Health care or medical care is the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, amelioration, or cure of disease, illness, injury, and other physical and mental problems in persons. Health care is provided by health professionals and allied health professionals. Health care includes medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, nursing, optometry, audiology, psychology, occupational therapy, physical therapy, sports training, and other health professions. It encompasses the work in primary care, secondary care, and tertiary care, as well as public health.
Access to health care varies by country, community, and individual, and is determined by social and economic situations as well as health regulations. Providing health care services involves “using personal health services in a timely manner to obtain the greatest potential health outcomes.” Financial constraints (such as insurance coverage), geographic restrictions (such as additional commuting costs, the possibility of taking paid time off from work to use such services), and personal limitations are all factors to consider in terms of health care access (lack of ability to communicate with health care providers, poor health literacy, low income). Health-care service limitations have a negative impact on the usage of medical services, the efficacy of treatments, and the overall outcome (well-being, mortality rates).
Health care systems are organisations that were formed to satisfy the health requirements of specific communities. A well-functioning health care system, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), requires a financing mechanism, a well-trained and adequately paid workforce, reliable information on which to base decisions and policies, and well-maintained health facilities to deliver quality medicines and technologies.
A well-functioning health-care system can significantly contribute to a country’s economy, development, and industrialization. Health care is widely acknowledged as a major predictor of people’s overall physical and mental health and well-being around the world. The universal eradication of smallpox in 1980, designated by the WHO as the first illness in human history to be eliminated through purposeful health care treatments, is an example of this.