A question of equity
Utopia clinicians witness health inequities every day. Enabling equitable access to healthcare is part of course for us. Utopia registrar Dr Amireh Fakhouri, recently saw a 5yo girl with poorly controlled asthma. For various reasons, including being a refugee family with poor health literacy, the child was not receiving her asthma preventer twice daily. This resulted in repeated hospital presentations at great cost to the child's well-being. She was seen numerous times in our clinic by my colleagues, with the same issue.
To ensure this young girl could achieve the best health outcome with the limited resources available, Dr Fakhouri contacted her school and explained the situation, and they offered to give her the asthma preventer daily in the morning. This enabled at least a 50% dose during week days. Her asthma control has improved since, and she has not come back with a exacerbation.
Health equity is the fair and just distribution of resources and this girl required more than just the general standard of care. Dr Fakhouri (herself from a Palestinian background and no stranger to the issues that affect a persecuted population) recently published “Health Inequity in Australian Paediatric Patients” which explores these inequities that we see daily as doctors. The book explores the poor health outcomes and prognosis of children because of the unfair and unjust distribution of resources. For further information about the publication, check out the link below