Aspects and Characteristics of American Health Care – Health System Example

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'Aspects and Characteristics of American Health Care' is a great example of a paper on the health system. The 18th and 19th Century is characterized by the lack of scientific methods in medicine and health care in general. The practices heavily relied on alternative healthcare practices such as phrenology, homeopathy, and mesmerism among others. These practices were not only painful and risky but lacked sanitation as well. These practices led to sanitation and anesthesia being introduced in health care. In order to make health care scientific and eliminate quacks, professional health care workers now have licenses to practice.

Most of the alternative medicine techniques were banned. Managed care-long term care Due to the lack of proper medical equipment, qualified health care workers and technology, there was high patient mortality due to long term diseases and lack of care of such patients. The diagnosis made on many of the patients requiring managed care was let to the family members to carry out that responsibility without any assistance and clue of what to do. This led to the revolution of managed care and long term care services being implemented.

These services allow patients with long term diseases such as cancer to have specialized care treatment reducing their pain and providing them with comfort (Shi and Singh, 2013). Financing (cost, access, quality) The lack of medical and health care experts in the 18th and part of the 19th century led to a lack of access to quality health care. Most of the patients would fail to get medical attention for lack of finances. There was a revolution in the late 19th century as the government took over health care and introduced insurance as a way to finance health care, offer access to treatment as well as ensure quality treatment.

This has continued evolution to the current system of mandatory health insurance with Obamacare to ensure that each and every American is able to access health care. Technology (Drugs, research, and techniques) The lack of drugs and techniques of health care was a great cause of death for the sick patients in the 18th and 19th Century. Drugs used were opium as well as alcohol to reduce the pain and to sanitize as well which were risky to patient’ s health.

There was a need for the revolution which came in the form of research and technology in the health care department. Research led to real medicines being used to prevent and cure diseases. Technology that has continued to evolve at a very high rate has seen transplants being able to be successfully carried out, people being screened for diseases in the body even in the bones, as well as enabled correction of defects and genetic disorders (Williams and Torrens, 2008). Ethical practices Ethical malpractices were rampant in the 18th and19th Century with racism being at the top of the list.

Other than using unqualified personnel like doctors, the beginning of research in the 19th century saw African-Americans being used as study subjects in the labs similar to the animals. There was scientific abuse with professionals in the health care mishandling patients, denying them medical attention as well as lack of proper nutrition. This changed with the introduction of stringent ethical rules and procedures which have subsequently enabled trust between health care workers and patients as well as reduced malpractice.


Williams, S. and Torrens, P. (2008). Introduction to Health Services, 7th Ed. Albany, NY: Delmar Publishers.

Shi, L. and Singh, D. (2013). Essentials of the U.S. Health Care System, 3rd Ed. Boston: Jones and Bartlett Publisher.

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