#GlobalHealthCorner: Healthcare Advocacy

Who is an Advocate?

The Cambridge dictionary describes an advocate as someone who,

publicly supports or suggests an ideadevelopment, or way of doing something.” An advocate can be a single individual or a group of people.

In general, advocates strive to make sure that people from all walks of life are given a voice and heard on issues that are important to them. Advocates aim to protect and promote the rights of others, and make sure that the views and wishes of these individuals are genuinely considered when decisions are being made about their lives. In the realm of healthcare, advocates play significant roles in the medical care of patients and healthcare providers.

What is a Healthcare Advocate?

Healthcare advocates often help patients and their families navigate through the healthcare system and ensure that they are getting access to the services most appropriate for their needs. They provide education so patients can make well-informed healthcare decisions, and they provide guidance on non medical aspects of healthcare such as insurance, administrative, and/or legal inquiries. Patients can be connected to healthcare advocates either independently or through dedicated advocacy organizations. Many of these organizations already have existing partnerships with hospitals and can be easily accessed within facilities of care.

Why is Advocacy Important in Healthcare?

On a large scale, the overarching goal of healthcare advocacy is to make changes to the system. This is done through interactions with lawmakers and leaders who dictate how healthcare policies are created and implemented. It allows lawmakers to make well informed decisions during policy-making processes that affect healthcare facilities, healthcare providers, and patients. In general, healthcare advocacy pushes for reforms that “put the newest research into practice and cultivate better partnerships within the healthcare industry.” In addition to this, healthcare advocacy encourages lawmakers to better account for different social determinants of health when changing or introducing new healthcare policies. Healthcare advocacy allows for improvements in individual and community health, and indirectly reduces health disparities.

Who can become a healthcare advocate?

Healthcare advocates come from various backgrounds. From nurses, to social workers, to lawyers, hospital administration, and community workers. Many advocates are already deep within their field before they decide to take on the role of advocacy. With the right training, education, and skills, anyone can become a healthcare advocate and start positively impacting the lives of patients and the healthcare community as a whole.

Together we can make an impact on the health of the nations and the generations to come.

The mission of WHEF is to increase accessibility to medications and supplies for healthcare facilities in Guatemala and Grenada. If you are interested in hearing more about the work we are doing, or in connecting with us, you can visit our website, check out our instagram or facebook, or sign up to receive our newletters. If you would like to support us in our work, please donate here.

The mission of WHEF is to increase accessibility to medications and supplies for healthcare facilities in Guatemala and Grenada. If you are interested in hearing more about the work we are doing, or in connecting with us, you can visit our website, check out our instagram or facebook, or sign up to receive our newletters. If you would like to support us in our work, please donate here.

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