Residents in the sunny state of Florida face certain health care needs that are largely unique to this part of the country. High temperatures, weather patterns, demographics and economic factors all contribute to the health care needs of the state, which require policy makers and health care providers take into account when constructing comprehensive care plans.
One of the most pressing health care needs in Florida is for increased access to care. Although the state has universal health care coverage, this is not always enough to meet the needs of the population. Low-income Floridians are especially in need of expanded access to health services, since many of these individuals are either uninsured or underinsured. Furthermore, the demand for care has only grown in recent years as the state’s population continues to age and populations of uninsured and underinsured individuals continue to rise.
One of the most pressing health care needs in Florida is to tackle endemic and emerging diseases. The state’s climate and geography means that issues such as Zika and West Nile virus are a real concern. In addition to these issues, there has been an increasing demand for services to tackle chronic and rare diseases such as Hepatitis C, HIV/AIDS, and the like. As well as this, there is a need for increased resources and investment in mental health and addiction services, given the recent surge in opiate addiction rates that are gripping the state.
Another important health care need in Florida is end of life care. The growing population of retirees and aged citizens in the state means that current and future generations of Floridians will increasingly depend on end of life care. It is vital that measures are taken to ensure that the necessary medical, financial, and supportive resources are available to those who need it during this time. Access to hospice services is a particular need in Florida, with more than 40% of all hospices located in the state.
Finally, health care in Florida needs to be made easier to access, particularly for people living in rural areas. The state is notorious for its long distances, and this can make it difficult to find health care services. However, the state’s online and telehealth platforms are making it easier for residents to access care, particularly for those living in isolated or remote areas.
Despite the current challenges facing health care in Florida, the state has many advantages when it comes to providing care that meets the needs of its citizens. It is essential that policy makers and health care providers continue to invest in improved access to care, tackling endemic and emerging diseases, and end-of-life care for the benefit of all Floridians.