Within the realm of modern society, health is increasingly becoming a concern to both private and government entities. The healthcare needs of the society have been met with both these parties by lesser or equal measure. In the context of explaining how these two entities engage in meeting the societal health needs, we need to differentiate them. Private healthcare or private medicine has been referred to as the medicinal and health needs of any society provided by entities that are non-governmental. These entities provide health care needs with other motives such as profit and the main target the people who can spend unlimited amounts of money when it comes to taking care of their health. They are mainly more efficient than the government health facilities due to this profit motive.
On the other hand, public health refers to healthcare needs provided mainly government entities with the main aim of promoting and protecting people and communities through their environment. Doctors who work in the public health sector emphasize on the notion that prevention is better than cure. This is done by encouraging and emphasizing people on the positive results of wellness. The foundation of this is research and educational awareness to the public. Some examples of works done by the public health sector include research on vaccines and other medicines, vaccination of children and even raising awareness to the general public about the negative impacts arising from the use of tobacco and alcohol (American Public Health Association, 2017).
The question arising from these two bodies who work towards the health and wellness of the general public is: If the general objective is to ensure a healthy community, why then are there contention issues? This is the main objective of this essay. To find out why there are contention issues when it comes to these two healthcare bodies.
To begin with, private health departments have been providing the healthcare needs at a personal level for a while now. However, there has been an encroachment of the public health sector into this private realm.it is often indicated that most people present in the United States have always had a personal doctor, either a physician or a practitioner. On the other note, there has been an increase in the provision of health by the public health sector over the past 30 years. Furthermore, it has been noted that over half of the government health organizations have increased this healthcare provision to the public encroaching the personal healthcare provided by private health (Miller & Moos, 1981).
This is a bone of contention mainly on the basis that the public health is meant to amend laws and conduct research on healthcare measures of the general public while private health is mainly concerned with personalized health. Last, but not least, is the private profit motive behind private health. Considering the public health sector introduces treatment methods and facilities at a subsidized cost is an issue of contention. Since an increase in the public awareness will dramatically lead to a decrease in the amounts of profits that the private sector will make.
Both public health and private health entities are meant to ensure that the health of the society is maintained but the private sector is more monetarily motivated. Regardless of that fact, professions in private health can work in the public sector and vice-versa.
FEDERAL GOVERNMENT STAND ON MEDICAL ERRORS.
In the USA medical errors have become a topic of interest when it comes to health care policies. This led to a publicized report in November 1999 from the IOM that summarized the mortality rate caused by medical errors (Kohn, 1999). The report viewed that medical errors were pervasive in nature and were a major cause of death in America. These deaths have led to the involvement of the federal government so as to try to help reduce the mortality rate caused by medical errors. These Errors Include those of medical caregivers leaving surgical tools inside a patient’s body.In this, we are going to show the standard of the federal government with regards to medical errors.
Shortly after the release of the IOM report, the president of America formed a task force to help reduce Medical errors deaths. The quality interagency Task force reported that error reporting should be established in all American states (Quality Interagency Task Force, 2000).In this, the government has put in place policies that make it mandatory for medical facilities to report cases of medical errors. Secondly, it has made it mandatory for blood banks to report such errors too. The federal government has also put in place a method to be reporting medical errors to the general public. This reporting will be made to the veteran affairs hospitals and the information will be relayed to the general public.
The ministry of labor has put in place a campaign in medical error education so as to educate the general public of their safety. The program intends to increase awareness of the public on their health risks and medical safety. In these measures, the federal government has developed drug labeling standards that are mandatory for medical institutes to adhere to. The setting up o DEMPA (Division of medication and evaluation error) has been formed for these purposes. The division helps to review drugs names, expiry dates, and design so as to help in the minimization of drug prescription errors (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2017).
The national assembly has also set up policies to reduce medical errors. The legislation called for the demonstration of projects to test technology means of reducing medical error incidences. Also, the development of patients safety centers was proposed by the legislation. The legislation also formed a bill that would establish a center for patients’ safety within the agency for healthcare research and quality. The bill mainly was to help healthcare facilities to form a medical error detection system. Furthermore, the legislation called for the improvement of healthcare quality and safety by medical institutions. It also formed anonymous forums for medical caregivers to air their experiences on medical errors.
