From Sickcare to Healthcare, Challenges and Visions

Healthcare is fundamentally changing around the world; several countries are planning to restructure re-engineer or transform their healthcare system. The main motive for the change is due to two main factors, first, the great advancement in healthcare with new operational technology, new Pharmaceuticals, and new diagnostic procedures. Second, the rapid increase in the cost of healthcare, in most countries healthcare consumes around 7% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). India is replacing the traditional healthcare system with a mobile, tech- based one. Singapore is investing in medically oriented digital services and mobile apps. Mexico is launching a national strategy for prevention and control of overweight, obesity, and Diabetes. Saudi Arabia is transforming its entire health system, rethinking where and how care is delivered. These efforts are in response to a global shift in the healthcare landscape, the continuous increase in healthcare costs, and the advancement in technology. The delivery means of healthcare is changing. Patient's demand to get the best care and to be engaged in decision making, the aging community is increasing as well as the prevalence of disease in certain countries is advancing. Global transformational efforts are taking place, in the United States healthcare is re-evaluating the Fee-for-Service system that has been in practice for ages. Value-based Care is being promoted this is besides the heavy reliance on Artificial Intelligence as well as the new pharmaceutical technology.

The main issue is that we are concentrating on the care for sick people, with limited efforts to maintain health. Healthcare is defined by Merriam-Webster Dictionary as efforts made to maintain or restore physical, mental, or emotional well-being especially by trained and licensed professionals. We are fulfilling only part of the definition, i.e., we are restoring (treating the Sick individuals). Maintenance of health is very limited. In most of the countries where primary healthcare centers were utilized, the main function is to limit the visits to the major hospitals, it was not meant to maintain health. In other countries, it was used as a gait to the major healthcare centers to prevent the crowding in the Emergency rooms or specialist clinics. Therefore, we are providing Sickcare, not healthcare. This paper will shed some light on the different healthcare systems applied in several countries, define the content of a good healthcare system, and provide some guidance on the true application of Healthcare, as well as promoting Personalized Preventive Care (PPC).


Abdulaziz Saddique, Mohannad J. Al-Kudwah

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