Good health is the most important part of our lives—without it, nothing else matters. A decline in a specific aspect of a person’s health can have a knock-on effect on other parts of their life. The fact is, people of all ages and genders can be affected by health issues. Diseases, disorders, and complications can pop up out of the blue and can also be inherited, or, someone could simply be born with health issues. Whatever it is, keeping people healthy is no easy feat.
The cost of healthcare skyrockets every year, and with more and more people being born into the world and the elderly living longer, it is not surprising that costs have spiked and that illness is at an all-time high, just because the is population too!
That being said, it will also come as no surprise that healthcare is crucial to the wellbeing of citizens. This piece will discuss the importance of healthcare, what healthcare is used for, and why everyone needs access to it.
“Health issues in America are prominent, with problems affecting sizable chunks of the population.”
Health in America
In all countries, health is important. However, with America’s large population, there are bound to be many issues. In 2018, the top 10 health issues in America included the following:
Commonly known as high blood pressure. It places extra stress on the heart and can cause heart attacks or strokes.
A mood disorder with characteristics of despair and hopelessness, which often goes untreated.
When fatty deposits build up within blood vessels and arteries, restricting blood flow around the body.
Coronary heart disease
Where coronary arteries are damaged, putting those with the disease at risk of a heart attack.
Type 2 diabetes
Blood sugar levels that are higher than normal.
Where a person’s overall health is negatively impacted due to their dependence on legal or illegal substances.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
Chronic inflammation of the lungs.
Mental disorders such as schizophrenia, which make victims struggle to get a grip on reality.
Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis
The inflammation of the digestive tract. This includes the small intestine and the start of the large intestine.
These health issues are definitely a cause for concern, especially when some affect as much as 12% of the population. It is not difficult to imagine the strain this might put on healthcare services, or the absolute disaster it would be if health services did not exist.
“The pursuit of optimal health has created a trillion-dollar industry”
The Pursuit of Optimal Health
The pursuit of optimal health is nothing new, however, it has definitely been pushed to the forefront of society’s priorities in recent years, as evidenced by the recent boom in the health industry. Everyone is looking for a quick fix, tips, and tricks or plans to allow themselves to become the healthiest yet. Furthermore, some will spare no expense to achieve it.
Juices, smoothies, fasting, low carb, low fat, HIIT training, superfoods, hot yoga—the list is endless when it comes to new claims of what is best in the pursuit of good health. And with technology growing and expanding, it is predicted that the health and wellness sector will benefit from this too.
The wellness market
It is estimated that the global wellness market was worth $4.5 trillion in 2018, with a prediction that the market will continue to grow. There are no signs of the advancement of health technology slowing down. In fact, these developments will also be vital to the progression of professional healthcare.
The standard of technology that is on offer in the current market compared to what was on offer five years ago is outstanding in terms of innovation. There are many gizmos and gadgets that can be carried in person and used to assess and monitor medical issues; for example, ECG monitors that can be connected to smartphones in order to measure the status of the heart at any point. Information can also be shared with a doctor immediately.
There’s even a gadget for those who wish to check the purity of the air in order to monitor any lung conditions!
These technological advancements have certainly had a direct impact on healthcare. There is now more data that can be collected than ever before. This data can be used to advance healthcare, minimize costs, and help patients more efficiently.
“Healthcare has a direct effect on societies and communities and is often a defining factor of each state”
The Importance of Healthcare in Society
One of the reasons that healthcare is crucial is because of the impact it has on society. It is often noted that the quality of a healthcare system and the health services that are offered in a society are defining factors of the quality of life in a particular state. Due to the fact that healthcare services, policies, and laws differ from state to state, these have a direct impact on societies.
Access to a high-quality healthcare system is a fast and somewhat accurate way of assessing both the physical and mental wellbeing of people within a specific state. In fact, how accessible it is will also speak volumes about how many people are helped.
Health and happiness are paramount to a flourishing economy, which is also why the quality of healthcare can correlate with a country’s economic health.
“There are so many sectors of healthcare and each one of them is just as important as the other”
The Importance of Different Types of Healthcare
One size does not fit all with many aspects of life, and healthcare is no exception to this rule.
