Health and health: what are the differences

Vailo today tells you about the difference between the term healthcare and health.

There are distinctions between the words “healthcare” and “health”, although the two terms are sometimes used interchangeably.

The main difference betweenhealth and health is thathealth is a condition of life itself, whilehealthcare is an organized system born between the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century.

More details on two terms in the following paragraphs.


According to theWorld Health Organization and its charter written in 1948 , forhealth means a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not the mere absence of a disease.

This concept has evolved over the course of time, and in fact today by health we also mean the conditions of the population of a community or a country in a given year. These conditions are measured taking into accountlife expectancy, which in turn is determined by:

  • Lifestyle;
  • Condizioni socio-economiche;
  • Culture;
  • Genome: the genes of a person in its entirety, therefore the DNA;
  • Environmental quality;
  • Health services.

Thehealth of citizens therefore does not depend only on the healthcare they turn to for treatment and prevention of ailments and diseases, but from several other factors. Healthcare is in fact one of the various determining elements of health, and in the current conception it has a weight of 10-15%.

The lifestyle, socio-economic conditions and health (for 40-50%) have the greatest impact on health. The genome accounts for 20-30%, while the environment accounts for 20%.

Considering all nations worldwide, life expectancy in Italy is second only to Spain, and this is undoubtedly an encouraging figure for Italy.


How can we describehealthcare?

There are several authoritative definitions for it (as well as for health) proposed over time. For example, in remote times Charles-Edward Amory Winslow (1877-1957), famous professor at MIT in Boston and founder of the Department of Public Health at Yale University, defined health care as the science and art of preventing disease , lengthen life, and promote both physical and mental health and efficiency.

According to Winslow, this all occurs through organized community efforts, with the aim of:

  • Improving hygienic conditions of the environment;
  • Controlling infections and educating the person in personal hygiene;
  • Organizing medical and nursing services for early diagnosis and therefore for disease prevention;| ||156
  • Sviluppare delle organizzazioni sociali che possano assicurare a ogni persona una condizione di vita idonea al mantenimento di un buono stato di salute.

Today, by health care, we mainly mean that set of rules, professionals, structures and technologies that are dedicated to protection re the health of individuals.

Based on this set, health can be measured on the basis of three main parameters:

  • Size: number of professionals working, number of structures, etc.
  • Operation, measurable in various ways, such as for examplehospitalization rate: si tratta di un indicatore che si ricava dal calcolo del numero dei ricoveri di una popolazione, diviso il numero totale della popolazione, moltiplicato per 100.000.
  • Expenditure, both pro- per capita (i.e. per person, relating to individuals or families) which compared to the GDP of the territory: for example, in the official documents of the Ministry of Health of the Italian government, the percentage of health expenditure is calculated or forecast in a given period (one year , three years, etc.) compared to the Italian gross domestic product.

Remaining on the subject of health, it may be useful to know the difference between:

  • Health system: the set of various elements that characterize the health organization of a specific territory (region, state or country).
  • National health service: a specific health model, in which the state is called to manage and regulate the various aspects that characterize it. Italy, the United Kingdom and Spain, for example, have this type of service.

In the healthcare of the different countries, depending on the case, there can be two types of models:

  • Solidarity model|| |181: il più diffuso in Europa (Italia inclusa), consiste nel chiedere al cittadino il pagamento di una tassa allo Stato, a prescindere dalla frequenza delle strutture sanitarie e dal tipo di prestazioni sanitarie che riceve. Così facendo, il cittadino può usufruire di un’assistenza sanitaria pubblica, che soltanto in determinati casi corrisponde con il Servizio Sanitario Nazionale.
  • Individual model: in this case every citizen can contact to the healthcare facility you want, based on your financial resources.

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