The Universal declaration of human rights provides for accessibility of medical as a human right (Farmer, 2004). In this regard, the aged and the chronically ill are have a right to access adequate medical care and attention from the relevant medical agencies by the relevant health practitioners. Studies reveal that the rates at which at which patients suffering from a serious medical illness (SMI) are increasing is not only high but also alarming (Hardy et.al, 2011).
It is estimated that 3% of the adults in the USA have SMI and there are increased mortality rates and morbidity among patients with SMI. This calls for serious attention by the care providers to avert this menace. Nursing professionals are members of the healthcare team and collaboration with other stakeholders such as psychiatrists including coordination with other primary care physicians is important to screen the cardiometabolic risks factors and monitoring of associated side effects of cardiometabolic medication. Bearing in mind that most of the individuals suffering from mental illness and the aged are unemployed, the burden of raising funds for treatment for such individuals becomes very hard on their families and the society as a whole. For example, approximately $ 150 billion is spent in the USA on mental illness, not including the costs of research. This, therefore, calls for appropriate measures among the healthcare teams to develop a multidisciplinary approach to caring for the mental illness.
There are effective ways available for treatment of mental disorders and because mental health is important to the overall health and well-being of individuals and should be accorded the same urgency as physical health. The public health management team can achieve milestones in reducing incidences of mental health care by initiating strategies such as incorporating mental health promotion into prevention efforts on chronic diseases. Additionally, the team should conduct surveillance and embark on research to enhance evidence base about mental illness to raise awareness on the same hence improving the coordination of healthcare.
The increased aged population is in need of medical attention as poor medical would accelerate mortality rates and reduce their life expectancy. The aged need much attention as they are weak and perform fewer duties as compared to the youths and hence nurses in collaboration with other stakeholders in the healthcare team are in need to enhance prolonging life expectancy for the aged and promote a healthy environment. The aged should be given a better healthcare with the help of the nursing profession in collaboration with other healthcare teams in order to reduce the incidences of other chronic diseases that come as result of aging such as diabetes. Projections of the World Health Organization (WHO) report on the Global Health and Ageing report indicated that the number of people aged 65 to increase from an estimated 524 million in 2010 to about 1.5 billion in 2050. This projection indicates a worrying situation and an increase in the cost of medical treatment of the other chronic diseases associated with aging if the situation is not checked. The nursing profession should, therefore, dedicate their efforts to promote a better healthcare for the aged with all the fairness and compassion bearing in mind that these populations are also unemployed and help in reducing the negative financial implications for the provision of better treatment for the aged.
Early diagnosis and intervention measures on illnesses among the individuals suffering from SMI and the aged would reduce mortality and morbidity rates. Ethical issues and principles in healthcare provision by the members of the healthcare team calls for justice to all, provision of care to the patients without fear and favor and with passion and a high degree of professionalism. Therefore, the magnitude of those principles, it is important to provide medical care to the mentally ill and the aged to promote a healthy society.
Farmer, P. (2004). Pathologies of power: Health, human rights, and the new war on the poor (Vol. 4). Univ of California Press.
Hardy, S., White, J., Deane, K., & Gray, R. (2011). Educating healthcare professionals to act on the physical health needs of people with serious mental illness: a systematic search for evidence. Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing, 18(8), 721-727.
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