Social determinants of health

Social determinants of health

Social determinants of health





Social determinants of health are considered to be those situations, in which individuals are born, grow up, stay, and work. Such conditions are always dictated by the distribution of wealth, power, and resources and international or local levels. The social determinants of health in this context are majorly accountable for the unjust and avoidable inequalities in health status experienced within and between nations. This paper will majorly focus on the access to health care as one of the social determinants of health. The ability to obtain complete and excellent health care services is vital for the attainment of health quality (Blas & Sivasankara, 2010). It is also important for improving the quality of a healthy life for people across the world. The paper will also discuss mechanisms used to get into health care systems which include exposure, services, appropriateness, and workforce.

Inequalities in accessing health services always interfere with people and the society as a whole. Incomplete access to health services affects individual’s capability to reach their complete potential. Therefore, this always has a negative impact on an individual’s life. Some of the obstacles to health care services include high health costs, inadequate health services, and lack of insurance coverage. These problems are always faced by the poor people who cannot afford to pay for the services (Raphael, 2009). Health insurance coverage assist patients access health care system. Those individuals who do not have insurance covers are most likely to obtain inadequate medical care. Therefore, they will either die early or experience poor health conditions. This situation majorly affects poor people who are not able to get insurance covers hence they are only left with huge medical bills after receiving health care services.

A number of policies have been introduced by various countries to ensure that every individual is entitled to an insurance cover regardless of their financial status. Developing health care services ensures that individuals have common and constant source of care. Those individuals with a common source of health care experiences improved health outcomes and less discrepancies as well as costs. Having a health care giver as the common source of care is explicitly vital. Health care providers are always capable of developing significant and constant relationship with patients. Consequently, with the presence of the health care givers, there will be mutual trust and excellent communication between them and the patients. It also increases the probability that patients will obtain suitable care. Improved health care systems are important because it prevents poor health by identifying early signs or symptoms.

Appropriateness as one of the mechanisms of accessing health care is important because it does not only reduce the number of deaths, but also improve the health of patients. In health care systems, appropriateness is considered to be the capability to provide health care on time after a need is identified (Nistor, 2011). Therefore, patients will spend less time waiting for the medical practitioners. Waiting for doctors for a longer period of time reduces patient fulfillment and delays health care. This factor affects both the poor and rich people who are also able to receive better health care. Health of an individual is also determined by the number of health care providers available. Statistics indicate that few people are interested in becoming health care providers hence it is important to enlarge the number of individuals practicing health care. This will be mainly achieved by enrolling more students, in various learning institutions, interested in studying primary care.


Blas, E., & Sivasankara, K. A. (2010). Equity, social determinants and public health programmes. Geneva: World Health Organization.

Nistor, L. N. (2011). Public services and the European Union: Healthcare, health insurance and education services. The Hague: T.M.C. Asser Press.

Raphael, D. (2009). Social determinants of health: Canadian perspectives. Toronto: Canadian Scholar’s Press.