Health Services Accessibility

Health services refer to a wide range of activities that aim to improve people’s health. These include medicine, dentistry, midwifery, pharmacy, nursing, allied health professions and other healthcare interventions.

Many of these healthcare services are available through community-based organizations. These organizations receive federal funding through Health Center Program grants.


Seniors care, also known as healthcare or medical care, is the diagnosis, treatment, amelioration or cure of disease, illness, injury and other physical and mental impairments in people. It involves the activities of professionals in the field of medicine, dentistry, nursing, midwifery, pharmacy and allied health professions. It also includes interventions designed to promote good health, such as vaccines and medicines, along with public health services such as food safety surveillance, distribution of condoms or needle-exchange programs to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. Health care also includes residential and community-based rehabilitation services, such as occupational therapy, speech therapy and physical therapy.


The cost of providing health care can be measured in many ways. One way is through a cost-benefit analysis, in which alternatives are evaluated on the basis of their financial cost and their benefit to society (measured as something like “quality-adjusted life years”).

Another way is to look at the costs of individual health services or products. In 2019, this totaled about $3,795 billion in current (nominal) dollars. A third method is to examine inflation-adjusted expenditures, which remove the effects of price increases.

Health policymakers often focus on the cost of medical services provided to patients, particularly in comparison to the costs of similar services in other wealthy nations. However, the costs of the other components of health care—such as medical research, administration, and insurance coverage—should not be ignored when trying to understand what drives healthcare costs. The NYHealth Foundation’s online chart book on health care spending provides an objective, easy-to-use resource for exploring the drivers of rising costs, variations in spending and trends in outcomes and quality.


The accessibility of health care is a key component to ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to gain entry into the healthcare system. It allows people to have access to a healthcare provider and to be seen by one quickly. This is an important element of preventing long-term illnesses and controlling health costs. In addition, accessibility is an essential factor in achieving better outcomes and promoting patient-centred healthcare.

It is important to note that the term “access” does not just refer to geographical and organisational availability, affordability or appropriateness of services. It also encompasses the ability to utilise those services in ways that are suitable for the individual. For example, a person with a low income might choose to use untrained practitioners who provide traditional healing and medicine. In this way, the individuals may be able to overcome barriers such as lack of transportation or time off work. However, the utilisation of these services will result in different outcomes from those provided by trained health professionals.


Preventive care is a critical component of the health care system. It is defined as a set of interventions designed to promote healthy behaviors and reduce the risk of illness. It includes a variety of activities, from immunizations to health screenings and counseling. Despite their effectiveness, preventive services are often underutilized. This is due to cost, time, and resource constraints.

Clinical preventive strategies aim to prevent the onset of disease by reducing exposure to risk factors or by targeting high-risk groups. They can also be used to manage a disease in its early stages to reduce complications and slow or stop the progression of a disease. These approaches are known as primary and secondary prevention.

Stakeholder interviewees emphasized that underutilization of preventive services is more likely a result of an implementation gap than a knowledge gap. This involves implementing the right metrics and ensuring that incentives are aligned across payers. It also includes leveraging existing and emerging designs for payment and delivery model structures to shape guidelines, standards of care, and financial incentives.

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