Health care is the general care of health through the prevention, diagnosis, therapy, treatment, or recovery of illness, disease, injury, or other mental and physical disabilities in the population. Health care services are offered by medical professionals and related health disciplines. Health care delivery involves planning, organizing, staffing, delivering, and evaluating health care.
Health promotion and education refers to the practices and strategies that aim to promote health and prevent illness and improve the quality of life. They include community development, research, policy, practice, and service. These aspects of health-care also constitute the major components of social care, which includes service and assistance to the poor, elderly, and isolated. There is a growing interdependence of health and social care.
Private health care serves the individual in addition to the family. The services include home health care, assisted living, adult day care, geriatric care, palliative care, post-acute care, hospice, and pediatric care. A major part of this health care involves direct patient care, ensuring that the patient is receiving necessary medication and that he or she is being treated safely and effectively. The primary objective of home health care services is to offer the patient a safe, stable, and comfortable place to live. The patient is usually under the supervision of a licensed health care provider.
In terms of primary health services, these involve primary care such as general medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, family practice, professional nursing, and pediatricians, along with some emergency, critical care, and trauma. Primary health services cover diagnosis, treatments, and follow-up care for minor illnesses and diseases. They also provide preventive services, such as immunizations. Most primary health systems have the pediatrician as a primary provider. This person is responsible for ensuring that the children are getting the needed vaccines and that they are being evaluated on a regular basis to ensure their health.
Tertiary care is focused on more complex illnesses and disease conditions. Unlike primary care, it is made up of more specialized doctors and physicians who have more experience treating and diagnosing various conditions. This type of health care system is usually coordinated by the hospital, but there are instances when a clinic or specialty facility is found to be more cost effective. Some examples of tertiary care include cardiology and neurology.
As one can see, primary health care and secondary care are two different facets of the healthcare system. Although the two differ somewhat in concept, they do not always differ in quality. In order for any healthcare system to be successful, both primary and secondary care must be utilized. Both are meant to provide the patient with the best possible medical care.