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Healthcare, is the prevention, treatment, and management of illness and the preservation of health through services offered by the medical, dental, nursing, and allied health professions.
- Over a billion people, about 15% of the world’s population, have some form of disability.
- Between 110 million and 190 million adults have significant difficulties in functioning.
- Rates of disability are increasing due to population ageing and increases in chronic health conditions, among other causes.
- People with disability have less access to health care services and therefore experience unmet health care needs.
People with disabilities face many barriers to good health. Studies show that individuals with disabilities are more likely than people without disabilities to report:
- Having poorer overall health.
- Having less access to adequate health care.
- Engaging in risky health behaviors, including smoking and physical inactivity.
People with disabilities often are more susceptible to preventable health problems that decrease their overall health and quality of life. Secondary conditions such as pain, fatigue, obesity, and depression can occur as a result of having a disabling condition.
We address the barriers to health care by:
- Policy and legislation : Assess existing policies and services, identify priorities to reduce health inequalities and plan improvements for access and inclusion.
- Financing : Ensure that people with disability benefit equally from public health care programmes. Use financial incentives to encourage health-care providers to make services accessible and provide comprehensive assessments, treatment, and follow-ups.
- Service delivery : Empower people with disability to maximize their health by providing information, training, and peer support. Promote community-based rehabilitation (CBR) to facilitate access for people with disability to existing services.
- Human resources : Integrate disability education into undergraduate and continuing education for all health-care professionals. Train community workers so that they can play a role in preventive health care services. Provide evidence-based guidelines for assessment and treatment.
- Data and research : Include people with disability in health care surveillance. Conduct more research on the needs, barriers, and health outcomes for people with disability.
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