Individualized Healthcare: The Future of Healthcare

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It is said that human beings have free will that is the choice to act according to one’s own discretion. However, the freewill cannot be applied in all aspects of life and one of the areas is healthcare. Falling sick is inevitable, and while most people, if not all, wish to live a healthy lifestyle, most often people fall sick and require medical attention. Some ailments can be treated while others can only be managed. Other ailments can be prevented by the use of vaccinations. All in all, diseases are inevitable and it is important that people have access to quality healthcare to promote their well being and health. Healthcare services can be categorized into two that is universal healthcare and individualized healthcare. Universal healthcare is the one commonly used in many if not all health facilities. The healthcare plan refers to a specified medical procedure offered to all people who suffer from a particular ailment. On the other hand, the individualized healthcare plan refers to a framework where a patient receives treatment based on scientific data and how other people suffering from the same ailment reacted to treatment.

Universal Healthcare

Universal healthcare refers to a healthcare system where all citizens of a given country have access to medical attention and also have access to financial protection as a health insurance coverage. Universal healthcare seeks to achieve improved access to healthcare services and provide financial risk protection to patients (Doyle, Lennox, and Derek). As stated earlier, medical services are expensive and most people cannot afford the costs attached to the services. Some people have private medical insurance while others depend on the coverage provided by the universal healthcare. However, patients are not covered on everything, instead there dimensions are considered when accessing healthcare. That is, the person who is covered, the services covered, and the cost of the cover. Therefore, only those who are covered by the universal healthcare benefit up to the extent of the allowable cost. It means that, if a patient exhausts the cost stipulated in the cover, he or she has no choice but to dig deeper into the pockets to finance their medical treatment.

Universal healthcare is funded through general taxation. Funds collected from the public are allocated to the healthcare scheme to help improve on the medical services and also provide financial risk protection to patients. Here are various funding methods for universal healthcare. They include social health insurance where individuals make contributions to the government, tax-based financing where taxes are deducted with the sole purpose of financing the health sector and private insurance where people buy policies from non- profit companies, community health insurers and commercial for profit firms. With universal healthcare, a patient’s symptoms are analyzed and the disease is diagnosed based on the symptoms portrayed by the patient and previous cases of a similar ailment.

Advantages of Universal Healthcare

An advantage of the universal healthcare is that it reduces healthcare cost for a country. Since the government is in charge of the sector, it gets to control the medicines and medical services. This is achieved through negotiations and regulation and it helps keep the price of healthcare at an affordable cost. Also, the struggle and challenge of dealing with various private health insurers is eliminated with universal healthcare.

Health professionals only have to deal with government agency regarding insurance and this eliminates the administrative costs incurred form consulting multiple health insurers (Tabrizi, Farid, and Andrew). Health institutions have no choice but to offer a standard health service at an affordable cost as the universal healthcare is controlled and regulated by the government. The health work environment is said to be healthier because of the increased campaign for preventive care. The fact that medical treatment is affordable and accessible means that more people are opting for preventive care to curb the spread of a disease or prevent its occurrence.

Disadvantages of Universal Healthcare

On the other hand, universal healthcare has a downside to it and it includes the fact that healthy people have to pay medical care for others. As stated earlier, most of the funding for the health sector comes from taxes from the public. Some of the people who pay taxes for the health sector end up not using the health cover. Also, the fact that the universal healthcare is affordable, most people choose not to live health life styles. For instance, diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and hypertension are in most cases linked to diet and lifestyle. Therefore, such ailments can be prevented if people were more concerned about their life style. Access to quality healthcare becomes a challenge as the payments made to health institutions are limited. This means that the health professionals are paid little incentive to provide medical care and this demotivates some of them who opt to join the private sector.

Individualized Healthcare

Individualized healthcare just as the name suggests refers to a treatment options where a patient has access to specialized treatment suited to meet his or her medical needs. Unlike universal healthcare, individualized healthcare is expensive and it is not available to everyone because of the cost attached to it. Under individualized healthcare, a patient’s medical condition is analyzed and the doctors come up with the best treatment option for the patient based on the symptoms portrayed (Coulter, et al). This type of treatment requires specialized equipment and analysis of a patient’s medical history.

Patients who use individualized healthcare have personal insurance covers. That is, the individuals remit premiums to their insurers who cover when need be (Porter). However, the insurance cover has a limit such that once it is exhausted, the patient digs deeper into the pocket to finance the medical needs.

Advantage of Individualized Healthcare

An advantage of individualized healthcare is the fact that a patient is not out on medication until the exact cause of the ailment is determined. The symptoms portrayed by a patient are compared to others collected from patients suffering from the same disease. This eliminates cases of wrong diagnosis. In addition, individualized health care gives rise to improved and modern ways of treatment. Hospitals with such a plan are well equipped and have advanced technology and this is because of the huge amount of money remitted by the patients through their insurers or even personal financing (Tabrizi, Farid, and Andrew). The health professionals working in the institutions are well motivated due to the high incentives they receive and the favorable working conditions. A patient has the liberty to choose a doctor to attend to him or her and this is because of the number of patients visiting the institutions. The doctors are readily available as only those who can afford such care seek medical attention from such facilities. Also, the facilities are attractive to many doctors because of the higher salaries as compared to those in universal health care facilities. Therefore, the doctor to patient ratio is maintained or balanced such that the professionals do not feel overwhelmed by the number of cases they handle in a day.

Disadvantage of Individualized Healthcare

On the other hand, individualized healthcare is expensive and this locks out people who desire to have access to such treatment. It also creates a boundary in the society that is those who can afford such kind of treatment and those who cannot afford such kind of treatment.

The government controls the operations of such health institutions but it does not control the cost attached to the services offered there (Tabrizi, Farid, and Andrew). Most insurers consider the type of ailment before offering a cover. Most ailments are not covered by insurance companies because of the treatment cost. Therefore, a patient is left to take care of the hospital bills should his or her disease fall in any of the categories that are not covered by the insurance policy.

Conclusion

In conclusion, healthcare is a crucial aspect of life. It is because of this, that the government works endlessly to provide access to quality health care. Universal health care is affordable to many people while individualized health care is expensive and thus available to only those who can afford it. Though universal health care more affordable compared to the individualized health care, it has certain limitations such that access to quality health care is a challenge because of the limited funds deposited to the health facilities. Also, the health professionals feel overwhelmed because of the number of people visiting the facilities for assistance. On the other hand individualized health care allows for a patient to choose his or her preferred doctor. However, not all diseases are covered under the health care plan.

Work Cited

Coulter, Angela, et al. "Collecting data on patient experience is not enough: they must be used to improve care." Bmj 348 (2014): g2225

Doyle, Cathal, Laura Lennox, and Derek Bell. "A systematic review of evidence on the links between patient experience and clinical safety and effectiveness." BMJ open 3.1 (2013): e001570.

Porter, Michael E. "What is value in health care?." New England Journal of Medicine 363.26 (2010): 2477-2481.

Tabrizi, Jafar S., Farid Gharibi, and Andrew J. Wilson. "Advantages and disadvantages of health care accreditation models." Health promotion perspectives 1.1 (2011): 1.

August 14, 2023
Category:

Health

Subcategory:

Healthcare Medicine Illness

Number of pages

6

Number of words

1539

Downloads:

30

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