Don’t you hate the feeling of not being able to travel to where you want, when you want? You may not want to ask people for rides because you may not have the amount of money to pay someone to take you, certainly when you need to go to a medical facility. Situations like this need special attention when it comes to your health. No matter how you feel, you always need to make your doctor’s appointments because you never know what might be going on in your body. Transportation is a major barrier to health care access to patients. Transportation shouldn’t prevent anyone from getting to or from their doctor appointment. In a world where having transportation is a major key to society to where it can affect people’s lifestyle. Finding transportation can affect citizens regardless of the type of living situation there in, but the main concern is for low-income families.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â General research on transportation has been evaluated and it has come down to a lot of facts and statistics. Most of the information agrees that there is a problem with transportation among peoples’ living arrangements, but especially with low income families. However, there are different reasons to why there is a problem with transportation such as location of where the people live, the distance to where they live to get to their doctor appointment, and the cost ranging between medical fees depending on how sick the patient. Even then if there are buses, the older people may not be able to ride or even the cost to afford the trip to the doctor can vary depending on how far your doctor is.
There is a problem for people who live in rural areas; not for them in particular but also for older and poor people find transportation to their medical physicians. Many families that take home a low-income, their living conditions aren’t the finest. They seem to struggle to locate transportation that is reliable for them. The effect of this causes them to miss their appointments when the doctor is available to see them. Gillian White stated that low-salary communities are hit especially because of the poor quality of their transit hear their area (Cronk, 2015, p.3). Even if the patient lives in an area where subways and buses are located, people never know what might happen. The subway could be a long way from where you stay and also buses are so unreliable. What if your health is in chronic condition? People who are very sick may not be able to get on the subway nor a bus. Research by Cronk (2015) identified research by a survey defining the percent of the poverty level in Ohio by the journal “Health & Social Care in the Community (p.3). In 2001, this survey of 413 participants are living at or beneath the 125 percent of the poverty level located in Cleveland, Ohio. Also, researchers discovered that one-third of the participants said it was “head and very hard” to find reliable transit to their health care providers (p.3). This means that patients that are involved in this situation will have a difficult time connecting with their doctor will have to wait until a tragic emergency just to be able to be seen by a medical physical or a person of that nature.
Transportation barriers such as distance can cause people to not be able to go to their doctor’s appointments. Depending on how far their medical physician is, finding transportation will be very difficult. Studies show that having a vehicle gives the patient positive access to their health care. Having a vehicle means owning a car or having access to one by a friend or a family member. Arcury et al. researched transportation and the relationship it has with the health care stating that in the rural Appalachians, 1,059 people had prior knowledge of someone that they knew who had provided rides on a regular basis to people that they knew (Syed, 2013, p. 2). Also Guidry et al. researched a survey in which the outcome of 593 cancer patients from Texas, only 38% of whites, 55% of African Americans, and 60% of Hispanics are identified of having poor access to a vehicle as a barrier that could result in missing a cancer treatment (Syed, 2013, p. 2-3). Things like this could lead a very chronic ill person to a horrible death, only because he or she miss their doctor appointment.Â Shockingly, a study researched by Lamont et al. discovered that the distance to a health care provider was related with the advancements of the health care system (Syed, 2013, p.3-4). Studies also researched that the combinations between distances to medical use. It reported that longer driving distances from the doctor office is actually associated with less medication that’s given to the patient. Additional studies should be researched when it comes to low-income elderly in which they understand the important of transportation to access the health care provider.
Not being able to find a ride to the doctor will cost you a huge amount of money when you get critical sick. Money is more than something that you can use to make purchases; it’s actually a way of living. Without being able to afford a way to get to your primary physician, will cause issues in the long run. Some people can’t even afford a taxis or an Uber. Cronk (2016) stated where a patient couldn’t afford their medications and the effect of that caused him to be admitted to the hospital and get two of his toes removed. All of that could’ve been avoided if he had the money to afford a ride to the doctors before the sickness took over his body (p.1). The issue that it seen with this situation is that patients are not able to find a ride that is affordable for them. When this happens, they end up with enormous health care bills that come from the hospital and insurances, if they even have any. Researches by Cronk (2016) stated that because of patients missing their schedule appointments lead to the health care spending an extra $150 billion yearly (p.2). One researcher Tierney et al. stated that between 42,722 patients, a research conducted on the topic of transportation in the health care field, found that the cost to afford Medicaid is increasing, so now patients cannot purchase their medications (Syed, 2013, p.5). When the patients hear this information, they don’t know what to do. If they can’t afford the insurance that they have, then they won’t be able to afford just a regular doctor appointment nor the patients’ medication.
As a result, researchers have found ways to prevent these types of transportation barriers. One possible way is to provide a non-emergency medical transportation. They are used to help people with low-income be able to get to and from their doctors. But there is a catch to them. Cronk (2016) stated that that system is no good. Some of their transit vehicle aren’t equipped with GPS’s nor a dispatch radio (p. 2). What’s the point of having a way to get there, and they can’t even provide upgraded technology to make sure you get to the right place and on time? But we can’t let this one issue ruin it for everyone. An option could be to come together with other partnerships that would be a good fit so that everyone can work together to make sure everyone gets there without having any barriers. A study by Syed (2016) states that the two studies looked into United States Veterans and saw that they could receive federal support when it comes to barriers when trying to get to their doctors (p.5). Researched by Inman (2016) shows that there are many low cost ways to get transportation: Lynx is only one dollar for standard bus routes (p.4). So there are options available to the patients. Using these options will prove that there is a way around transportation barriers. It just takes time for someone to research these resources for the elderly patients and low income families.
Conclusively, transit barriers all comes down to more emergency rooms appearances and the care that is available. Since the majority of transportation barriers affect people who are low incomed and elderly, help should be offered. No matter about the location, cost and distance, there should be free, no cost, transportation for these patients in their neighborhood. For elderly people, there is more of a transportation issue because of the fact that they are older and more prone to have a sickness due to their age. But before there can be a definite answer, we can only assume because there needs to be additional research before a truthful conclusion is made. Syed (2016) states that there could be a possible solution if health care workers, patients, and people around neighboring cities come together to create a plan to have less transportation barriers. Creating a collaboration like this would make a total different in the society that we live in today (pg.6). But at the end of the day, transportation barriers are a topic that needs strong attention to make changes for people who are struggling. People aren’t getting any younger, just older. This needs to be handle as soon as possible to make a change in the world we live in today.
Cronk, Imran. The Transportation Barrier. The Atlantic (2015): 1-6. Web. 22 Sept. 2016.
Cronk, I. (2016, September 2). Transportation shouldn’t be a barrier to health care. October 20, 2016, from https://www.statnews.com/2016/09/02/transportation-barrier-health-care/
Inman, J. (2015, July 20). Lack of transportation has serious consequences for older adults. Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved October 10, 2016.
Syed, S. T., Gerber, B. S., & Sharp, L. K. (2013). Traveling Towards Disease: Transportation Barriers to Health Care Access. Journal of Community Health, 38(5), 976-993. http://doi.org/10. 1007/s 10900-013-9681-1
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