#badEM16: Charmaine Cunningham – The gamble: do I pay or do I stay

#badEM16: Charmaine Cunningham – The gamble: do I pay or do I stay

1200 672 Kirsten Kingma

Selling assets in order to pay for care so that your child has a chance of survival should not be a decision that a parent is required to make, and yet often it is….

I’m Charmaine and I’m passionate about access to care.  For #badEM16 I combined some of my interests, including the system, how people in a system make sense of a situation and their subsequent decision-making process. When one considers decision-making during an emergency situation, the perceived trade-offs becomes an important concept. What is the person/family/household giving up in order to obtain and pay for care?  In low resource settings trade-offs often result in depletive strategies, where assets are sold in order to obtain care and jobs are sacrificed to travel vast distances to rudimentary care facilities. For the poor, accessing care often results in financial hardship with long-term implications. 

Emergency care should be free….

And yet it’s not.  Therefore the intricate decision regarding trade-offs become barriers to obtaining care (especially for the rural poor). One way to enhance access to early basic care at minimal cost is to involve the community.  Community responders are a low cost intervention that is relatively easy to implement and it has an immediate benefit within a community.  In order to be meaningful and sustainable the implementation should remain context-specific, which is rather tricky.

Currently in real life I’m making a trade-off…I’m learning about knowledge management, complexity science and consulting outside of healthcare.  The plan is to bring the knowledge gained outside of healthcare into the industry, using it to strengthen and innovate within the health system. Other than building these capacities, I am a part-time consumer science lecturer on topics including business management, consumer behaviour, communication and entrepreneurship.

Now for the talk