HSC 1531 FSCJ Health & Medical Defining Health Discussion

Respond to two follow-ups to a classmate’s posts:

1.     It is widely recognized that the US healthcare system places a greater emphasis on treating illness rather than promoting preventive care and keeping people healthy. This approach leads to higher healthcare costs and poorer health outcomes compared to other developed countries. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes are the leading cause of deaths and disabilities in the US. Many of these chronic diseases are preventable through lifestyle modifications and earlier interventions. However, the current healthcare system often lacks strategies such as patient education and awareness, health risk assessments, incentives and rewards and community engagements that support preventive care and the promotion of healthy behaviors. 

   Investing in preventive care has the potential to improve health outcomes and reduce healthcare costs in the long term. Studies have shown that a strong emphasis on preventive care can reduce the burden of chronic diseases, decrease hospitalization, and improve overall health of the entire population. For example, the National Library of Medicine estimated that preventive care interventions could save millions of lives and trillions of dollars in healthcare costs. Countries such as Sweden and Canada who place emphasizes on comprehensive and preventive care tend to have better health outcomes and lower healthcare costs per capita compared to the United States. These systems prioritize primary care, preventive screenings, and health education which contribute to healthier populations.

    In conclusion there is evidence that suggest that shifting towards a healthcare system that focused more on preventive care and keeping people healthy could lead to improved health outcomes and cost savings. To implement such changes would require implement comprehensive systemic reforms, which would involve addressing various factors beyond just clinical care, such as social determinants of health and access to healthcare services. 

2.     I feel that our healthcare system is built to support keeping people “healthy” because over the course of time, there has been so many improvements in resources that can help us. Of course, there are still so much room for growth but there is a significant number of supports in our healthcare system. As the World Health Organization states, health means the well-being of Mental, physical, and social state. Mental health is something that has become more of a discussion over time due to a number of factors such as financial struggle, racial issues, social isolation, etc. In 2019, the World health Organization launched “The WHO Special initiative for Mental Health”. This is a Universal Health coverage for mental health that ensures affordable and easy access for mental health conditions in 12 countries and to 100 million people (WHO, 2023). With Physical health, there has been a number of programs and resources that help people improve their health in so many ways. CDC’s “Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity” focuses of preventing chronic diseases and promoting good nutrition for all ages, ethnicities, etc. This program is so important because it allows all people to participate in the chance to be healthy and learn more about the resources available to them. Lastly, social health is something that isn’t talked about as much. Our environmental conditions affect the way we function, communicate, etc. According to research conducted by the National Library of Medicine, Hospitals and health systems that form partnerships that address the needs of their surrounding communities are more likely to have better health outcomes. When unmet social needs are identified it can improve so many people’s health individually and as a community. There are still a lot of things the healthcare system can work on, but they are helping so many people more and more each day.

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