VDOC for Empowering Women’s Health
We can look at different stages of a woman's life to examine the difficulties she faces
We frequently see issues with accessibility and affordability that women in rural areas face. In contrast, many people in urban areas believe there is no such problem. Even when affordability is not an issue, there is a hidden issue of accessibility that exists in the urban sector. We can look at different stages of a woman’s life to examine the difficulties she faces.
First, there is the adolescent stage. They are in school at this point. Girls have many health-related questions as they go through puberty, which is also accompanied by a variety of puberty-related health issues. Many of them are uncomfortable or prefer not to discuss such issues with their parents, who serve as a conduit for them to access any health services. Furthermore, their lack of access forces them to seek answers on the internet or seek advice from peers who aren’t well-informed, which can be harmful to their health. Similarly, they face similar issues in college and after graduation when they enter the workforce.
This is a critical period in their adulthood, and reproductive and sexual health become major concerns for females; additionally, this is a period of onset of other diseases such as breast and cervical cancer, as well as various noncommunicable diseases. However, because of the stigma associated with reproductive health, women are often hesitant to visit a doctor.
Another reason is that women’s obligations to their professional and personal lives prevent them from seeking health care. The high OPD fees also discourage people from visiting a doctor for minor issues as well as preventive checkups. Although many employers reimburse such health-care costs, many people find it inconvenient to visit a doctor when it is not absolutely necessary. Furthermore, there are socioeconomic differences between urban and lower-income women. Domestic workers face greater difficulties in obtaining health care, and some become victims of quacks.
Each new year brings its own set of challenges. Preventive, curative, rehabilitative, and palliative services are in high demand. However, these services are not delivered to their door. As a result, older women frequently rely on their families or partners for transportation to any healthcare facility. Traveling can be difficult for them at times, with their underlying condition complicating access to healthcare services even when the issue of affordability is removed. The patriarchal structure of society, which gives male members decision-making power over their women’s health, exacerbates the problems for women at all stages. All of the difficulties I mentioned above are not limited to specific age groups, but are felt by people of all ages.
As a result, the difficulties mentioned above are examples of what I mean by disguised accessibility of healthcare services.
Telemedicine can bridge this gap by making healthcare professionals available to all females of all ages in urban areas. This can be ensured by offering evidence-based telemedicine services in schools, offices, and retirement communities. However, it is physically impossible to have a doctor available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and this adds to the cost of a business. Nonetheless, telemedicine allows for the resolution of both issues. It can make access to healthcare professionals easier, more convenient, and less expensive for women, allowing them to have health security for their changing health needs. It could also increase access to primary health care because telemedicine makes preventive health services more accessible and affordable, which were previously significant barriers.
Furthermore, by acting as the first line of defence to any significant health concern, primary health care plays an important role in responding to women’s unique health needs as they age and bridging care during life transitions, from puberty and reproduction to menopause. As a result, telemedicine can help women gain control over their health, resulting in a healthier nation, because a nation is only as strong as its women.
(This article is contributed by Aishwarya Pathak, Co-Founder of VDOC Lifesciences Pvt Ltd).