According on a person’s health dramatically not having

to the world health organisation what is meant by health is “a state of
complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of
disease or infirmity” the definition has not been amended since 1948 (world
health organisation, 2017). Environments,
circumstances and other combining factors determine the health of the
population. The makeup of people’s lives determine their health. I have established
factors to take into account these are as follows: where we live the location,
the living conditions in general clean running water, heating, warmth ect. The
state of our environment, genetic history, also our income plays a huge role
with regard to class this is based on occupation head of household. Educational
levels determine what job you can get which then determines your income, an
estimated 6 million in the uk cannot read or write there for this prevents them
from becoming established and getting a good job. Our relationships with
friends and family all have considerable impacts as these relations form
support networks and provide people with self-worth. People that tend to have a
higher income and social status are linked to better health and tend to live
longer. There is a big gap between the poor and the rich, resulting in
differences in health and wellbeing (World
health organisation, 2017).
According to White (2009 p. 1) “Poor living and working conditions make people
sicker, and poorer people die earlier, than their counterparts at the top of
the social system. Even when there are improved living conditions and medical
practises, but inequalities based on class, gender and ethnicity are not
tackled, the differences between the rich and the poor persist and widen.
Disease and inequality are intimately linked. People at the top of the ladder
the more wealthy clientele are healthier and live longer, while those at the
bottom are sicker, do not live as long, and die more from preventable disease
and accidents” Even Low education levels are linked with poor health, this can
cause stress and low self-confidence. The physical environment we live in can
contribute to an individual’s health if we do not have access to safe water,
clean air, hygiene, healthy workplaces, the community and the people
living in that area will suffer. Having a safe home to live in is a big factor for
example if you are homeless this can impact on a person’s health dramatically
not having a roof over your head, a bed to sleep in, warmth, running water the
basic things in life impact health. Employment and working conditions we can
see that people in employment are healthier, with their mind kept active. Particularly
those who have more control over their working conditions tend to live
healthier lifestyles. Social support networks having support from families,
friends and the community you live in is linked to better health. Culture,
customs and traditions, and the beliefs of the family and community all affect
health. Genetics and inheritance plays a part in determining lifespan,
healthiness and the likelihood of developing certain illnesses. Personal individual
behaviours and coping skills including balanced eating, keeping active,
smoking, drinking, and how we deal with life’s stresses and challenges all
affect health. Health services availability being able to gain access and use
of services that prevent and treat disease influences is very important. The
impact of health Gender, Men and women suffer from different types of diseases
at different ages.  All these things
define what is meant by health (World
health organisation, 2017).

There are two main approaches the bio-medical
model and the socio-medical model of health. The bio – medical model is most
dominant in the western world and focuses on health purely in terms of
biological factors. Contained within the biomedical model of health is a
medical model of disability (‘Discover Sociology The Biomedical Model’, 2017) In order to outline and assess the ‘biomedical model’ of
health, we must first comprehend what it is, along with an understanding of the
terms ‘health’, ‘illness’ and ‘disease’. Defined as a scientific measure of
health and regards disease as the human body having a breakdown due to a
biological reason.              A patient
is seen as a body that is sick and can be handled, explored and treated
independently from their mind and other external considerations.

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The treatment therefore
will be from medical professionals with appropriate knowledge, and must take
place in an environment where medical technology exists (Giddens. 2009).
‘Illness’ is what a patient suffers when they experience a breakdown in the way
they are feeling or thinking, and ‘disease’ is an abnormality with the body and
its component parts and is diagnosed and treated by doctors (Pool and Geissler.
2005). The biomedical model
of medicine has been around since the mid-19th century as the predominant model used by physicians in diagnosing
diseases. It has four core elements. The biomedical model of health focuses on purely biological factors
and excludes psychological, environmental, and social influences
it Views health as ‘the absence of
disease’ particully Focuses on diagnosing
& curing illnesses this
being relevant for Western
societies, The NHS
is based on Biomedical assumptions
Health professionals are needed
to cure disease and illness. (Promoting Health a Practical guide, 2017) This is
done by prescribing medication using medical resources to treat the problem. We
have made huge changes with treating disease through vaccinations those who
lead in example are louis Pasteur and also alexander Fleming discovered
penicillin which is absolutely vital today (Communicating Health, 2007)

