Healthcare system

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Healthcare system

The Healthcare system (pronunciation: /ˈhelθˌker ˈsɪstəm/) is a complex network of organizations, facilities, and individuals that provide health care services to populations in need.


The term "healthcare system" is derived from the words "health care" and "system". "Health care" is a compound word that originated in the late 19th century, with "health" coming from the Old English hǣlth and "care" from the Old English caru. "System" comes from the Latin systema, which is derived from the Greek systēma, meaning "whole compounded of several parts or members".


A Healthcare system is an organized plan of health services. The exact configuration of services varies from country to country, but in all cases, the aim is to ensure the delivery of a comprehensive range of preventive, promotive, curative, rehabilitative, and palliative health interventions to all people in need.

Components of a Healthcare system

A healthcare system typically includes:

  • Healthcare providers: These are individuals or organizations that provide health care services. They include doctors, nurses, hospitals, clinics, and other entities.
  • Healthcare financing: This refers to the mechanisms by which money is raised, pooled, and allocated to cover the costs of health services.
  • Healthcare regulations: These are rules and guidelines set by government or regulatory bodies to ensure the quality and safety of health care services.
  • Healthcare infrastructure: This includes the physical facilities and equipment used to provide health care services.
  • Healthcare information systems: These are systems used to manage and analyze health data for decision-making and performance monitoring.

Related terms

  • Public health: This is the science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life, and promoting health through organized efforts of society.
  • Primary care: This is the first level of contact of individuals, the family, and the community with the national health system.
  • Secondary care: This is the health care services provided by medical specialists and other health professionals who do not have first contact with patients.
  • Tertiary care: This is specialized consultative health care, usually for inpatients and on referral from a primary or secondary health professional.

External links


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