DISASTER MANAGEMENT AND HEALTH SERVICES ADMINISTRATION
Disaster management and health services administration are two areas of concern that are critical to the development and well-being of a society. Health services administration deals with the various issues that come up within a population regarding the wellbeing of the people. In some cases, health issues may affect the entire population, while other instances will see the concerns affect only a portion of the people. Regardless of how critical a public health situation is, the people in charge of governance should always be serious about handling the circumstances. This is because the health of a society is directly related to its success. Similarly, crises and disasters are a critical issue for every society. Every community finds itself with crises, which threaten to destabilize the society if left unattended. When put together, disaster management and health services administration should be major areas of concern for any government for the sake of a nation’s advancement.
Disasters are damaging physical events, occurrences and human activities that result in deaths, injury, infrastructural damage and the disruption of society (Kapucu and Ozerdem 2013, 12). Kapucu and Ozerdem (2013, 12) argue that disasters start out as hazards but due to various vulnerabilities within a society, they escalate into the type of crises that could cause extensive damage. This means that vulnerabilities within a society ultimately determine whether a hazard will spiral into a disaster or not (Kapucu and Ozerdem 2013, 12). Disasters and public health share an intricate link because the former aggravate any dangerous conditions concerning the latter.
Health services management entails a wide range of issues related to the public’s wellbeing. Burke and Friedman (2011, 2) argue that the management of health services involves the prevention of pandemics, protection of the public against environmental hazards, the aversion of injuries and the promotion of lifestyles that enable the wellbeing of a people. Since public health issues cover a very large area, the management of these services is perhaps the most important aspect of the sector (Burke and Friedman 2011, 3). It is only through the proper management of these health concerns that a society can safeguard the wellbeing of its people and safeguard its future.
The administration of health services and disaster management are closely related because the negligence of a community’s wellbeing can result in a crisis that claims countless lives. Clements (2009, 2) supports this view by arguing that public health crises are normally very dynamic situations that are likely to place a strain on a community’s resources if they are unanticipated. Since disasters pose a serious threat to any society, it is important for administrators in the risk management and health services administration departments to streamline the processes that are supposed to protect the public from adverse situations. Administrators in the two areas can achieve high levels of competence by implementing key principles for use in emergencies (Clements 2009, 2).
The way some emergencies played out in the United States underlines the importance of having good systems and protocols to implement in disaster management and health service administration. Schneider (2011, 6) argues that poor responses from the government aggravated some situations into disasters such as Hurricane Katrina and Loma Prieta Earthquake. Nothing emphasises the need for planning and governance more than the case of New Orleans. Periodic disasters and crises that date as far back as the 1926 floods had placed the region in dire need for proper management systems (Fink 2013, 22). However, Hurricane Katrina still found the state and federal authorities unprepared thus showing the laxity with which the government currently handles issues of disaster and health services management (Schneider 2011, 6).
Different scholars and experts agree on the fact that the management of
disasters and the health service are two activities that go hand in hand. This
is mostly because negligence on the former is likely to result in a crisis
concerning the latter. Hurricane Katrina is an appropriate example for this
situation, with the delayed government response making the situation aggravate
from a hazard to a disaster. Based on this view, various scholars state that
they key issue on public health is management, particularly how the people in
charge deal with the various circumstances that come up. For these reasons,
governments should make sure that there is coordination in the way that
disasters and health services are managed. Additionally, administrators should
handle the two areas tentatively to ensure the wellbeing of their subjects.
Burke, Robert, and Leonard H. Friedman. 2011. Essentials of Management and Leadership in Public Health. Sadbury: Jones and Barlett Learning.
Clements, Bruce. 2009. Disasters and Public Health: Planning and Response. Burlington: Butterworth-Heinemann.
Fink, Sheri. 2013. Five Days Memorial at New York. New York: Crown Publishers.
Kapucu, Naim, and Alpasian Ozerdem. 2013. Managing Emergencies and Crises. Burlington: Jones & Barlett Learning.
Schneider, Saundra K. 2011. Dealing with Disaster: Public Management in Crisis Situations. Armonk, New York: M.E. Sharpe.