Health and Health Care of Southeast Asian
The article is about the healthcare system of Southeast Asia. Investigating this topic the authors names the regions of Southeast Asia, describes its population and health transition taking into account the process of urbanization, trends in mortality and fertility, migration, population ageing. They also discuss the environment of the region, the wealth. With the help of schemes, tables and graphs researchers determine the level of the healthcare system of Southeast Asia. This article describes in details all factors which influence the health of the nation.
Hashim, J., Chongsuvivatwong V., Phua, K. H., Yap, M. T., Pocock, N. S., Hashim, J. H., Chhem, R., Wilopo, S. A., & Lopez, A. D. (2012, April 5). Health and healthcare systems in Southeast Asia. United Nations University.
The article focuses on the increasing level of the healthcare of Southeast Asia. The scholars point out that, in spite of unfavorable climate conditions, unstable economic and political situations, and low level of education, the medical system is improving. New medical technologies and modern methods of treatment let people from the poor regions have an appropriate healthcare. Reforms in the system of medical care influence on the whole situation of the country. Strengthening the health of the nation government improves economy and raises the level of living not only in the prosperous regions of the Southeast Asia, but also in the poorest ones.
Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam form the Association of Southeast Asian Nations where more that half-a-billion people live (Hashim et al., 2012). Trying to survive, people accommodate themselves to the difficult climate conditions, unstable economic and political situations. In such a way, the level of healthcare of Southeast Asia depends on those factors. It is very difficult to identify the level of medical care in the region because there is a great difference between rich countries and the poorest ones. However, all these nations are trying to improve the system of healthcare introducing new medical technologies and using modern medicines and methods of treatment.
Jamal Hashim et al. (2012) investigating healthcare system in Southeast Asia considers that the environment is one of the most important factors which influences on the state of health of the nation. The scholars inform that South Asia is a disaster-prone region. Characterizing such an area the explorers describe the disaster of 2004, which was the result of the Indian Ocean earthquake and as its consequence was a devastating tsunami. Seasonal typhoons in the Philippines and Vietnam, earthquakes and volcanoes in Indonesia and the Philippines again negatively affect the health of citizens. Forests’ fires of the Indonesian states in 1997 caused haze pollution and impacted three hundred million of people of that region. Rainfall and rise in temperature are the reasons of vector-borne diseases. Such unfavorable climate conditions are injurious to residents’ health.
Programmes about family planning and rapid economic development have a negative effect on the Southeast Asian healthcare and cause fertility decrease. In such a way, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Brunei are countries with the low level of fertility according to the investigating data of Virasakdi Chongsuvivatwong et al. (2011). The high level of fertility is in the Philippines because the most of their families practice Catholicism, which supports having many children. It is very important to note that Laos has the highest fertility due to the low level of education. Consequently, it should be admitted that economic development does not let most families have more than one child; however, the fertility rate may be identified by the religious position of a family. By the way, such a situation is not favorable for healthcare of the nation. Lack of knowledge and absolute adherence the religious rules sometimes only harm people’s health.
In addition, increasing technological progress and economic development provide reforms of the healthcare system in Southeast Asia. New medical technologies and modern medical products help persons to avoid serious diseases simply by vaccination. That is why Southeast Asians demand the corresponding medical care. Even in small poor regions, inhabitants want to be treated with modern medical methods using new medical technology. Nevertheless, after the Asian financial crisis of 1997-1998, local currency deprecated, and imported drugs became more expensive than before. Afterward, many local citizens had no possibility to get an appropriate medical care. According to the consequences of the past financial crisis, Southeast Asia made a conclusion to improve and strengthen the system of healthcare. As a result, there were many subsidiary schemes for poor citizens such as the Health Card and 30baht Schemes in Thailand, the Health Fund in Vietnam, Health Equity Funds in Cambodia and Laos, and even such prosperous developed city as Singapore had the Medifund for poor patients (Chongsuvivatwong et al., 2011).
Modern situation of health and healthcare in Southeast Asia is stable, and the medical care is under the control of the government and special medical agencies. Although in Singapore and Malaysia state medical institutions are changed into private ones. However, government regulates and controls even private medical institutions; that is why there are some public-private forms of the healthcare system. In spite of these reforms, the severe acute respiratory syndrome, influenza A H5N1 and H1N1 indicate the fact that healthcare of Southeast Asia should be strengthened and improved (Chongsuvivatwong et al., 2011).
Comparing the medical care in Southeast Asians and in the United States of America one should note that the latter has more privilege position. Modern medical equipment, new improved medicines, available medical programmes, the best service, skilled hospital staff, great diversity of medical institutions and new methods of treatment are not the whole list of advantages of the American medical care. Nonetheless, practically all these characteristic features are in the prosperous city of Southeast Asia such as Singapore. Other regions are only changing their medical systems and improve them.
To draw the conclusion, it can be said that, in spite of bad climate conditions, unstable economic situation, low level of living in many regions, the healthcare system of Southeast Asia is improving. New medical equipment, modern and comfortable hospitals, improved methods of treatment, special medical programs for poor patients make the medical care more available and better. Southeast Asia is not in the list of countries with the best medical service; however, it tries to make changes in this sphere taking healthcare systems of such developed countries as the United States of America, Israel, Germany, Great Britain and other ones as a model. Trying to strengthen the healthcare system, the region trains qualified and well-educated specialists and, as a consequence, this leads to the higher economic development of the countries and people’s health improvement.