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Poverty is considered a major cause of ill health and often people do not get access to required healthcare due to poverty. This relationship between poverty and health can be seen through a financial perspective where people can not afford things including sufficient good healthcare and quality floods that are necessary for good health. Keith-Jennings et al. (2019) mentioned that living in poverty can contribute to a life of deplorable conditions, malnutrition, poor hygiene, and untreated preventable diseases. It has been found that around 2 million children every year die from preventable diseases all around the world as their families can not afford appropriate treatment (Children, 2022).
shows the healthcare differences among US adults due to lower-income or poverty. It can be observed that 33% of adults in US skipped necessary healthcare as they are not able to afford the cost. This study is going to address two important sociological approaches to [poverty and health which are conflict theory and structural functionalism. Furthermore, different government initiatives will be highlighted in this study that delivers better insights into the relationship between poverty and health. Along with that, political perspectives used in the sociology of health and illness will also be enlightened in this study.
A secondary data collection method has been followed for completing this study and understanding the link between poverty and health. Stobaugh et al. (2019) opined that secondary data collection is a comparatively easy data collection process that provides the opportunity of huge data access available over electronic sources with investing little effort and time. Relevant information for this topic has been gathered from electronic sources such as journals available on Google Scholar, government websites, and research papers of social scientists.
In order to examine collected data, thematic analysis has been used which has helped in making appropriate themes based on repetitive information in collected data. Neuendorf (2018) mentioned that thematic analysis is a flexible, quick, and easy approach that delivers a wide range of examining options. Therefore, this analysis has helped in understanding several initiatives taken by governments of different countries to address health and well-being of people who are from low-income categories.
Poverty plays a major role in slowing population control and undermining the effectiveness of health services. Several social and economic measures can be considered as the driving force of poverty. Economic measures of poverty include necessities for daily living like food, shelter, drinking water, or clothing. On the other hand, social measures include lack of access to quality education, political power, or healthcare. Nevertheless, higher levels of social mobility can provide a huge contribution to mitigating poverty.
It has been found that governments play a vital role and it is the responsibility of government of specific countries to advance and protect the interest of society which may include delivering high-quality healthcare services to people who are not capable of affording it. For example, Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB PM-JAY) can be mentioned which has been introduced by Indian government to support health of the people who live economically vulnerable categories (Pib, 2021). Furthermore, the journal of Knifton and Inglis (2020) highlighted that not only physical health, poverty also largely contribute to the mental health and well-being of people. In the context of health affairs politics also play a critical role. It has been observed that rising public health issues can be the reason for continuous changes in health policies with the change of political leaders in countries (Bekker et al. 2018).
Poverty can be defined as a state where people lack the acceptable amount of money that is required to survive. According to Cornwell and Laumann (2019), the theory of structural functionalism believes that everything that is working around is a part of society and it is important to confirm that every part is doing its own needed functions. As per the opinion of structural functionalists, inequality and stratification are the phenomena that benefit society and this functionalist ensures that the best people living in society are at the top of hierarchy whether the worst is at bottom. It has been observed that stigmas surrounding women, minorities, racial context, and lack of access to job opportunities are the reasons for accelerating poverty. View of functionalist on health emphasized that for continuing functions of society it is important to maintain appropriate medical care and good health among every individual of society (Birn and Nervi, 2019).
Conflict theory is also associated with poverty and health outcomes created by it. It mainly focuses on the struggle of community that reflects on guiding change in society. According to this theory, along with the development in social conflicts arise between those who have the mode of production and those who have worked for it (Cerio, 2019). A survey conducted in this journal revealed that there are several challenges experienced by poor families which include quality childcare, differences in employment, transportation, healthcare, or availability of resources. Health disparities among populations are created due to class inequalities and when health is a product, poor are more likely to face challenges and illness due to living and working in unhealthy environments, following poor diets, and lacking in raising their voice against system (Soares et al. 2019). By focusing on the above discussion, it has been identified that people have faced significant challenges due to a lack of proper knowledge regarding their health wellbeing. On the other hand, structural-functionalism theory states that rumours and inappropriate behaviour from surroundings also affect living and working conditions, which create a significant health gap in society, and it may lead people towards the issue of inappropriate health. Further, lack of job opportunities may affect people's well-being. Therefore, by focusing on the above discussion, it can be stated that sociological approaches may lead to the issue of poverty and appropriate health and wellbeing among people.
