The healthcare system is continuously bombarded with many challenges now and then. Whether it’s the ever increasing load of patients, budget constraints or limited workforce, ethical issues and addressing controversial situations has become a new challenge for many healthcare workers.
Here are some of the ethical challenges we are facing today:
1. Balancing Quality and Efficiency
The healthcare system is stuck today in striking the right balance between providing top notch patient care with safety and proficiency. It is hard to understand whether the management teams and CEOs are following the right mindset today in establishing values for their organization.
2. Providing Affordable Healthcare to All
With the ever increasing disease ratio and costs, coupled with rising budget constraints, providing affordable basic health care management remains to be a distant dream for many. Whether it’s the minorities group or people who can’t afford insurance, reforms should be made by the government on sharing some of the medical costs of non-affording population group.
3. Patient Privacy and Confidentiality
Protection of one’s private and intimate information is by far the most important ethical and legal issue that is raised every now so often. The conversations between a patient and physician are strictly confidential, the same goes for the information about someone’s personal life and the current state about one’s medical condition.
To avoid data hacks, use of a reliable PACS medical radiology image sharing data storage system is recommended that makes it harder for any intruder to extract data.
Moreover, PACS medical systems also make your data access faster and safer, which is another advantage.
4. Building a Substantial Healthcare Workforce
In recent years, 70% of the population will be over 65 years of age, and we will need a greater number of healthcare professionals to tackle the challenges that come with an aging population. Despite the influx of younger individuals in the healthcare field, the fault is in the system where we are continuously introducing people yet are not able to sustain a balanced work culture and prevent stress and burnout. These times call for completely revamping the current medical work culture and introducing a system where people can work wholeheartedly and with integrity.
5. Breaking the Bad News
As we spoke earlier, the aging population is increasing, which is increasing the need to address end of life situations and breaking the bad news. With improvements in life expectancy due to medical advances, addressing the aged population is one shortfall that comes with it. Medical supervising bodies should come up with comprehensive counselling guidelines and resources that make it easier for the physician to satisfy the old and frail patient and his/her family.
6. Transmission of Disease
Contagious diseases have made it difficult for the physician and para medical staff to ensure one’s safety. Ethical and legal issues arise when one party does not know the patients’ current infectious status and history.
7. Allocating Limited Medicines and Donor Organs
Because of ever increasing population demands, there is not enough medicine and donor organs to go about for everyone. Pharmacy companies often stop manufacturing a certain drug if they do not receive enough incentive for it. The same goes for donor organs that are not enough to tackle the whole population.
Although there is much left to discuss, these are the top ethical and legal issues the healthcare industry is facing today.