The interview below was conducted to gain the multi-faceted picture of the continuum of policy-making in health care and the diversity of stakeholders in decision-making for health care provision of children in the Border Regions of the United States (Evans, 2008). According to Evans (2008), the criteria used for selection of the interviewees include policy, education or health care authorities in the area of health care policy development at federal level in the Border Region (92).
The interview instrument consisted of a set of six open-ended comprehensive questions, which were developed based on knowledge about disparities in children’s access to health care (Evans, 2008). The individual interviewed is known as Bill Hughes, who is actively involved in health care, public health policy development and implementation in the federal government of the United States.
Question 1: In your opinion, which are the three most challenging issues in children’s access to health care in Border Region?
Bill: I think the biggest issues have to do with financial access to care, whether the children are insured or uninsured. This is because it determines what kind of services they receive and whether they have the funds for medications (Evans, 2008). Also, another general challenge is the issue of equality in children’s health care.
Question 2: What are the solutions most suitable for the resolution of the issue of children health care disparity in border region?
Bill: If children are here in our community, and they need service, and we have that service available, they should receive it. It is important to note that our health care system is not designed with the needs of children in mind; certainly, these children who often cannot wait for all the barriers to be removed should be able to get in and get their needs taken care of.
Question 3: In your opinion, what are the main issues around enrollment of children in health care programs?
Bill: One of the main issues is insufficient access to sub-specialty care. There is a lack of general pediatricians on the border besides there being lack of sub-specialty care. To me it seems that these are artificial road blocks, things that do not make common sense if you really want to make those programs available to children; you should make it as easy as possible to register.
Question 4: What could policy-makers contribute to resolving the health disparities for children in the Border Region?
Bill: The concept is not really all about disparity, the idea of equity, the idea of rights of children, of rights of health care, rights of protection, and rights to the condition that foster normal health and development should be put into consideration. Without that children often lose out, because their needs are competing with everybody else’s needs.
Question 5: In your opinion, what would be the ideal future development that would improve children’s access to health care and decrease disparities in the Border Region?
Bill: The ideal future development that will improve children’s access to health care should revolve around two important things both of which are federalized system. The first is universal health coverage, and the second is reproducible standard access points for health care. This means that instead of having a fragmented system, here should be a system in place where patients can find the providers. I think it sounds like that should be very easy, but it is not. We also need to have a bond between the public health community in this country and the health care community (Yeboah, 2008).
Question 6: What can health care professional leaders contribute to resolving the health disparities for children in the Border Region?
Bill: We need to develop good leadership for public health in the health care community in this country, because if we do not do that and continue to look out for our own interest, then everybody’s interest will be lost (Mayes & Berenson, 2006). As health care professional leaders, we need to continue to get together and lobby for the federal and state support.
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