In the UK 1 in five people lives in poverty, which affects their health and wellbeing. It has been identified that a huge number of people in the UK live in poverty. In this aspect to reduce the issue of poverty and improve the health and wellbeing of people, the UK government has been played multiple roles and opportunities, those are discussed as follows. It has been identified that the UK government has developed “Five plan steps” to reduce the issue of poverty (Jrf.org.uk, 2020). In the context of five plan steps, the UK government has developed a strategy to boost income and reduce costs. In addition, delivering an effective benefit system is another significant method, which helps to reduce the burden of poverty. In the next stage, the UK government will ensure that improving the level of education and skills is a significant strategy, which will improve opportunity and equality among people and improve their wellbeing. In addition, strengthening families and communities is another major aspect, identified in the UK, which helps to reduce the issue of poverty and improve the health and wellbeing of people. Enhancing long-term growth and benefit also help people to reduce the issue of poverty (Jrf.org.uk, 2020). Therefore, by focusing on the above discussion, it can be stated that the UK government has played multiple emerging roles to reduce the burden of poverty and improve the health and wellbeing of people.
It indicates that the UK government has been focused on multiple aspects to reduce the burden of poverty and improve health and wellbeing of people (Health.org.uk, 2018). By focusing on the above figure, it can be stated that the financial safety net is one of the common behaviours identified among people, which influences healthy behaviour and reduces the burden of poverty. The UK government promotes and maintains healthy behaviour among people to reduce the burden of poverty and improve their health and wellbeing (Health.org.uk, 2018). In addition, the UK government promotes the feeling of relaxation among people to reduce the burden of the poverty issue (Health.org.uk, 2018). Therefore, by focusing on the above discussion, it can be stated that the UK government has promoted multiple healthy behaviours among people to reduce the burden of poverty and improve their health and wellbeing.
Besides the UK government, social workers and social scientists in the UK also played a merging role to reduce the burden of poverty and improve the health and wellbeing of people (Kingsfund.org.uk, 2021). It has been identified that the NHS provides free healthcare services at a single point which allow people in the UK to reduce the burden of poverty and allow them to live a healthy and wealthy life. The NHS has been raising awareness among people regarding their health and wellbeing, which helps to promote healthy behaviour and it, allows people to reduce the burden of poverty (Kingsfund.org.uk, 2021). In addition, the NHS played a significant role in reducing the issue of poverty by providing significant education among people regarding their healthy lifestyles. Therefore, by focusing on the above discussion, it can be concluded that the UK government followed by social scientists have played a significant role in the UK to reduce the issue of poverty and improve health and wellbeing.
This section is going to discuss political initiatives taken in the UK towards poverty and improving the health and wellbeing of people. It has been identified that poverty, homeliness, unemployment are crucial factors that affect the health and wellbeing of people in the UK (Gov.uk, 2021). In this aspect, the UK government has been focused on their wellbeing and promoting healthy behaviour to improve their health and wellbeing. It has been identified that the UK government has been focused on inequalities and the UK government has taken multiple actions to tackle inequality in health care services to reduce the burden of poverty and health (Gov.uk, 2021).
The UK government has been focused on Dahlgren and Whitehead’s model to reduce the burden of health inequalities and reduce the issue of poverty (Gov.uk, 2021). Above model indicates that age, sex, hereditary factors, individual lifestyle factors, social and community networks affect health and wellbeing of people. Further, the above model indicates that living and working conditions, unemployment, housing, health care services create significant negative effects on the health and wellbeing of people. In this aspect, the UK government has promoted equitable resourcing to reduce the burden of poverty and to allow people to improve health and wellbeing. It has been identified that equitable resourcing is a significant method to reduce the burden of poverty and improve health and wellbeing (Gov.uk, 2021). Further, the UK government has promoted self-management strategy among people by promoting education, which helps to reduce the issue of poverty. In the context of self-management, the UK government has promoted “The care act” among people to promote their health and influence their values. In this aspect, the UK government has taken significant initiatives to reduce the burden of poverty and improve their health and wellbeing (Gov.uk, 2021). Therefore, by focusing on the above discussion, it can be stated that the UK government has taken multiple initiatives to reduce the burden of poverty and improve health and wellbeing.
This study has concluded the critical role that poverty plays in defining health status among population. It has been found that due to living under poverty line many people did not get access to quality healthcare which impacts their physical as well as mental health. Different government initiatives have identified the need of delivering health benefits to people who are in an economically vulnerable position. It has been identified that social perspective along with political perspective has a huge contribution toward poverty and health. However, allocating proper information regarding healthcare services and increasing employment equality can help in mitigating poverty and accelerating social mobility.
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