Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
n. The prevention, treatment, and management of illness or the preservation of mental and physical well-being through the services offered by the medical, nursing, and allied health professions.
n. social insurance for the ill and injured
the preservation of mental and physical health by preventing or treating illness through services offered by the health profession [syn: healthcare]
Health care or healthcare is the maintenance or improvement of health via the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease, illness, injury, and other physical and mental impairments in human beings. Health care is delivered by health professionals (providers or practitioners) in allied health professions, chiropractic, physicians, physician associates, dentistry, midwifery, nursing, medicine, optometry, pharmacy, psychology, and other health professions. It includes the work done in providing primary care, secondary care, and tertiary care, as well as in public health.
Access to health care varies across countries, groups, and individuals, largely influenced by social and economic conditions as well as the health policies in place. Countries and jurisdictions have different policies and plans in relation to the personal and population-based health care goals within their societies. Health care systems are organizations established to meet the health needs of target populations. Their exact configuration varies between national and subnational entities. In some countries and jurisdictions, health care planning is distributed among market participants, whereas in others, planning occurs more centrally among governments or other coordinating bodies. In all cases, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), a well-functioning health care system requires a robust financing mechanism; a well-trained and adequately-paid workforce; reliable information on which to base decisions and policies; and well maintained health facilities and logistics to deliver quality medicines and technologies.
Health care can contribute to a significant part of a country's economy. In 2011, the health care industry consumed an average of 9.3 percent of the GDP or US$ 3,322 ( PPP-adjusted) per capita across the 34 members of OECD countries. The USA (17.7%, or US$ PPP 8,508), the Netherlands (11.9%, 5,099), France (11.6%, 4,118), Germany (11.3%, 4,495), Canada (11.2%, 5669), and Switzerland (11%, 5,634) were the top spenders, however life expectancy in total population at birth was highest in Switzerland (82.8 years), Japan and Italy (82.7), Spain and Iceland (82.4), France (82.2) and Australia (82.0), while OECD's average exceeds 80 years for the first time ever in 2011: 80.1 years, a gain of 10 years since 1970. The USA (78.7 years) ranges only on place 26 among the 34 OECD member countries, but has the highest costs by far. All OECD countries have achieved universal (or almost universal) health coverage, except Mexico and the USA. (see also international comparisons.)
Health care is conventionally regarded as an important determinant in promoting the general physical and mental health and well-being of people around the world. An example of this was the worldwide eradication of smallpox in 1980, declared by the WHO as the first disease in human history to be completely eliminated by deliberate health care interventions.
Health care or healthcare is the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease, illness, and injury.
Health care may also refer to:
- Health care system, an organization of institutions
- Health care industry, a sector of the economy
- "Health Care" (The Office), an episode of The Office
"Health Care" is the third episode of the first season of the American comedy television series The Office, and the show's third episode overall. Written by Paul Lieberstein, who also acts in the show as Toby Flenderson, and directed by Ken Whittingham, the episode first aired in the United States on April 5, 2005 on NBC.
In this episode, Michael ( Steve Carell) is tasked with choosing a new and inexpensive health care plan. He immediately hands it off to enthusiastic volunteer Dwight ( Rainn Wilson). Dwight ruthlessly cuts nearly all benefits in the new plan, angering the rest of the office staff. Meanwhile, Pam ( Jenna Fischer) and Jim ( John Krasinski) make up fake diseases, much to Dwight's chagrin. In an attempt to appease them, Michael promises the entire office a surprise and then spends the rest of the day scrambling to come through with his promise. The employees wait for Michael's surprise, which he awkwardly never delivers.
Jenna Fischer later called "Health Care" her favorite season one episode. During one particular scene, Rainn Wilson kept improvising new fake diseases. The laughter that resulted in his ad-libs was not scripted, as they were in fact the cast's genuine reaction to Wilson's fake diseases. The episode received a 2.9/7 in the Nielsen ratings among people aged 18–49 garnered 5.8 million viewers overall. In addition, the episode retained 100% of its lead-in 18-49 audience and ranked, along with the other first-season episodes of The Office, as NBC's highest-rated Tuesday night program since February 1, 2005. The episode received positive reviews.
Usage examples of "health care".
Started in 1924, this fund was designed to pay all or part of the health care costs for both employees and their dependents.
Iraq's health care system was highly centralized and bureaucratized and lacked the flexibility to cope with sudden, large-scale problems.
Such health care protection was extremely rare in business in the 1920s and especially in the restaurant industry.
As it is, we don't have enough roads, schools, police, water, affordable housing or health care.
Today, humiliation, economic woes, and health care problems have been added to the burden of Saddam's terror.