chapter  2
19 Pages

Understanding the Semantics of Health Care

ByDouglas R. Mackintosh

Individuals from different disciplines or from diverse backgrounds but who make a contribution to health care often get together to discuss the future of the system. Besides preventive medicine, many health educators are teaching the importance of treating people rather than diseases. Instead of concentrating all their efforts on one part of the body, providers are supposed to treat the whole patient, or take a holistic approach toward the delivery of care. A common mistake is to equate health as measured by health status indicators with the quality of care delivered by a health system. If health care is a right, then it ought to be accessible and delivered to everyone, even to the extent of making it free at the point of delivery in the system. This also suggests that someone, perhaps the government, has a positive duty to provide health services to the holder of the right.