Health Resources in the United States: Personnel, Facilities, and Services

Excerpt

Progress in the realm of health in recent years has affected virtually every person in the United States. Many diseases have beenbrought under control, death rates have dropped, and the chancesfor longer life have greatly increased. The control of the communicable diseases has become so far advanced that attention is being directed more and more to the control of the chronic, degenerativediseases and the high accident rate in order to make possible furtherdeclines in death rates and further increases in life expectancy.

The advances in the field of health since the beginning of thecentury give cause for pride in what has been done and give anindication of what can be done in the future. The findings of scientific research and the speed with which they are adapted for thebenefit of large numbers of individuals have aroused the hopes andexpectations of millions of Americans for rapid and continuing improvement. The nation has become health conscious as never before,and the growing awareness of the benefits to the individual that arepotentially available from the existing resources has manifested itself in a variety of attempts to accelerate the rate of health progress.The control and direction of the vast system of health resources havebecome matters of considerable study and controversy. The heateddebate in recent years on the issue of social planning in a free society has spilled over into the field of health and has prompted manyindividuals and agencies to examine broad social and economic issues as they affect the system of health resources and practices.

There are at least three broadly related fields of inquiry pertinentto a study of health resources. First and foremost is an inquiry intothe effect of research in the natural sciences upon the quality andquantity of health services. Second is an inventory of the existingresources. Third is an inquiry into the controlling social and economic factors in the supply and distribution of services. Scores ofinvestigations bearing on one or more aspects of the health fieldare under way at the present time. It is generally recognized that noone line of inquiry is by itself sufficient to lead to a complete understanding of the whole field. Most investigations require, as do mosthealth programs, the integration of diverse pieces of informationfrom the medical sciences and the social sciences.

Additional information

Contributors:
Publisher: Place of publication:
  • Washington, DC
Publication year:
  • 1952

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