A public health issue related to an environmental issue within the U.S. health care delivery system
The policy health issue within the U.S. health care delivery system is the issue of COVID_19, an illness caused by a novel. It was first identified in Wuhan, China, in late 2019 and later spread to the entire globe, including the United Stars and was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization in March 2020. The illness resulted in millions of deaths and led to many getting hospitalized due to its severe effects. The other significant result of the pandemic is the sharing of misinformation and rumors, which have made many people confused and lack facts regarding the pandemic. The illness has also been rapidly changing, making it a big problem for scientists and the entire public health community. However, the introduction of vaccines has started making it more accessible in ensuring that containment measures of the virus are in place, not just in the United States but in the entire globe.
The affected population
The population most affected by the pandemic are the elderly, especially those with underlying conditions such as Diabetes, Blood pressure and HIV/AIDS, among many other conditions. Once they acquire the virus, they are highly likely to become more severely ill. This makes them one of the groups that have been worst affected by the pandemic, where many of them in large numbers have, as a result, succumbed to the virus.
The level it occurs
The virus issue is not just a national issue but a global issue. It has affected communities from the local levels to the state and the national level and hence has to be dealt with at all country levels. This is to ensure that the virus is contained and that the affected persons are made aware of what the virus entails, how they can prevent its spread, and how to live with it within the communities.
Evidence about the issues supported by resources
According to CDC (2021), older adults are more likely to get very sick due to the COVID -19. This means that they may need to get hospitalized, getting intensive care or even be on a ventilator to aid them to breathe. This may hence put them at a higher risk of dying. The COVID -19 risk increases as people get to their 50s, 60, 70s and 80s. Those at 85 are at the highest chances of getting very sick. According to United Nations (May, 2020), the pandemic is hence causing untold fear and surfing to the aged people. The rate of death of people with Covid aged 80 and above is five times the global average. Older people are also likely to get vulnerable and neglected at this time. Being in isolation or quarantine makes them face higher risks of violence, abuse, and neglect, adversely affecting their well-being due to the pandemic.
The problem statement
COVID 19 virus has had a significant adverse impact on old aged persons, especially those with underlying conditions, hence the need to identify more preventative measures to protect the population.
Suggestions for addressing the health issue caused by the current policy
The first suggestion on the health issue is the need to ensure that difficult decisions affecting the older persons need to be made with guidance by the commitment to ensure that dignity is observed and that the right to health is observed. There is a need to ensure that health care is strictly a human right and each life has an equal value (United Nations, May, 2020). There should not be age discrimination, mistreatment, violence and neglect to any older adult when offering them health care. Secondly, there is a need to strengthen social inclusion in the country and ensure solidarity during physical distancing. The older persons within communities also need to be given a priority during vaccination to ensure that since they are most vulnerable, they are protected against the effects of COVID 19.
The steps required to initiate policy change
To initiate policy change, there is first a need for agenda-setting, which will be identifying and analyzing issues around the effects of COVID 19 on the elderly. This is to be followed by policy formulation, which entails having the public administration examine the various policy options it considers the most suitable locations (Benoit, 2013). The third step is the adoption, which will entail making decisions at the government level, resulting in decisions that favor one or more approaches to the identified issues (Benoit, 2013). This is followed by the implementation of the policy and, finally, a continuous evaluation to establish the progress.
The stakeholders to be involved in the policy change include the government representatives in the health care departments, the private sector and any other non-government organizations dealing with health reforms in the country.
The impact on the health care delivery system
Policy change on COVID 19 and its impact on the elderly will help improve the quality of care the elderly receive in the nation. It will ensure that all persons, despite their age, are taken care of and treated accordingly to prevent them from getting to worse conditions or even succumbing to the virus. The policy change will also ensure that all the populations within the country wild feel protected and taken care of by the government without the fear of getting stigmatized or neglected.
Benoit, F. (2013). Public policy models and their usefulness in public health: The stages model. National Collaborating Centre for Healthy Public Policy, Institut national de santé publique Québec.
CDC. (2021). COVID-19 Risks and Vaccine Information for Older Adults. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/aging/covid19/covid19-older-adults.html
United Nations. (May, 2020). Policy Brief: The Impact of COVID-19 on older persons. Retrieved from https://unsdg.un.org/sites/default/files/2020-05/Policy-Brief-The-Impact-of-COVID-19-on-Older-Persons.pdf