A Long Term Approach To Health Policy
Health, according to the World Health Organization, is “a state of full physical, emotional and social well being and not just the absence of sickness and disease.” Various definitions have also been used over time for various purposes. For many years, the definition of health was primarily medical, with an emphasis on treating illness and treating death. However, changes in culture and society have led to a new definition of health that includes aspects of emotional and mental well being.
The definition now includes both mental and physical health. Emotional health is associated with one’s ability to live well with others and be productive and successful. Mental health is related to the person’s attitudes, beliefs and emotions. It also includes the person’s ability to make rational decisions and to evaluate information, whether true or false. This definition includes the ability to maintain health, even when disease is present.
Health, as the definition above indicates, is associated with many aspects and requires a variety of approaches to achieve good health. Some people try to improve their health through self-care, taking vitamins and supplements and exercising regularly. These measures may not prevent the disease, but they do reduce the risk of becoming ill. Other people focus on prevention of disease by reducing the risk factors associated with illness, for example, smoking and high blood pressure. Other people focus on improving the quality of life of those who are chronically ill, by means of improving the quality of life for those who are physically ill. And still other people use medical interventions to treat illness and bring about recovery of patients, as in the case of surgery.
In addition, there is a fourth definition: a healthy lifestyle that facilitates appropriate stress management. When all these definitions are added up, it becomes clear that a healthy life entails much more than the mere absence of illness. It also implies a multifaceted approach, involving all the facets of well being, which we find in an approach to health that involves all the possible approaches. This broad perspective helps us to define the meaning of healthy and unhealthy, as well as their difference and their place in the definition of health.
The absence of any precise definition of health in relation to its various concepts and their relations is problematic. No precise definition can be put forward because the concept of health has been a matter of great debate, discussion and analysis over the past several years. Various sets of theoretical assumptions have been brought into practice, resulting in an increasingly complex definition of health. The most commonly used definition, endorsed by the American Heart Association and other medical organizations, is that health is the sum of the healthy aspects of all the parts of a person’s life (including both mind and body) together with their physical and mental disorders, strengths and weaknesses. There is also an assumption that the concept of health is self-evident and is not dependent on the condition of any external factors.
Although the above definition of health is widely accepted, and has been the subject of much research over the years, it has been found that there are many aspects of health policy that are not covered by this broad definition. Some exceptions to this are incorporated in the Public Health Service Act as a part of the National Health Service Act and in section 661 of the Public Health Service Act, as a requirement for coverage of certain qualified infectious diseases. It should be noted that even within these classes of diseases the definition may be very vague.