, when it comes to a scenario where expenses have to be limited such as this, the common subject areas such as these can be combined and solved as one subject. When making a choice on the subject areas to focus on, it is imperative to not only focus on minimizing the expenses, but similarly consider the current health issues that affect a majority of patients or people in the world. When a disease that affects many people currently, such as cancer, is studied and solved, then it is obvious that a majority of the patients would benefit. As such, it makes more sense to use a limited resource such as money to benefit a larger population, than to use the same amount to benefit a few. The major health issues that currently affect major populations include Disability and Secondary Conditions, Cancer, Maternal, Infant, and Child Health, Diabetes, Immunization and Infectious Diseases, Substance Abuse, Family Planning, and Physical Activity and Fitness, thus are worth being given a priority over other subject areas (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2001; People, H., & US Department of Health and Human Services, 2011). Additionally, they are related to other major subject areas, thus, would be cost effective and strain free to solve first since they are complements of other subject areas.
How to Develop a Program and Present it to a Community and an Individual
According to the arguments of Green et al. (2009), before developing a program that is to be presented to a community or an individual, it is imperative to take into consideration the idea that a community encompasses behaviours, beliefs, and collective attitudes of the individuals that live within that community. This implies that it is impossible to separate an individual and his or her community. As such, the program to be developed should focus on the individual because after he or she is contacted, it would be much easier to use the same approach to handle the community as a whole. For example, when developing a program that focuses on improving the nutrition program and the health of a school, it would be easier to make contact with students at an individual level and convince them to support the program and then later bring them together in a classroom to tackle the problem. In this regard, it becomes cheaper and easier to sell the idea to the whole community through the individuals, who is technically the community, rather than handling the community at the same time.
A start-up program, many a time, is aimed at improving a circumstance or introducing a new technique of handling a given issue in the society. With this approach taken into consideration, it is imperative to note some elements of the community, such as beliefs, cultures, traditions, taboos, or customs, among others, that may affect their acceptance of the program before initiating it (Green et al., 2009).
The Impact of Failure to achieve the Goals of the Chosen Focus Areas
According to the stipulations of the United States Department of Health and Human Services (2000), a quality and good life can be measured by considering the degree of satisfaction of the individuals with their standard of living, general happiness, and their level of appreciation for the environment that surrounds them. In this regard, it is imperative to note that the immediate impact of failing to achieve the goals of the top ten chosen subject areas will be a poor life quality at the national level, in addition to a condensed life expectancy and increased child mortality rates. This is because a quality life depends on a good health, and as such, its deficiency is illustrated through the life standards and the degree of appreciation that individuals attach to their lifestyles.
Finally, it can be argued that individuals will access health services based on their demographic differences such as education, geographic location, gender, income level, and race, in case the objectives of the chosen subject areas are not met. Access to health services would be limited to those who can afford and not on the degree of need for the service, thus a case of demographic bias and health injustice. Since the funds used in implementing this program belong to the public, failure to successfully implement these objectives would be a total blow to the nationwide or state economy, in addition to a failed state action strategy or plan.
Green, L. W., Ottoson, J. M., Garcia, C., & Hiatt, R. A. (2009). Diffusion theory and knowledge dissemination, utilization, and integration in public health.Annual review of public health, 30, 151-174.
People, H., & US Department of Health and Human Services. (2011). Healthy People 2020.
US Department of Health and Human Services. (2001). Healthy people 2010 (conference ed, in 2 vols). Washington, DC: US Department of Health and Human Services; 2000.
US Department of Health. (2000). Healthy people 2010. Government Printing Office.