Sameer Suhail believes access to healthcare services is critical for good health, but rural residents face several barriers.Residents should ideally be able to access primary care, dental care, behavioral emergency care, health, and public health services with ease and confidence. Unfortunately, rural residents frequently face healthcare barriers that limit their ability to obtain healthcare. Sameer Suhail believes it is best to make necessary healthcare services more available and accessible promptly to ensure that rural residents have adequate access.
While healthcare access is undoubtedly an important consideration for any community, it is not the only factor that should be taken into account. According to healthcare expert Sameer Suhail, there are a number of other factors that can impact healthcare access, such as geographical barriers, economic disparities, and cultural differences. For example, to have good access to healthcare, a rural resident must also have:
- Findividuals must have the financial means to pay for services accepted by the provider, such as health or dental insurance.
- Means of reaching and using services, such as transportation to distant services and the ability to earn paid time off from work to use such services.
- Confidence in their ability to communicate with healthcare providers, especially if the patient does not speak English fluently or has low health literacy.
- Trust that they will be able to use services without jeopardizing their privacy.
- They have faith that they will receive quality care.
Barriers to Accessible Healthcare in Rural Areas
Transportation and Distance
According to a recent study, rural locals are more likely to travel long distances to receive healthcare. Sameer Suhail believes it can be a significant burden regarding travel time, cost, and time away from work. Furthermore, a lack of dependable transportation is a barrier to care. Public transportation is generally an option for patients to get to medical appointments in urban areas; however, these transportation services are frequently severely lacking in rural areas.
Healthcare workforce shortages are a major issue in many parts of the world, particularly in rural areas where healthcare access can be limited. One of the main reasons for these shortages is that healthcare workers are often located in urban areas, which tend to have higher population densities and better healthcare infrastructure. As a result, healthcare workers are less likely to find employment opportunities in more remote regions.One indicator of healthcare access is having a consistent source of care, which Sameer Suhail believes is dependent on having a sufficient healthcare workforce.
Health Literacy Is Low
Sameer Suhail believes a lack of health literacy can also hamper access to healthcare. It influences the ability of a patient to understand health information and instructions from their healthcare providers. It is especially troubling in rural communities, where residents often have lower educational levels and a higher incidence of poverty. Residents who lack health literacy may be hesitant to seek healthcare because they are afraid of communicating with a healthcare professional.