9.12.06 - Problems in US Health Care Flawed structure of...

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Problems in US Health Care - Flawed structure of the health care system - High Cost of medical care - Who has access to care? Some Sociological Perspectives on Health Care - Functionalists: high cost of medical care to entice people into the medical profession by offering high salaries. - Without such an incentive, individuals would not be motivated to endure the difficult medical training or the stress of being a doctor. Theory Continued Conflict Theory - Wealth, status, power and the profit motive influence health, illness and health care. - Conflict theorists criticize the pharmaceutical and health care industry for: 1. Placing profits above people 2. Ignoring populations without power. Example: Malaria remains one of the leading world health threats and yet we rarely hear about it and it is a relatively low health priority. It kills about 3 million people annually which is more than AIDS Viagra made its debut in 1998 – women were outraged because some insurance companies covered the drug, while female contraceptives were not covered - The high cost of medical care in the United States is a result of the capitalistic system in which health care is a commodity, rather than a right. Theory Continued Symbolic Interactionists - Meanings, definitions and labels influence health, illness and heath care. - These meanings are learned through others and through media messages - Defining behaviors and medical problems is part of a trend known as medicalization 1. The concept has been expanded to include any new medical phenomena defined as medical problems in need of medical intervention as with alcoholism, ADHD or PMS or PTSD 2. Medicalization now includes such things as childbirth, menopause and death – normal biological events or conditions that have come to be
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9.12.06 - Problems in US Health Care Flawed structure of...

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