Harvey Steward
Author Archives: Harvey Steward

How to address rural health care crisis?

Deterioration in rural health care systems in America generally, thus in Georgia as well, has been alarming for quite a long time. Citizens of rural areas are struggling hard to gain quality medical service due to disproportional share of budget money reserved for hospitals across the country and consequentially chronic lack of medical experts, comprehensive diagnostic devices and methods, as well as treatment options. Majority of budget funds and medical stuff gravitate towards urban regions and large medical centers leaving rural areas short of both, medical stuff and equipment. Experts are considering various strategies f addressing this growing problem.

Extensions of large medical centers

One of the ways to resolve some health care issues rural areas are faced with is to affiliate them with the large medical centers. These large health systems are equipped with strong infrastructure, numerous teams of medical experts and powerful technology rural areas can’t afford, but still, need. By making these small centers affiliate with a large one and implementing virtual consultations and telemedicine techniques, rural areas would gain access to comprehensive diagnostic methods, operational and clinical resources and easier access to specialist consultations.

Interact with community organizations and other partners

Including various community organizations into local rural health care system will not resolve their medical system issues, but will probably help in different ways. Namely, many of these locally active organizations, especially those associated with social work and healthcare providing, will enable occasional screening of population, frequent free or at least cheap diagnostics and help citizens monitor their overall health aside official health care centers. Another option is to stimulate partnerships between local hospitals and companies successful in other branches to provide sponsorships and financial supporting of rural medical centers outside the government’s finances.

Hospital hubs

In addition to the previously described potential of creating partnerships and empowering infrastructure to handle financial challenges, some rural hospitals are founding specific hubs that connect patients from rural areas with large centers via their local hospitals. This delivers video consultation, distant examinations and home visiting and for truly critical patients the transport to large centers is guaranteed.

Why is health care in prisons found substandard?

Although providing health care in prisons shouldn’t distinct much from providing health care generally to any patients, specific conditions in these institutions are inevitably reflected onto medical service. This is partially due to the specific rules regulating routine in prisons and partially due to the profiles of patients and common diseases found in these places. You will find a set of illnesses commonly present in every population in prison too, but some diagnoses, such as HIV, hepatitis C, mental issues, STD, substance abuse issues and others are more frequently found in prisons. Prisons in Georgia are not much different than prisons in other countries and all of them are facing substandard health care as a chronic problem. There are many reasons for this and experts are trying hard to address all of them.

Limited budget for health care

There are laws in every country, in Georgia as well, guaranteeing prisoners’ basic human right to achieve quality medical service. However, the state’s budget constraints are rather tight narrowing the capacity of achievable health care significantly. Therefore, many diagnostic methods or commonly available therapies and treatments are often not available to the guys in jails due to a simple lack of money.

Limited space reserved for the infirmary

Most health care in prisons is provided by general practitioners and many other specialists are consulted when and if needed. GPs usually work in quite incapacious infirmaries with a limited assortment of instruments, tools and diagnostic devices. This narrows down significantly the capacity of the overall available medical care and takes time to reach advanced expertise if one is needed.

A limited number of experts and volunteers

Considering the mere nature of the job, most medical experts are not really thrilled about the idea of working in prison. Some of them are simply afraid of the environment, potential violence, risky diseases quite common here and all other properties. Other see this job as a low-level achievement in medical career and some are just repulsed by the low salaries and rough working conditions. Therefore, the health care system in prisons usually lacks stuff and quality experts, as well as counselors and various kinds of required volunteers.

Things that make you fat aside excessive amounts of food

Some recently made researches analyzing diet habits, average weight and health issues among citizens in Georgia, found that the number of people heading toward obesity is constantly increasing. This is becoming a sort of public health problem and health care providers are coming up with various national strategies suggesting methods of losing weight and changing your diet in order to stay healthy. When talking about obesity problem, we usually target at quantity – too much eating. However, there are things making us fat we don’t even realize, neither consider when addressing the overweight problem. Here’s list of some of these things you should eliminate altogether with excessive amounts of food.

It’s more about ingredients than about the amount

Sure, we will all agree that eating too much will inevitably make you fat. But what about those who consume modest amounts of food, but still fail to lose their weight? The trick is to pay attention to – what you eat. Excessive intake of so-called quickly-burning sugars and saturated fats is a certain way of getting fat even if you take small meals. Also, carefully read the labels and avoid the foods with additives, a lot of salt and mixtures of several types of sugar.

Break the link between your food and your mood

This has been the topic of many types of research lately, since too many people often use food as a compensatory mechanism for their stress levels, depressive mood or any other emotional state. If you spot this sort of link between your diet and psychological issues, it’s much better to use the therapy and counseling to find a healthier method of dealing with mood swings than to reflect them onto your diet and consequentially your obesity issue.

Sleep, room temperature and your close friends

Yup, believe it or not, all of these three are potentially making you fat. Chronic lack of sleep makes you weak, exhausted and running out of energy, which you might try to compensate by increased intake of high-energy meals. Mild low room temperature boosts your metabolism and helps you burn the calories, so check your thermometer. Finally, surrounding yourself with obese friends might come as a good excuse for not losing your weight. Don’t break the friendships, just the wrong connection you’re using subconsciously.

How to prevent respiratory system diseases when living in Georgia

The strong influence of the tobacco industry, increased incidence of allergies, autoimmune diseases and asthma and particularly globally raising air pollution issue represent an extremely hostile environment for our lungs and airways. The quite similar situation is in the state of Georgia, especially if you live in crowded areas where industry and traffic contaminate air with numerous harmful components. There’s no doubt that living as healthy as you can regarding healthy diet, regular physical activity, medical screening examinations and many more useful habits have a protective effect on your respiratory system. However, here are some specific measures to conduct in order to prevent the development of respiratory illnesses.


Quit smoking in any form


You’ve probably heard this one too many times, therefore it probably sounds like a cliché, but people are not realizing the true harmful power of tobacco smoke. This includes smoking tobacco, chewing it or consuming it in any other form, including inhaling these pollutants via passive smoking. This also includes pregnant women exposing their fetuses to tobacco products spread from mother’s lungs to baby’s bloodstream. The strong connection between active or passive smoking and the various respiratory system is undisputed. Most types of lung cancer are directly linked to the tobacco consumption, as well as all forms of obstructive lung diseases. Therefore, eliminating this external factor decreases your risks of respiratory illness significantly.


Early exposure to allergens, but avoiding exposure to pollutants


The official scientific and medical opinion regarding early exposure to allergens has changed completely recently. In an attempt to explain and decrease the growing incidence of respiratory allergies in children, doctors agreed to promote early exposure and early immunization of children’s natural immunity. When it comes to adults, the opinion is the opposite. Avoiding allergens and all sorts of pollutants, including professional exposure to tiny respirable dust particles, is essential to prevent chronic obstructive disease and lung fibrosis.


Antibiotics and vaccination strategy


All doctors and health care providers in Georgia are obligated to conduct scheduled vaccination program which includes immunization and prevention of various respiratory infections. Also, the state is monitoring closely irrational prescribing of antibiotics to viral infections, which is wrong, since it won’t help cure virosis, but it might irritate the respiratory system and trigger future immune hyper reaction and allergies.