Socioeconomic Levels & Our Health

by Cameron Willis






A person's socioeconomic level also shows their relationship to their health and utilization of health care. Variables in a person's surroundings have a significant impact on their health, for example, working circumstances have an impact on someone's capacity to stay healthy. Through a materialist analytical viewpoint, I will investigate and remark on the link between socioeconomic position and health in this study. In particular, how a person's job affects their health, their capacity to keep healthy, seek health, and their contacts with the healthcare system and other health services. In general, the socioeconomic position may be thought of as a continuum having a higher and lower end, as well as a "medium" class. People on the bottom end of the spectrum include those who are less educated, come from broken households, work low-paying occupations, and live in deplorable surroundings. People that are well educated, come from decent households, have prominent occupations, or just higher paid employment, for example, can be found on the higher end of the scale. These factors that categorize them on either side also have a part in determining their health. Their standing dictates which doors are open to them and what level of access they have.

Let's begin with the lower class, shall we? Employees in lower-paying occupations are more likely to receive few or no benefits. They do not provide paid time off, and taking time off is frequently frowned upon. If a person in a lower-status job needed to take time off to receive health care for themselves or a family member, they would be less likely to do so since they would not be paid and would be unable to make ends meet. Because they have few or no benefits to cover the price of their medical needs, such as dental or optical, they must pay out of pocket.


Because these medical procedures are so costly, individuals will most likely opt not to use them.


These people put their health on the line because of their socioeconomic situation, which means they have uneven access to health care. Individuals of lower socioeconomic status will most likely not benefit from these free services because they will not be able to afford the time it takes to actually go.




Then we have the upper class. Higher-paying, more prominent jobs, on the other hand, nearly usually provide paid time off as well as a substantial number of health benefits to their employees. Individuals in this status category can take time off for their own health or the health of someone close to them, such as their children, without incurring a financial loss because the time will be compensated for. They also generally benefit from having comprehensive health care coverage via their employer, which allows them to complement their health care with treatment that costs them little to nothing, depending on the type of coverage they have. Even if they opt to use a health treatment that was previously unavailable, they will most likely be able to finance this service without taking a significant financial hit or struggling to provide for long periods of time.


The health consequences for those on both sides of the socioeconomic divide are diametrically opposed. Because of their employment situations, those in the lower and working classes are less likely to be as healthy as those in the upper class with a more prominent career. They'll be more inclined to overlook problems until they become too critical to ignore, and they won't be able to take advantage of health treatments that aren't funded by the Canadian federal government. They're also more likely to continue working despite any health difficulties, putting their health at risk.


Those on the higher end of the socioeconomic spectrum are more likely to make use of the "shared responsibility" healthcare system and the services it provides. They will also make use of their employer-provided health insurance and paid sick days. They will be more likely to be in better health in the short and long term, and they will have more options for seeking better health.


Changes in or execution of government rules on labor standards are suggested as ways to improve the health of persons at lower socioeconomic levels. Individuals who work in less prominent occupations without benefits or paid time off should be given some paid sick days to use. Employees should be granted a minimum of 5 paid sick days per year, regardless of the type of job they have, because family members or themselves may get ill at any moment. Employers should be required to provide a minimal minimum level of health care benefits to their workers on an annual basis. This might include, for example, a yearly minimum of prescription medicine coverage or a yearly visit to the dentist, allowing the individual to maintain a particular degree of personal health.


An individual's socioeconomic status and health share a relationship in which their status determines their ability to maintain or gain health. Those on the lower end of socioeconomic status have significantly less opportunity to achieve or maintain health as they lack the benefits from employee health insurance or paid sick days unlike those in the higher status bracket. Self-reported health was positively related to social class. The lower one's socioeconomic status, the worse one's physical and mental health. The association between social class and self-rated health was partially mediated by health self-management. That is, the lower class's ability to control their own health, such as access to appropriate and nutritious food and assessing their own health state, is lower than the upper class's, resulting in physical and mental health disparities between the two groups. Those on the higher end of the bracket are enabled by their status to have or seek out better health as they benefit from work health insurance and paid days off. Policy changes or implementation by the federal government are suggested to ameliorate this health gap created based on a person’s employment. Promoting healthy self-management practices is beneficial to both physical and mental well-being.


Cameron Willis writes about Healthcare and Policy for Sarah Mason Consulting LLC.


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