Healthcare has existed for centuries. As a society we have gone from primitive treatments like casting spells to revolutionary disease breakthroughs. The United States has held steadfast in the evolution of healthcare delivery causing the delivery of healthcare to increase by magnitude proportions. The 1900’s was a time that changes in healthcare and the delivery of it began to emerge in the United States. Scientists started taking an increase interest in diseases. Cardiology developments have helped with the treatment of heart disease, monitoring and prevention. “Heart Disease is the number one leading cause of death in America.” (American Heart Association, www.heart.org). Heart disease goes as far back as Egyptian Pharaohs, British monarchs and American Presidents. Unhealthy behaviors causing an increase in the risk factors amongst Americans have greatly affected the health of our society as a whole. Americans lead with sedentary lifestyles and the “supersize mentality”.
Early interventions to reduce the risk factors that cause heart disease are essential. Mental illness has been frowned upon since ancient history. The United States was no different. Some people feel that mental illness is not a physical problem and is just a behavioral or spiritual problem that can be controlled. The mentally ill have been maltreated and put through deplorable, inhumane conditions. Introduction of antipsychotic medication in the 1950’s helped in the recovery and helped those who were mentally ill live in the community. Mental health became a priority and care in institutions and hospitals started to improve. “The Mental Health Act 1986 (the Act) provides a legislative framework for the care, treatment and protection of people with mental illness for psychiatrists to implement.” (Treatment plans under the Mental Health Act).
The National Institute of Mental health has a mission to transform the understanding and treatment of mental illnesses. Better healthcare choices can be made with the use of biotechnology. Biotechnology is not a new science. It goes as far back as 500 B.C. It is beneficial with the development of medication, research on drugs, stem cell research, gene testing and therapy. “Modern biotechnology provides breakthrough products and technologies to combat debilitating and rare diseases, reduce our environmental footprint, feed the hungry, use less and cleaner energy, and have safer, cleaner and more efficient industrial manufacturing processes.” (What is Biotechnology? http://www.bio.org/articles/what-biotechnology). Biotechnology has made major strides in healthcare like the eradication of small pox or gene therapy to help people battle auto immune diseases. Public Health is concerned with disease prevention and wellness promotion for the community as a whole. Epidemics, pandemic and outbreaks make public health an essential part of healthcare. Public health dates back to Biblical times. An example of this is the isolation of a contagious disease like leprosy. Lillian Wald the mother of Public Health Nursing led the crusade of helping provide medical care to the poor in the United States.
The increase awareness of health and the healthcare coverage that would be needed led the United States to develop HMOs. HMOs provide medical treatment for patients on a prepaid basis. HMO members pay a fixed monthly fee, more often than not through an employer regardless of how much medical care is needed in a given month. A wide variety of medical services are provided after the fee is paid, from office visits to hospitalization and surgery. There are benefits to having an HMO. “Preventive and well-care services, such as routine physicals and pediatric care, are provided at no additional cost. Co-payments apply to doctor’s office visits, prescriptions, hospital admissions, emergency room visits and some other services. You generally do not need to submit claim forms, except in cases when emergency care takes place outside of your coverage area.” Research on diseases, health maintenance, and wellness continues to progress. Public Health continues to be an advocate for health and safety in the community. The United States continues to evolve in healthcare delivery.
American Heart Association, Disease Information. (2000). Retrieved from http://my.americanheart.org/professional/Research/Disease-Information_UCM_459537_Article.jsp Future of Biotechnology in Healthcare, Chapter Nine. (2011, August). Retrieved from http://www.amgenscholars.com/images/uploads/contentImages/biotechnology-future.pdf Institute of Mental Health. About NIMH. (October 6, 2014). Retrieved from http://www.nimh.nih.gov/about/index.shtml Public health history time line. (2014, September 6). Retrieved from http://www.sphtc.org/resources.html