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Principles of Healthcare The development of healthcare systems is based on certain core principles that were first outlined in the 1978 Alma-Ata declaration (Goldsmith, 2011). These principles include Equity, Universal Access, Community Participation and Inter-sectoral approach.
Comparison and Contrast Equitable access to healthcare is an important health parameter. The government and the healthcare sector have been making sincere efforts to deliver quality healthcare to all socio-economic groups. However, there is no proper definition of this concept. Most often, the principles of ethics and universal access are collectively used to define it as the provision of equal treatment to patients with the same medical requirement, regardless of all other factors including origin, ethnicity and income levels. Ashcroft (2007) terms this as the ‘horizontal equity’ in the healthcare system. Although universal and equitable access to healthcare is professed widely, patients often face numerous obstacles in benefiting from this policy. Goldsmith (2011) notes that the only way to overcome these barriers if by transcending beyond the assumptions made under universal access and coverage. He further suggests that these barriers result due to inefficiencies in the supply chain within the healthcare system. For instance, there are wide variations in the levels of insurance coverage, cost sharing, geographical limitations and the maximum utilization capacity of hospitals and clinics. The primary objective of community participation is to ensure the involvement of everyone in the process of delivering universal healthcare (Pointer, 2009). ...
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