Healthcare Technological Advances
June 15, 2021
Nowadays, healthcare delivery system of the US is entirely criticized by medical staff and patients for its incompleteness, inconsistency and low level of efficiency. Furthermore, the price of medical services has risen rapidly regarding to the highly established standards and demands, implementation of innovation technologies and achievements, some issues in economic policy (for instance, inflation), and unfavorable consequences that were caused by several great economic breakdowns in the US during the last fifteen years.
However, the American government made several attempts to implement brief reforms in healthcare system, but every single time some unexpected and negative circumstances occurred. In order to control the quality and access to healthcare system without jeopardizing the achieved results, it was believed that the increased independent specialty practices and the growth of managed care plans will take a turn for the better in the nearest future.
The plans mentioned above consist of Point of Service, Health Maintenance and Preferred Provider Organizations. To improve medical care, American government decided to follow certain policy line in healthcare system. It means that politics are focused on improving and developing Medicaid and Medicare programs.
According to fundamental milestones of the history of healthcare delivery system, the American Medical Association (AMA) was founded in 1847 and it was considered to function as a membership organization for doctors and medical staff. The principal idea of its existence was to protect rights, interests and personal needs of physicians. Despite this fact, the institution was not successful until 1900. With the help of the government and some specialized medical societies the American Medical Association became popular and influential.
Although, there were some positive and bright moments of its functioning. In 1904, the American Medical Association established the Council on Medical Education. That evidence meant some progress and improvement in healthcare system of the US, namely the first steps in standards work-outs for medical education were taken.
Assuming the fact that back in 1920 physicians did not have even basic and needed tools, work conditions were unsatisfied, and most patients were treated back at home. Obviously, medical expenses were usually slight. Besides, the quality of provided services required better conditions and implementation of up-to-date technologies. Clearly, there were some insecure and high-risk circumstances that had opposite and sometimes negative consequences.
Another outstanding historical event took place in the social life of the US. It had outcomes and effects, which appeared after hyperactive and restless political movements before the 1960s. The administration of the President Lyndon Johnson was both forced and inspired to create the Great Society programs.
Basically, the overriding mission of these Great Society programs had a deal with consumers’ access to healthcare. The transition to Medicare and Medicaid (1965) is believed to be the biggest healthcare reform and it was the victory of working class in the history of the U.S. In addition, these two social programs were quite successful, but insufficient. It needs to be said that owing to working class and their powerful consolidation, the Great Society programs were fulfilled as a response to mass movements and challenges from the side of the society.
Two Great Society programs were enacted as item XVIII and item XIX in the Social Security Act. Medicare program extended basic hospital and physician coverage to senior people (from 65 years old and higher). Medicaid program was appealed to unprotected social group (people with low incomes) and their relatives. Furthermore, the medical care needs and coverage for medical services were provided. However, the Medicaid program did not have an intention to supply medical assistance for all poor people.
The Medicare program was widely introduced to the public in 1966. During that year, over 19 million people were enrolled in the Great Society programs. That was a totally great success in health delivery system of the US.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, the average duration of life increased to almost 78 years (comparing with the previous index of 68 years). Thus, it can be said with confidence that it is a result of successful and efficient reforms and implementation of technological advances in medical science and education. For instance, the invention and usage of penicillin that was strong enough to cure some new modified diseases and dangerous for life infections, the discovery of a polio vaccine, and the first successful organ transplant made a huge step in healthcare system and drastic improvements in prolonging life of people in the 21th century.
Nowadays, it is possible to examine a patient without making serious surgeries. For example, people got used to X-Ray technology or injection of radioactive dyes to figure out the root of illness or disease. Biopsy and other methods are widely practiced by physicians to get small samples with limited inconvenience, suffer or stress. Some doctors use cameras or smaller tools to examine the patients.
All in all, most people are satisfied and pleased with a quality of medical services. Comparing healthcare system of the US today and centuries ago, it can be concluded that now people are offered better conditions and possibilities. Overall, the only things that should be improved and studied more are incurable diseases and scientific researches in specific fields. Obviously, the scientists are expected to invent new effective and inexpensive treatments for new and modified diseases.