What is Health Policy?
The word “health” is most commonly used in reference to the quality of life. This quality is the result of being healthy in all the areas of your life. For children the quality of health depends on the physical, emotional, social, and spiritual well being. Health, according to the World Health Organization, is “an inclusive term describing the process by which the physical condition of an individual maintains or improves through age.” A number of definitions are used for purposes other than the definition by WHO. The dictionary definition is “health” and “good health; a state of full well being”.
Some other terms used in the area of public health and disease management are morbidity, mortality, morbidity rate, quality, epidemiology, prevention, public health impact, disability, socioeconomic, economic, cultural, and ecological health. These are some of the most important aspects of the definition. Mortality refers to life expectancy at risk, morbidity refers to the number of deaths in the population, and mortality rate is the number of deaths per 100 live births. These rates can help demarcate levels of quality of life that need to be improved.
The definition emphasizes that optimal health needs to be achieved by everyone in society. The goal of healthcare is to provide patients with the best possible access to services that allow them to achieve wellness from all aspects of their life. Healthy diet, exercise, and stress management are necessary components of optimal health. The ultimate goal of healthcare is to provide the greatest possible access to services, diagnosis, and therapeutic services essential to achieving wellness.
The third definition is “excess burden”. This includes burden that is caused by illness, accidents, or lack of participation in a community’s activities of daily living. It is also a cause of reduced productivity and may cause a barrier to work and economic development. This definition includes many of the existing social policies regarding disease, such as immunization programs. In the United States, public health serves as the basis for the definition of excess burden.
Quality health is described by the fourth definition. Quality refers to the ability of a system to treat diseases, sickness, and injuries without compromising survival. This definition emphasizes early detection and treatment of illness and injury. It also emphasizes the importance of maintaining quality of life through education, prevention, and research. Prevention is done through interventions that reduce the risks of disease, while treatment helps individuals cope with the consequences of diseases and injuries.
The five definitions listed above form the foundation of a comprehensive definition of health policy. These definitions reflect the current focus of medical and public health on the prevention of diseases and their consequences. An absence of any one of these definitions results in the exclusion of a large segment of the population from having the opportunity to experience optimal health.