Health care systems play a significant role in any society. Their primary purpose, clearly, is to meet the health care needs of the members of the community and to advance their health. It includes not only treating the sick but also preventing disease among the now healthy persons. This primary aim has a number of important consequences. First, in many cases, health care systems allow an individual to survive. Second, they preserve their ability to function. Third, they improve the quality of life of an individual, allowing them to be healthy rather than sick.
Health care systems are also crucial for the community, for improving the health of particular individuals brings benefit not only to these individuals but also to the community they live in. Allowing persons to survive diseases increases the average life expectancy and decreases mortality rates. Preserving the people’s ability to function allows them to work and create products and services that are necessary for the proper functioning of society. And, of course, the improved quality of life of individuals allows for the better welfare of the community in general.
It is stressed that “an acceptable health care delivery system” ought to have two main goals:
- Allowing all the citizens to get medical services when they require them, and
- Making these services cost-effective and permitting them to meet certain quality standards.
It is also interesting that if a health care system indeed provides every citizen (regardless of factors such as, e.g., race, employment status, etc.) with adequate medical service, it also allows for promoting equality by alleviating the problems that people are faced by due to their social status.
It is stated that the American health care system is “not a system in its true sense,” for it consists of numerous dispersed, loosely related components. While providing some of the best medical services in the world, this system does not cover a large percentage of the U.S. population. These people are left without any medical care at all. In addition, the system is not cost-effective. Even though with the introduction of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010 (it mostly took effect in 2014), the percentage of the population not covered by any medical insurance significantly decreased, there still remain great numbers of people who do not have access to health care.