Within the healthcare industry, there are many sectors, and healthcare professionals are trained in order to be able to apply their skills and expertise to improve different aspects of our lives. Some areas of healthcare include the following:
Dentistry—dentists, dental assistants, and dental hygienists all play an important role in helping keep gums and teeth healthy
Optometry—optometrists and optometrist assistants take care of eye health
General practitioner—doctors see to a variety of ailments, from mild to life-threatening issues
Nurse— nurses provide essential support to patients and run important checks such as blood tests and check-ups
These are just a few of the roles that are carried out by professionals within their chosen healthcare sector, and realistically, the responsibilities are endless. That being said, the diversity of healthcare means that citizens can get the best advice from those at top of their field. This can make a significant difference in people’s lives.
Furthermore, there are many niche areas and subcategories within specific healthcare professions. For example, nurses can specialize in geriatric nursing, which is the care of the elderly. Here, the focus is on managing chronic age-related illnesses and creating care plans. It also includes helping to educate the families of patients with these conditions.
At the other end of the spectrum, a nurse can specialize in the medical care of newborn babies and children up to their adolescent years. While these roles are both nursing roles, the skillset and day-to-day responsibilities differ greatly.
Parents are often more comfortable with pediatric nurses treating children with special healthcare needs. This is because of their specific training and dedication to children’s health.
For those who are passionate about children’s health and are looking for a rewarding career, why not become a pediatric nurse practitioner?
Whichever area of healthcare piques your interest, they all offer a rewarding role.
The Importance of Healthcare and Primary Benefits
The primary healthcare system serves several purposes. The main goal is being able to provide consistent and comprehensive healthcare to patients.
Primary healthcare is the face of the whole healthcare system. It is the first point of contact for those who are in need of healthcare. It provides a point of entry to the entire healthcare organization.
So what exactly is the role of a primary healthcare worker? You will see a primary healthcare worker with any non-life-threatening health issue. They will gain insight from the patient about a specific issue and open up a safe discussion. Following an assessment, they may be able to help the patient understand what it is that is happening. If further investigation is needed, they will refer the patient to the appropriate department. Here, the healthcare professionals have expert knowledge in a particular area.
Early management of health conditions
One of the biggest strains on healthcare is when health issues become critical. This is why early management of health conditions is such an important primary healthcare benefit. Primary healthcare is where smaller and more routine tests take place. These tests include blood tests, pap smears, blood pressure monitoring, mammograms, and screenings for conditions such as STIs or bowel cancer.
It has been suggested that with more primary healthcare in place, fewer unnecessary and wasteful hospital admissions would be made, which could certainly help the healthcare sector move forward.
Reduced need for specialist care
The initial assessments that take place in primary care reduce the waste of both resources and time. Additionally, it also serves as a critical opportunity for early intervention. This not only benefits the patient’s emotional wellbeing but also may prevent the need for more invasive treatment at a later date.
Primary healthcare has a strong focus on preventative treatment. There is an emphasis on staying well and fit rather than using medical intervention. Campaigns such as those for stopping smoking, reducing alcohol intake, eating a balanced diet, and staying physically active are all preventative measures that are promoted within healthcare.
Relationship with patients
An ongoing and consistent relationship between a patient and doctor can provide a crucial understanding of the history and personality of a patient. From the patient’s perspective, seeing the same doctor builds trust and offers familial comfort. This would not be obtained if the patient was to see a different doctor every visit.
While notes are always available on file, they do not give the doctor the whole picture. In fact, a few sentences quickly typed up might not give a different doctor the required insight that a patient might need to build trust and feel heard, understood, and cared for.
The Importance of Healthcare and Managing Disease
Managing disease is vital to the health of society. This includes both the health of its citizens and the health of the economy. An effective system helps in disease management by providing skilled healthcare workers who are able to identify a range of illnesses. This can range from patients who are at risk of developing a chronic illness, to those who have simply caught a common bug.
Disease management is beneficial to both the patient and the healthcare system, as when potential chronic illnesses are identified before they materialize, and managed before they increase in severity, this can help eliminate any costs that are associated with treatment for an illness that could otherwise have been avoided.
All in all, healthcare is vital to the wellbeing of all aspects of civilization. It should be treated as such, in order to keep progressing and keep the world safe and healthy.