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Health care access is the ability to obtain healthcare services such as prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and management of disease, illness, disorders, and other health-impacting conditions. For healthcare to be accessible it must be affordable and convenient. Many people do not have access to adequate healthcare. This is the situation for many in developing countries, but we also see lack of access to health services in developed countries like the United States. Healthcare professionals, institutions, and governments face difficult choices when providing adequate and equitable healthcare. Inaccessibility to healthcare is a public policy issue and, many people feel, a moral issue. Three important themes in healthcare access are: the problem of poverty, the many barriers to healthcare access, and the question of healthcare resource allocation. These themes generate controversies about the role and alleviation of poverty, how to overcome access barriers, and how to fairly allocate limited resources to those most in need.
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