Community Care and the Art of Volunteering: The Way ahead for Health care

  • 05-Jan-2019   
  • | Dr. Reshma Jamal
  • | 357
  • Average Reading Time: 5 minutes and 7 seconds   

With the rising demand in ageing population, it is well known that the pressure on the health and social care system is growing at a rate as never before. The idea is to have a set up for patients to be cared for at places other than hospitals. The ambition is to set up a care closer to home and people have been working hard to achieve this for many years. Till now most often than not, this has not been achieved and requires a major change to accomplish. Governments have come up with community service initiatives to achieve the goal. The problem is that such initiatives have largely been concerned with structure and ownership of organisational services, which in turn leads to neglecting of service offered to patients.

For many community service is the way to go and achieve the ultimate goal of care. This is supposed to reduce the number of patients admitted in the hospitals and also affects the length of stay of patients in hospitals. This could be a great effort in helping primary care meet the growing demand of ageing and ailing population.

Another important step towards fulfilling the mission of public health sector is volunteering. The volunteering at present is something beyond what nurses and doctors do at free clinics. Without any prior experience, people can help others by making use of their time and effort by participating in simple acts like answering phone calls at clinics and health centres, delivering food, or educating the general public about health issues.

According to a report by the Points of Light Institute, if the voluntary work at public health care centres is paid, the wages would amount to more than $150 billion. It also stated that in the year 2009 about 8 billion hours were volunteered by 63 million volunteers in America. This simply accumulates to $170 billion worth of work. Globally this figures touches $400 billion contribution to economy.

Volunteering is a bridge between our socioeconomic divisions and plays a major role in strengthening our society as a whole. This could help in establishing a cohesive society by a strong collaboration of such organisations and local governments across the globe. In terms of our corporate world, volunteering is something that could be used to practice business activities and making decisions with respect for the environment and the community as a whole. The well-known socially responsible organizations are actively involved in such acts and are known to found and support philanthropic programs, and continuously encoring their employees to be responsible constituents of the society.

Volunteering has a positive impact on the health of volunteers as well. The people who contribute positively to society reap the benefits of understanding and knowing they are doing well. This can also be rooted to Social Integration Theory which emphasizes and explains the connection between social connections and finding meaning in one’s life. The theory describes volunteering as a process by which people peacefully blend with the community. People feel contented and believe they are leaving a good legacy if their time is contributed in such a way.

With the rising demand in ageing population, it is well known that the pressure on the health and social care system is growing at a rate as never before. The idea is to have a set up for patients to be cared for at places other than hospitals. The ambition is to set up a care closer to home and people have been working hard to achieve this for many years. Till now most often than not, this has not been achieved and requires a major change to accomplish. Governments have come up with community service initiatives to achieve the goal. The problem is that such initiatives have largely been concerned with structure and ownership of organisational services, which in turn leads to neglecting of service offered to patients.

For many community service is the way to go and achieve the ultimate goal of care. This is supposed to reduce the number of patients admitted in the hospitals and also affects the length of stay of patients in hospitals. This could be a great effort in helping primary care meet the growing demand of ageing and ailing population.

Another important step towards fulfilling the mission of public health sector is volunteering. The volunteering at present is something beyond what nurses and doctors do at free clinics. Without any prior experience, people can help others by making use of their time and effort by participating in simple acts like answering phone calls at clinics and health centres, delivering food, or educating the general public about health issues.

According to a report by the Points of Light Institute, if the voluntary work at public health care centres is paid, the wages would amount to more than $150 billion. It also stated that in the year 2009 about 8 billion hours were volunteered by 63 million volunteers in America. This simply accumulates to $170 billion worth of work. Globally this figures touches $400 billion contribution to economy.

Volunteering is a bridge between our socioeconomic divisions and plays a major role in strengthening our society as a whole. This could help in establishing a cohesive society by a strong collaboration of such organisations and local governments across the globe. In terms of our corporate world, volunteering is something that could be used to practice business activities and making decisions with respect for the environment and the community as a whole. The well-known socially responsible organizations are actively involved in such acts and are known to found and support philanthropic programs, and continuously encoring their employees to be responsible constituents of the society.

Volunteering has a positive impact on the health of volunteers as well. The people who contribute positively to society reap the benefits of understanding and knowing they are doing well. This can also be rooted to Social Integration Theory which emphasizes and explains the connection between social connections and finding meaning in one’s life. The theory describes volunteering as a process by which people peacefully blend with the community. People feel contented and believe they are leaving a good legacy if their time is contributed in such a way.


Dr. Reshma Jamal