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Health Care

Jump into the complex issue of health care in the United States. Health care—defined as the maintenance or improvement of personal well-being via the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of disease, injury, or impairment—is a multilayered system that includes the fields of medicine, nursing, dentistry, optometry, pharmacy, midwifery, psychology, psychiatry, occupational and physical therapy, and other healthcare professions in the industry to improve personal well-being.

Most patients’ first interaction with the healthcare system is through their primary care physician, also known as a general practitioner or family physician. Primary care provides the widest scope of health care, allowing patients to receive remedies to improve a wide range of acute and chronic physical, mental, and social issues. Patients also can receive regular checkups and vaccinations from their primary care doctor.

Secondary care is medical care provided by a specialist or facility, often requiring a referral by a primary care physician for patient care. This sort of care frequently takes place in a hospital emergency room and allows for short-term remedies to address a serious illness, injury, or other health condition such as childbirth. Secondary care can also occur outside of a hospital environment, as is the case with allied healthcare professionals such as physical therapists, respiratory therapists, occupational therapists, and nutritionists.

Tertiary care provides treatment in a facility for those needing advanced medical investigation, such as those requiring surgery or medical advice for cancer.

Health care can also occur outside of a health facility, as is the case with home care and assisted-living facilities. Interventions in the interest of public health include needle-exchange programs to stop the spread of AIDS among drug users and the distribution of condoms.

Due to the high cost of treatment, most patients must have health insurance to pay for medical services. Many people contribute to an employer-provided insurance plan; others pay for their own insurance. Those who cannot afford insurance can seek help through government-run programs such as Medicare or Medicaid.

Access to and funding of health care have become major issues in the 21st century, as the cost of health care and insurance has risen beyond many Americans’ ability to pay. President Barack Obama attempted to address this problem through the passage of the Affordable Care Act (popularly known as Obamacare), which sought to make insurance more affordable. The act was unpopular with Republican legislators, who moved to limit many of its provisions under the presidency of Donald Trump.


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Health Care Resources

Gale offers a product portfolio of digital products, including databasesprimary sources, and eBooks, to support the study of health care.


Gale databases offer researchers, students, and faculty access to credible, up-to-date, peer-reviewed material from scholarly journals, magazines, and newspapers. Healthcare databases support the study of health care by including full-text and abstract healthcare articles from many real-world healthcare publications.

Primary Source Archives

Gale Primary Sources contains archives and collections that provide users with firsthand content, including editorials, news, surveys, statistics, articles, manuscripts, and reports that can be used to examine and analyze the evolution of health care over time.

Gale eBooks

Gale offers a variety of healthcare eBooks. Users can add Gale eBooks to a customized collection and cross-search to pinpoint relevant content. Workflow tools help users easily share, save, and download materials.

  • Managing the Myths of Health Care: Bridging the Separations Between Care, Cure, Control, and Community, 1st Edition

    Managing the Myths of Health Care: Bridging the Separations Between Care, Cure, Control, and Community, 1st Edition

    Henry Mintzberg, McGill University   | 2017 | ISBN-13: 9781626569065

    In this sure-to-be-controversial publication, leading management thinker Henry Mintzberg turns his attention to reframing the management and organization of health care. The problem is not management per se, but a form of remote-control management detached from the operations yet determined to control them. It reorganizes relentlessly, measures like mad, promotes a heroic form of leadership, favors competition where the need is for cooperation, and pretends that the calling of health care should be managed like a business. This professional form of organizing is the source of health care’s great strength as well as its debilitating weakness. In its administration, as in its operations, it categorizes whatever it can to apply standardized practices whose results can be measured. When the categories fit, this works wonderfully well. But what happens when the fit fails patients or when the managers and professionals don’t communicate?

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  • Sustainable Health and Long-Term Care Solutions for an Aging Population, 1st Edition

    Sustainable Health and Long-Term Care Solutions for an Aging Population, 1st Edition

    Medical Information Science Reference   | 2018 | ISBN-13: 9781522526346

    Lasting health care for the entire population, specifically the elderly, has become a main priority in society. It is imperative to find ways to boost the longevity of healthcare services for all users. This publication is a pivotal reference source featuring the latest scholarly research on issues pertinent to health costs and finding effective ways of financing health care for the elderly. Including coverage on a number of subjects such as provider accreditation, corporate social responsibility, and data management, this book is ideally designed for policymakers, academicians, researchers, and advanced-level students seeking current information on the innovative planning and development of health care.

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  • Today’s Debates: Health Care: Universal Right or Personal Responsibility?, 1st Edition

    Today’s Debates: Health Care: Universal Right or Personal Responsibility?, 1st Edition

    Cavendish Square Publishing  | 2019 | ISBN-13: 9781502643278

    In 2010, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act instituted one of the most comprehensive overhauls of the United States healthcare system in history with the goal of insuring almost every American. Factions opposed to the law argued that the government shouldn’t have a role in providing healthcare coverage, and that lower-quality care and high costs are the inevitable result. Supporters of universal health care argued that every person has the right to health, and that government has a role to play in protecting this right. This book presents an in-depth overview of the healthcare debate from every angle, featuring sidebars and photographs that offer insight into questions of who provides and regulates health care and how questions of health coverage have played out in domestic and international politics.

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