Components of Healthcare

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As the healthcare system has grown and evolved to the entity we know today, it has been developed into a multifaceted being indeed. Though what appears to be our national healthcare system, a unified and aligned system, it really is not. Americans enter and are cared for by various spokes of the wheel that is truly our healthcare system. These Americans hail from all walks of life, Middle-Income America, the unemployed and uninsured, military men and women, as well as, those who have already served, Veterans (Torrens & Williams, 2002). How their healthcare is provided ranges from privately funded, insurance driven care, to care provided for the impoverished by local government, and healthcare provided to the current and retired military from the federal government. Though there variations of how all of the Americans are cared for, there are common components that make each version of the healthcare system a whole. The following will describe the basic service components and why they are necessary to make a healthcare system complete. The first of these basic components is Primary Care. Primary Care is defined as a basic level of health care provided by the physician from whom an individual has an ongoing relationship and who knows the patient 's medical history. Primary care services emphasize a patient 's general health needs such as preventive services, treatment of minor illnesses and injuries, or identification of problems that require referral to specialists (Larsson, 2005). As health care evolved and the scientific method mastered, prevention of disease and injury became paramount. Protection of our communities and population became a mainstay in fighting and eradicating illness. Though the majority of primary care is provided in the private sector, the local and federal government provide the same opportunity for primary care, though choices and access may be limited (Torrens & Williams, 2002). The next necessary component of a healthcare system is


References: Academy Health, (2004), Glossary of Terms Commonly Used in Healthcare, 2004 Edition, Retrieved on June 11, 2005 from http://www.academyhealth.org/publications/glossary.pdf Larsson, L. (2005), Glossary of Health Care and Health Care Management Terms, UW School of Public Health and Community Medicine, Health Services Library Information Center. Retrieved on June 10, 2005 from http://depts.washington.edu/hsic/resource/glossary.html#u Williams, S. J. & Torrens, P. R. (2002). Introduction to health services, 6th ed. New York: Delmar

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