Health care (or healthcare) is the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease, illness, injury, and other physical and mental impairments in humans. Health care is delivered by practitioners in medicine, chiropractic, dentistry, nursing, pharmacy, allied health, and other care providers. It refers to the work done in providing primary care, secondary care and tertiary care, as well as in public health.
Access to health care varies across countries, groups and individuals, largely influenced by social and economic conditions as well as the health policies in place. Countries and jurisdictions have different policies and plans in relation to the personal and population-based health care goals within their societies. Health care systems are organizations established to meet the health needs of target populations. Their exact configuration varies from country to country. In some countries and jurisdictions, health care planning is distributed among market participants, whereas in others planning is made more centrally among governments or other coordinating bodies. In all cases, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), a well-functioning health care system requires a robust financing mechanism; a well-trained and adequately-paid workforce; reliable information on which to base decisions and policies; and well maintained facilities and logistics to deliver quality medicines and technologies.
Health care can form a significant part of a country's economy. In 2008, the health care industry consumed an average of 9.0 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) across the most developed OECD countries. The United States (16.0%), France (11.2%), and Switzerland (10.7%) were the top three spenders.
Health care is conventionally regarded as an important determinant in promoting the general health and well-being of people around the world. An example of this is the worldwide eradication of smallpox in 1980—declared by the WHO as the first disease in human history to be completely eliminated by deliberate health care interventions.
Other articles related to "health care, health, care":
... See also Health information technology, Health informatics, and eHealth Health information technology (HIT) is “the application of information processing involving both computer hardware and ... attributes that can be networked to build systems for moving health information ...
... Community health, a field of public health, is a discipline that concerns itself with the study and betterment of the health characteristics of biological communities ... While the term community can be broadly defined, community health tends to focus on geographic areas rather than people with shared characteristics ... The health characteristics of a community are often examined using geographic information system (GIS) software and public health datasets ...
... Finnish health care can be considered good by several indicators ... For example, due to public health interventions and progress in medical care there have been remarkable improvements in life expectancy in Finland over the past few decades ... Finland is successful in particular with regards to specialized medical care and the coverage of screenings and vaccinations ...
... meetings and records of Hillary Rodham Clinton's health care task force ... political move, designed to disrupt our work on health care and foster an impression with the public and the news media that we were conducting ‘secret ... and Surgeons and the American Council for Health Care Reform ...
... SJGH provides 235 beds, with 110 for acute care and 125 for complex care ... of Toronto in 1913, to provide the needed health care to the settlers of the Comox Valley and its active logging industry ... Currently SJGH falls under the Vancouver Island Health Authority, but still maintains its Christian and Catholic principles through its current board of directors, of "commitment, compassion, competence ...
Famous quotes containing the words health care, care and/or health:
“It is unconscionable that we ration health care by the ability to pay.... your heart breaks. Health care should be a given.”
—Kathryn Anastos (b. 1950)
“Coming together again after a long day apart can be an experience where joy, relief, anger, and fatigue are all present in different degrees both for the parent and for the child. Because of their importance in marking the resumption of direct contact, reunions deserve as much attention and care as separations to enhance the relationship between parent and child.”
—Alicia F. Lieberman (20th century)
“We have to give ourselvesmen in particularpermission to really be with and get to know our children. The premise is that taking care of kids can be a pain in the ass, and it is frustrating and agonizing, but also gratifying and enjoyable. When a little kid says, I love you, Daddy, or cries and you comfort her or him, life becomes a richer experience.”
—Anonymous Father. Ourselves and Our Children, by Boston Womens Health Book Collective, ch. 3 (1978)