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Public Health Financing Needs in Maryland

Abstract

Socioeconomic status of people influences the health outlook of the communities. The socioeconomic status is a key factor that influences the allocation of resources for public health financing. Public health financing helps in the improvement of human welfare. However, public health financing is not just injecting funds into the health system; there are important considerations that should be made. The following paper explores the socioeconomic status of communities and how it influences the need for public health financing initiatives to advance care for underserved populations in the state of Maryland.

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The allocation of resources is influenced by different social and economic factors (Getzen, 2013). Levi, Juliano and Richardson (2007) noted that health professionals need to consider the socioeconomic status of the people targeted for funding in order to ensure efficient allocation of resources. The socioeconomic status differs across communities, and it is a key determinant for public health financing.

Socioeconomic Economic Status of the Communities

The average household income in Maryland is $72,419. The average poverty level is 9%. Baltimore is the poorest county in Maryland. The people below the poverty level are 22.4% while the average household income is $37,397. The majority of people living in Baltimore are African Americans who account for 63.3% of the total population (Baltimore City Health Department, 2015). In relation to the state of Virginia, 13% of the people aged above 25 years have attained high school diploma or its equivalent. However, a high percentage of Hispanics, American Indians, and African Americans have not earned the high school diploma or its equivalent. The population below the Federal Poverty Level is 10.7%. In relation to ethnic orientation, 22% of African Americans live in the high-poverty census tract (Commonwealth of Virginia, 2013). In the District of Columbia, the median household income is $69,235. The percentage of people living below poverty level is 17.7%.

Socioeconomic Status and Public Health Financing

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (2011) stressed the need for global health security and protection of health of societies across the globe. The socio-economic status of communities should be used to allocate resources for the public health financing. The role of public health funding is to ensure that all Americans have access to satisfactory services in order to enhance the quality of life (Topol, 2015). In cases where the poverty level is high, there is a high likelihood that the people are uninsured or underinsured. The people who are medically underserved, the underinsured and uninsured create higher health expenditure (Laureaute Education Inc., 2012). This is because they enter into health system when their conditions are already at advanced stages. The implication for this is the overburdening of the overall healthcare system (Shi & Singh, 2011). According to Levi, Juliano and Richardson (2007), health problems do not honor borders, and hence, health disparities in one area can easily spread to the entire nation. Anyangu-Amu (2012) noted that public health funding based on socio-economic status helps in ensuring that the poor have better access to health care and reduces the health disparities.

Public Health Initiative for Underserved Communities in Maryland

In Baltimore, the poverty levels are very high compared to the states’ level. This shows the huge socioeconomic differences and the consequent health disparities. For example, the life expectancy in Baltimore where the majorities are Blacks is 71.8 while the state’s life expectancy is 78.7. The infant mortality rate as of 2010 in Baltimore was 12.2 for every 1000 live births; this was very high compared to the state’s mortality rate of 6.7 per 1000 live births. The variability in the health status in Maryland creates a health gap that necessitates the public health funding initiative in order to strengthen the health system.

References

Anyangu-Amu, S. (2012). Financing public health in Africa. Inter Press News Service Agency. Web.

Baltimore City Health Department. (2015). City of Baltimore community health assessment (2010-2015). Web.

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Commonwealth of Virginia. (2013). Virginia health equity report 2012. Web.

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. (2011). Avian influenza. Web.

Getzen, T.E. (2013). Health economic and financing (5th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons.

Laureaute Education Inc. (executive producer). (2012). Multi-media power point: financing public health. Baltimore, MD: Author.

Levi, J., Juliano, C., & Richardson, M. (2007). Financing public health: diminished funding for core needs and state –by-state variation in support. Journal of Public Health Management and Practice, 13(2), 97-102.

Shi, L., & Singh, D.A. (2011). The nation’s health (8th ed.). Subbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Topol, E. J. (2015). Malcolm Gladwell on healthcare as a cash economy. Medscape. Web.

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StudyCorgi. (2022, August 1). Public Health Financing Needs in Maryland. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/public-health-financing-needs-in-maryland/

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StudyCorgi. 2022. "Public Health Financing Needs in Maryland." August 1, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/public-health-financing-needs-in-maryland/.

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StudyCorgi. (2022) 'Public Health Financing Needs in Maryland'. 1 August.

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