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The World Health Organization Essay

1426 words - 6 pages

The World Health Organization (WHO) is the directing and coordinating authority for health within the United Nations system. It is responsible for providing guidance on global health matters, modeling the health research agenda, setting norms and standards, articulating evidence-based policy options, providing technical support to countries and observing and assessing health trends (World Health Organization). According to WHO, health is defined as “A state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely absence of disease or infirmity.” The definition of health provided by WHO is one that is derived from the Preamble to the Constitution of the World Health Organization as adopted by the International Health Conference. The definition has not been amended since 1948. According to the definition, it means human beings are considered truly healthy if they are mentally, physically and socially well; not merely just being absent from sickness and disease. In the United States (U.S.), women have access to health care, regardless of income or social stature. The health care law, also known as the Affordable Care Act, protects women from discriminatory health insurance practices, makes health coverage more affordable and easier to obtain, and improves access to many of the health services women need, (Women and Health, 2013).
Even though women in the U.S. have better access to health care, they still face some inequalities when attempting to afford the care they need. Women are often faced with unfair insurance practices, such as being deprived of coverage or are expected to pay more for health insurance than men. Regardless of that fact, many individual market health plans frequently omit coverage for services that only women need; services such as maternity care. In most states, women are consistently denied coverage because of pre-existing conditions. Examples include having had a C-section, breast or cervical cancer, or getting medical treatment for domestic or sexual abuse. Only 12% of individual market plans actually cover maternity care (Garrett, 2012). Although women in the U.S. face inequalities in insurance coverage, health reforms, that are starting full implementation in 2014, are making it illegal for health insurance companies to charge women more for coverage. Also, insurance plans for women are required to offer coverage for maternity and newborn care, mental health services, and pediatric services.
Despite the advances women have made in the U.S. in regards to healthcare, women globally are still struggling to receive adequate access. Women often face health care inequalities because of their needs surrounding sexual and reproductive care, which has shown to be costly when the appropriate precautions are taken. Another reason women face many inequalities, tying into the first reason, is because they tend to lack sufficient assets to pay for the health care they need. An example of this is that inadequate access to...

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