Healthcare Services for Vulnerable Communities

Health care facilities like any other institutions have their differences depending on the factors that closely affect it. Such differences are availability of the attending physician, the attending staffs’ attitudes towards the work and their observable work ethics, the general quality of the services provided by the facility as can be assessed by any patient, and the internal structural design and the ambiance of the facility. Some of these differences, I will explain.

The Gouverneur Healthcare Services Clinic has a lot of patients whose ages belongs in the age range of over 60 years old. The most common chronic diseases are hypertension, diabetes, hypercholesterolemia, asthma and depression.

This may be because of the fact that chronic diseases become visible at the old age. The primary practice that this clinic has is the promotion of wellness and the prevention against possible illnesses. Every staff from the different departments or sections carries out the task promoting prevention.

During my visit, which I can conclude as part of a random sampling data represents that 66.6 % of the patients that come and go are overweight and malnourished. This tells us that, the populations which may be rationalized to be realistically living in the vicinity of the location of the facility are having wellness issues.

The communities served by this facility are those on the lower east side of Manhattan and those who live along the F subway line (which includes Mexicans and other central Mexicans who reside in Brooklyn), Latinos from Puerto Rico the Dominican Republic, the residents who live in Chinatown, and the older Jews and Italians.

The facility has equipments as part of the NIH grant that do simultaneous interpretations. Also, it has electronic copies of medical records which is not present in the clinic of my private physician. I can say that such device is very helpful in speeding up any king of transaction that happens in the clinic.

As per my experience with m general physician whose clinic lacks electronic devices for storing medical records leads to the longer and more inconvenient check-ups, follow-ups and visits. Not just to me, but this will cause delay on other patients also and may cause unwanted loss of important medical records since my private physicians clinic still utilizes paper charts. Also, this factor is one of the main reasons if not the only reason why I stopped using its healthcare services.

Going back to the Gouverneur Healthcare Services Clinic, 40 % of the patients have no health insurance. The patients only pay a relatively small amount for their every visit. It costs them $10 to $20 per visit; which may be a substantial amount to the patients.

The physicians of this facility attend to 3 patients in every hour, a scaled up estimated average. The physicians are employed by the facility and are salaried accordingly. They are being salaried as belonging to a union and they are being covered or protected from lawsuits if ever malpractices were inevitable.

There is not much of a community outreach that is being held by the facility, unlike the efforts put on to it by my private physician. It shows that it is not in need of any because everyone knows about the healthcare and they are well-known for their friendliness. There are signs all throughout the facility.

From the entrance which is filled with greetings in different languages such as English, Spanish and Chinese, to the waiting area will make you feel comfortable as if you are in your home’s own receiving area. The names of the healthcare providers are displayed in the waiting rooms in the clinics.

Aside from the comfort that it radiates to the patients, the facility is very clean and is in a quite modern interior design even it is a fact and is thought of as a public facility. The healthcare facility only opens 80 % appointment requests for early scheduling of appointments so that it can still accommodate walk-ins and unscheduled patients.

The facility is separated by teams: all specialties are represented including a Pulmonologist who has appointments in clinic 2 days a week. This differs from my private physician practitioners where referrals must be made by providers located outside of office. Having specialties onsite such as that in Gouverneur truly represents a `medical home.

Viewing the public clinic and comparing it to my private physician who is located in midtown Manhattan, I previously had the misconception/view that private providers provide higher quality services and have few wait times than public ones. Also, I used to think that the public providers were usually less qualified or experienced for medical practice. However, Gouverneur Healthcare Services has most physicians who are trained and groomed at New York University.

Both private and public providers are willing to provide preventive care even though preventive services are economically profitable. My previous assumption was that private physician offices, for profit, allow clients who pay to obtain quicker access to medical services than they would obtain if they go to the public system instead. But from my site visit, and from the comparison that I have derived, no significant differences arouse.