It’s easy to take for granted the simplicity of driving your car for everyday errands, or a visit to a friend or a family member's home. But for many of us, it's a much needed doctors appointment that comes before everything else.
For those without a car, or who cannot drive anymore, a lack of transportation access can manifest into a lowered quality of life upon forfeiting those doctor’s appointments. This is what is called a negative social determinant of health — an adverse circumstance affecting a person’s overall well-being. The Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) have a major impact on people’s health, well-being, and quality of life.
The SDOH also contribute to wide range of health disparities and inequities. For example, people who don't have access to grocery stores with healthy foods are less likely to have good nutrition. This raises their risk of health conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and obesity, lowering life expectancy relative to people who do have access to healthy foods. In the case of transportation, for those already suffering from these conditions, the consequences continue to manifest.
According to the American Public Health Association, 5.8 million people in the U.S. delayed medical care because they didn’t have transportation in 2017. This means they did not get to health care facilities for well care, intervention, follow up care and any other issue that could impact their health. Delayed care leads to poorer health and higher costs throughout the entire healthcare system.
The problem often resides in the individual and collective capacity among our community's transportation composite. Our current system often fails to identify and focus on the cases more urgent and severe - those in need of a quality provider.
At 360 Quality Care and Transport Services, we are committed to improving our community's alignment and understanding of the lack of quality healthcare transportation. The challenges that we face regarding quality transportation requires all of us to get on board, recognizing first that this is a social injustice requiring change. Second, helping spread the word while we at 360 take action with the tools and resources to improve.