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Major Flaws in American Healthcare

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Major Flaws in American Healthcare


Major Flaws in American Healthcare


This paper explores published articles, books, and research studies to understand if truly the Unites States of America has an advanced healthcare system.  Further it picks the flaws of the system and analyzes the reason for those to be corrected. Though many countries in the world do look for advice from America for best practices of healthcare we should understand if we are the leaders in outcomes of healthcare or is it that we are spending too much money and have poor outcomes. The major flaws of healthcare are discussed and are being presented with substantial supporting articles.

Keywords:  American healthcare system, major flaws in healthcare

Major Flaws In American Healthcare 

World Health Organization (WHO) has defined health as a state of complete physical, mental, and social well being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.(Callahan 1973) America has the world’s best hospitals and health care professionals. They have the advanced technology to treat very complicated and rare diseases. The US government invests significant money for research. According to Berwick (1975) the U.S. health system has been described as “the most advanced system of care in the world.”

Health care expenditures in the United States are currently about 18 percent of GDP, and this share is projected to rise sharply. If health care costs continue to grow at historical rates, the share of GDP devoted to health care in the United States is projected to reach 34 percent by 2040.  In a Bloomberg health-ranking survey of all countries United States comfortably has positioned itself on 46th position on the scale for factors like life expectancy and efficiency, where as Hong Kong spends 3.8% of its GDP approximately $1409 per person and ranks number one with the best efficiency score and life expectancy. We spend more than any other nation on our military and our military is unquestionably the mightiest in the world. We spend the most on our universities and out universities are the best on the planet. There is no other area of American life where we collectively accept such a bad deal as compared to the health care industry.

The system is clearly broken, though the best, in advanced care and quality is it worth being so expensive? Many people argue on its benefits; economists and lawmakers are perplexed by the rising costs every year.  One of the major flaws is the neglect of public health in America. Years have passed by where the American population has not emphasized prevention programs.  “Public” also means “being in service of a community or a nation.” (“Public”, n.d) This definition implies a governmental role, and the responsibility of a government is to serve and protect its people. While Public health is certainly not the exclusive domain of government; the importance of the governmental role and the responsibility of governments to protect and enhance their public’s health cannot be ignored. Public health is also ultimately about the approach of responding to health problems. It is about preventing illness and injury in the first place and being responsible to all within the population.(Iannotti April 2014)  In fact, the Institute of medicine’s report stresses the importance of a strong governmental public health infrastructure to ensure and protect the health and well-being of the population.(2003)  The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney diseases mentions more than 2 in 3 adults are overweight or obese. About one third of children and adolescents age 6 to 19 are considered to be overweight or obese.(Flegal KM 1999–2010) This is attributed to the lifestyle and behavior of the American population considering high stress levels and sedentary life. There has to be a shift from perceiving a human being as a machine and treating it as equivalent to repairing the machine and putting it back to work temporarily The total expenditure for public health programs is 4% $87 billion for 2012 (Emanuel 2014). The system has failed to enact policies towards efficiently participating in public health and prevention programs. The entire healthcare system has been structured all these years in treating the symptoms than addressing the cause or the issue.

Another major flaw is the abuse of specialty care in the system. The preference of specialty care versus the primary care drives the cost of healthcare. People would prefer to wait and get their consultation with a specialist when the same treatment could be available with a primary care physician at a lesser cost. The medical professional those trained in these specialties are trained more and more in less and less variety thus ending up knowing everything about nothing. The essence of medical treatment is discounted when the specialist has only few minutes to talk to the patient about the disease but there is absolutely no emphasis and motivation on how to prevent their recurrence.

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