The Definition of Health Care
Health, as defined by the World Health Organization, is a condition in which “a person experiences well-being with respect to health, including physical well-being, mind and body health, and food/nutrition”. Various other definitions have also been used over time. For the most part, the focus has been on the ability to experience good health and well-being. This implies that persons must be in good physical condition, and if they are not, they need to take steps to remedy the situation. It also means that persons must learn to control their emotional states so that they can also achieve good health.
The definition of health has changed throughout time because there have been substantial changes in the definition of what constitutes a healthy lifestyle. For example, sickness and disease were once considered to be synonymous. The difference now is that the term illness has been associated with certain diseases and debilitating conditions that are often associated with age, and is now associated with any chronic or permanent condition that greatly interferes with the normal functions of the body. The changes in the definition of what constitutes a disease and what constitutes a non-curable medical condition have resulted in many individuals suffering from a wide range of conditions that do not fall into traditional categories of illness and disease.
On the other hand, persons may suffer from a disease or illness without being under the influence of unhealthy social factors or physical environment. Although it is difficult to draw a definite line between good health and disease, some researchers believe that the link between social factors and poor health is causal in nature, meaning that it is influenced by those factors but isn’t the cause of them. This has implications for persons who cannot change their social environment, for example children, for whom good health is largely dependent on the social context they find themselves in, and for whom even healthy diet and exercise are insufficient.
Another factor affecting health status is individual behavior. In this context, health services refers to the care that an individual receives at the health services facility. Health services usually include medical assistance, primary health care, preventive health care, disability support, home health care, occupational health services, psychosocial health services, and therapy. While health status cannot be changed completely, healthy behaviors can be developed and maintained which can lead to improved health and well-being. This article presents a series of examples on how health services modify the way a person perceives and behaves toward health.
One example is the third definition given above: healthy behaviors include, among other things, the following: independent living; self-reliance; coping skills; active participation in community; and maintaining a balanced social life. An individual’s attitudes, feelings, behavior, and overall health can also be viewed as part of the definition. For example, healthy behaviors may include strong self-control, the ability to make sound dietary choices, a positive attitude about one’s physical appearance, an interest in physical fitness and health, and the ability to be a good listener and good teammate. These behaviors can be beneficial in preventing and reducing the risk of several types of diseases, including heart disease, cancer, arthritis, asthma, depression, diabetes, obesity, kidney disease, sexually transmitted diseases, and osteoporosis. Individuals who are healthy tend to be happy, they have higher self-esteem, and they live longer than those with unhealthy behaviors and attitudes.
The definition of the definition can also include the “medicine” element, which refers to the medical treatment component of health systems. Treatment components typically include preventive care, primary care, specialty care, hospitalization, emergency, and acute care. Preventive care includes such measures as the use of vaccines for immunity against common diseases; breast examinations, Pap smears, and other mammography procedures; examination of the family’s medical history; blood tests to identify risk factors for disease; and screening for serious health problems, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and cancer. Primary care combines the diagnosis and treatment of diseases through close collaboration with primary health care professionals; specialty care uses diagnostic and referral methods developed by physicians and other health professionals, and emergency services provide immediate attention to a person in distress.