Finally, the federal government has allowed for insurance of patients. If a patient undergoes surgery and doctors errors caused their deaths the medical facilities stand a chance to compensate their loved ones. This policy has led to increased attention and care given by medical personnel.
Medical error reduction campaigns have been subjected to controversies because they have no effect on the error and patients’ safety (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2017).These campaigns championed by the federal government show their stand as far as patients’ safety is concerned. The Federal government stand is to reduce the mortality rate caused by medical errors and ignorance. Medical institutions have hence increased their attention and vigilance when giving care to patients.
THE TRINITY OF HEALTHCARE AND THE LEGISLATIVE PERSPECTIVE
Though the healthcare sector is primarily focused on ensuring equitable provision of health care to the general public, the inflation of the economy and the increased population have led to the emergence of unforeseen issues. Some of these challenges include the rising healthcare costs, lack of universal access and a variable quality of healthcare throughout the country all which indicate a need for reform. Furthermore, a concern by the health care sector is the people who do not have an insurance cover and those who have an insurance cover but do not have the necessary cash to remain insured. To address these issues, there have been some legislative laws passed and amended with the general aim of ensuring a healthy community and country at large.
The American government has invested humongous amounts of money on the healthcare of each individual than any other country in the world but it is often indicated that most people do not get the health quality they need. The foundation of the healthcare system should be to focus primarily on preventive measures of which its neglect will lead to a rising amount of the gross domestic product devoted to health.
Since the three issues are dramatically intertwined, the focus is this essay is to establish why concern on one issue on the legislative front is likely to worsen the remaining two. Let us first consider the first issue of rising health care costs. If the government decides to pass legislative laws to address this issue by mainly focusing on its reduction, there is going to be an increase in the variable quality of healthcare costs coupled with the lack of universal access. This is because the costs have increased because of the increasing population.
The public view is that the government is an entity which cannot address all the issues concerning health at a single time (Blendon, Brodie, & Buhr, 2006). The increasing population requires the government to ensure equitable distribution of healthcare and an increase in the accessibility of these services. This cannot be achieved if the legislature passes laws that lead to a decrease in the budgetary healthcare allocation.
The second issue is the lack of universal access. The legislature might, say, increase the accessibility of healthcare to the general public mainly by the provision of healthcare facilities and immunization programs. The increase in accessibility has to consider the likely increase in costs and the variable quality of healthcare. To address this issue will mean a neglect of the other two. This is because with the increase in the accessibility there is going to be an increase in the budgetary allocation and the likely increase in the people who are subjected to poorer healthcare services.
Finally, reducing the variability of healthcare around the society is likely to increase the amount of expenditure by the government and an increase in the lack of universal access. This is mainly because maintaining health around the country will require the introduction of programs not included in some certain societies which will subsequently lead to an increase in the amount of money allocation. A decrease in universal access is attributed to the fact that there is a likelihood of higher budgetary allocation to some areas.
Health care is considered as a very important issue but has to consider the three issues to prevent an impending catastrophe. The three can be considered as the trinity of an efficient healthcare system
American Public Health Association. (2017). What is public health? Retrieved Aug 21, 2017, from www,apha.org/what-is-public-health
Blendon, R. J., Brodie, M., & Buhr, T. (2006). Americans’ view of Health Care Costs, Access, and Quality. The Milbank Quarterly.
Kohn, L. (1999). To Err is Human: building a safer health system. Washington Dc: National Academy Press.
Miller, C. A., & Moos, M. K. (1981). The relationship between Public and Private Providers of health care. Sage Publications.
Quality Interagency Task Force. (2000). Doing What Counts for Patient Safety: Federal Actions to Reduce Medical Errors and Their Impact. Washington: US Dept of Health and Human Services, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2017, April 24). Medication Errors Related to Drugs. Retrieved from U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: https://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/MedicationErrors/default.htm