OVERVIEW

In a literal sense, health care means taking care of one’s health. Even so, certain inevitable factors such as aging, congenital diseases, genetic disorders and prolonged illnesses demand that we seek professional health care services.

Also for the sake of health checkups, we may need the aid of a health professional. Beside these, we are responsible for our well-being. This can be achieved by maintaining a healthy lifestyle. The best person to care for you is basically, you.

WHAT IS HEALTH CARE? 

Health care is the effort made by health professionals in the health care system to ensure the wellbeing of an individual and the society at large.

Nonetheless , health care is faced with difficulties all across the world. These difficulties are influenced by the differences in standard of living coupled with stipulated health  policies.  

The very core of health care is centred on its quality; up to 15% of deaths that occur in low and middle income countries are due poor-quality of health, according to findings.

Health care is carried out by health care professionals in the various medical fields , some of which are ; 

  • Medicine – physicians /medical specialists
  • Dentistry — dentists
  • Midwifery — midwives
  • Pharmacy —pharmacists
  • Nursing —nurses
  • Therapy—therapist
  • Optometry —optometrist
  • Psychology —psychologist

METHODS OF THE HEALTH CARE SYSTEM

The purpose of health care is to provide physical, mental and emotional wellness. This is accomplished by methods of prevention, diagnosis and treatment. 

  • Prevention – these are measures put in place to reduce the incidence or effects of diseases and illnesses.
  • Diagnosis — these are techniques designed to determine the nature as well of the cause of a disease.
  • Treatments — these are managements  implemented to combat the effects of  diseases and disorders.

 TYPES OF HEALTH CARE

Health care can be divided into primary, secondary and tertiary health care based on the magnitude of  attention required. More so, health care could  be administered at home, in hospital and at  specialized care centres by a health care provider. 

  • Primary Health Care (PHC)

Primary health care is the fundamental level of health care and includes a range of services such as health promotion, early diagnosis and diseases prevention.

 According to the World Health Organization(WHO) , primary health care at its health, is about caring for people rather than simply treating specific diseases and conditions. When primary health care is properly catered for, there is a reduced risk of future emergencies. 

 A healthy system requires an efficient primary health care in order to ensure an improved quality of health. Primary health care providers are mostly a patient’s  first point of contact in search of medical solutions. They include,  paramedics, nurses, medical consultants, physician assistants etc.

Some primary heath care services include

  • Vaccination/immunization
  • Physical diagnosis
  • Screening
  • Secondary Health Care

Secondary health care is the intermediate level of health care and are provided by medical specialist in hospitals.  Patients in the secondary health care system are mostly referrals from the primary health care.

This is usually due to the severity of their condition. Secondary health care requires an intense degree of medical intervention relative to that of the primary health care system.

Secondary health care services are administered by specialists such as neurologist, cardiologist, dermatologist, psychologist and others.  Some of theirs services include tests to prove or search for suspected abnormalities.

  • Laboratory diagnosis
  • Imaging studies such as X-rays, Computer Tomography (CT) scans, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) etc
  • Specific tests
  • Tertiary Health Care

Tertiary health care is the ultimate level of health care. It is very technical and requires a highly specialized personnel. It constitutes referred patients from the primary and secondary health care unit.

Patients in the tertiary health unit require a more  advanced from of medical intervention relative to that of the primary and secondary health care system. The tertiary health care system is characterized by; 

  • Advanced diagnosis support services
  • Specialized intensive care unit
  • Surgical intervention

Health Care Challenges

Administrating good health care is essential to maintaining a healthy population. Moreover , a healthy population makes a healthy economy.

The Lack of adequate health care services comes with adverse effects, sometimes even fatal consequences. Despite that, a number of people have been known to skip health care services. The refusal of  health care service  is usually steered by setbacks such as ;

  • High cost
  • Overpriced drugs
  • Poverty
  • Unfavourable Health policies
  • Politics

The problem of cost is the main influencing factor why most people refuse to seek medical care.Studies have shown that,75% of population in some countries prefer to seek care from informal care providers rather than health care professionals.

Recent findings suggest that over 40% people with depression, anxiety and other health conditions skip health care treatment due to the cost.

Further,  poor quality of health worldwide is greatly influenced by corruption and inadequate resources. Health care has become politicized thus making it hard for the government to properly invest in health care system.

Life is precious yet it’s being lost due to the mismanagement of the health care system as well as the lack of adequate resources. Most of the time, these fatalities are preventable. Most importantly, much attention should be given to low and middle income countries to ensure good quality health care services.  

Alexander Peters, a surgical resident at Weill Cornell, puts it even better ;According to him “ good health care should not be a luxury available only to people in high income countries” 

HOW TO IMPROVE HEALTH CARE

  • Reform of health policies
  • Adequate investments
  • Proper training
  • Health care education
  • Supervision and accountability

Before anyone decides to visit a health care facility, one  must first consider the following;

  • Wether the doctors are competent
  • The convenience of the place
  • The credibility of that facility
  • The insurance policies of that facility