The changing demographics impact patients and providers in delivery of health care in US in many ways. Demographic changes are characterized by three factors namely; age, gender and race/ethnicity .In the past ten years the US population has rapidly changed regarding the three main factors. The American population comprised of old, young, female and male, non-Hispanics, Hispanics and other minorities which affect the health care systems in various ways.
Young population has declined over the years compared to the old. This pose challenge to healthcare centers, which need a team of young, energetic and passionate personnel for efficient and effective services. When manpower is made up of a large number of older persons, the services tend to ne inefficient. As a result healthcare services are affected negatively. With a good number of young staff, the experience of the older employs can boost the young enthusiasm to improve services (Daly, 2005).
Second, the elderly have a deteriorating heath and need expensive medication, whereas their income is minimal. In most cases they affect the healthcare system by using money that could have been use to improve healthcare through social welfare reimbursements. Since the old outnumbers the young their healthcare, which is characterized by special needs, exhorts extreme pressure on the countries healthcare services (Daly, 2005).
Diversity also presents a great challenge to the health care system in the country. Different population with America experience different challenge and growth rate than others. For instance the Hispanics who are considered a minority group are increasing in number at a rate higher than that of non Hispanics (James & O’Donohue, 2009). In this regard, there will be an increase in the demand for healthcare services unique to the Hispanics and other increasing populations. The US original occupants who are much lesser than the Hispanics have cultural practices which affect healthcare services and centers. Diversity also further present unique conflicts in the healthcare arena. For example when the Asians come up with a healthcare practice unique to the Asian community it may neglect the non Asians resulting in disagreements or conflicts.
Gender also wields strong influence over healthcare. There are numerous gender specific healthcare challenges. These range from genders specific diseases to services preference. For instance, among the Samoa communities the women prefer being treated by their fellow women and same goes for male. Ironically, women are outpacing the men in most of the things today, including healthcare (Saau, 1995). This may present a situation where men may not access health care due to limited male care providers.
There are also situations in which the men are given priority over women. However, the increase in opportunities for both male and females is likely to change this. In fact, the increase in the number of women in the healthcare profession will reduce gender disparities in the healthcare arena. The age issue is also influential, as mentioned above the old don’t have the energy and passion required to take care of patients. As a result patients suffer due to insufficient services.
Last, diversity is also characterized by racism which is perhaps the greatest diversity challenge. Although the world is trying to shun racism, it is still vibrant in many places including American and it affects delivery of healthcare services, especially to minority communities (James & O’Donohue, 2009).
General demography and diversity greatly affect provision of healthcare services. Age specific needs and abilities, gender specific needs and abilities, race and economic status all work together to influence health care service through finances, labor, quality, provisions, reception, sustainability and accessibility.
Daly, J. (2005). Professional Nursing: Concepts, Issues, and Challenges. New York, N.Y.: Springer Publishing Company
James, L. C. & O’Donohue, W. T. (2009). The primary care toolkit: practical resources for the integrated behavioral care provider. New York: Springer, cop. 2009
Saau, L. (1995). Voices of the Samoan Community. Seattle: The Cross Cultural Health Care Program, Pacific Medical Center