The idea that people’s health is
predominantly a reflection of science’s understanding of the body, the disease
process and the development and availability of effective treatments reflects
the biomedical model of health. A
‘heroic’ view of medicine, the struggle for better health is seen as a war
waged by doctors and medical scientists against the enemy of disease. Health
is the absence of biological abnormality we no that diseases
have specific causes. The human body is likened to a machine to be restored to
health through personalised treatments that stop or reverse the disease process.
The health of society is seen as largely dependent on medical knowledge and the
availability of medical resources. Illness is always caused by an
identifiable (physical or mental) reason and cannot be the result of magic,
religion or witchcraft. Illnesses and their causes can be identified, classified
and measured using scientific methods.
If there is a cure, then it will
be through the use of drugs or surgery, rather than in changing social
relationships or people’s spiritual lives. This is because the cause almost
always lies in the actual physical body of the individual patient. Nettleton (1995) Mind-body dualism. An
acceptance that when treating disease, the mind and body can be considered as
two separate objects. The physical body rather than the problematic mind is the
subject of medicine. Medicine is said to view the body as a machine, the
functioning of the body is determined by biological and scientific laws. Having
knowledge of how the body functions allows medical practitioners to ‘repair’
any dysfunction.                   This
refers to the significance of medical methods of intervention, whether surgical
or pharmacological. (Promoting
Health a Practical guide, 2017) The
development of medical technology has considerable benefits but this comes at a
cost, e.g. harmful consequences of medicine/medical intervention. The tendency
to reduce all explanations to the physical workings of the body. One of the
major criticisms of this model is that is seems to ignore social and
psychological factors that influence health. The belief that all disease comes
from specific and identifiable causes. The biomedical model appears to be
inflexible and rigid, reflecting the past rather than medical practice today.
However, it is argued that the central elements of medical knowledge remain but
that this adapts and changes with new discoveries. The model focuses on the individual and does not find ways to
solve the root cause. Causes may be varied for example ill health may not
always be due to the individual’s lifestyles choice.

The social model of health looks at
how society and our environment affect our everyday health and wellbeing, including
factor such as social class, occupation, education, income and poverty, poor
diet and pollution. E.g. poor housing and poverty are causes to respiratory
problems and in response to these causes and origins of ill health. The
socio-model aimed to encourage society to include better housing and introduce
programs to tackle poverty as a solution. The focus of these models is to
explain why health inequalities exist and persist. By
contrast, the social model stresses the impact of the environment on health,
the need for collective methods in the community to address health issues
(particularly health inequalities) and health promotion. Hence the social model
suggests that individual and community health results from complex cultural and
structural influences affecting particular groups of people – ethnic
minorities, women, the elderly, etc. This interpretation incorporates the wider
social perspectives that affect individuals’ well-being. It focuses on the
barriers and difficulties that prevent the ‘ill’ person from having access to
health and ‘normality’. These include: lack of information or education on
health care; lack of transport facilities to enable contact with doctors. (Communicating Health, 2007)

The Marmot Review has a big impact on
health and what we no. This has massively contributed to England’s health
policy and practice. Health inequalities are at the center of the new health
system in England, as outlined in the government’s 2010 White Paper, Healthy
Lives, and healthy People. Professor Marmot chaired the Commission on Social
Determinants of Health set up by the World Health Organization in 2005 to
support tackling the political, social and economic determinants of poor health
and avoidable health inequalities. The final report, entitled closing the Gap
in a Generation, was published in 2008. (University College London, 2017) prominent reports for
health inequalities have been published these include the Black Report (1980),
the Acheson Report (1997), and most recently a report by the UN’s World Health
Organisation (WHO). It found that a boy from Lenzie, an affluent area in East
Dumbartonshire could expect to live up to 28 years longer than a boy from Calton,
a deprived area in Glasgow. There are many reasons for inequalities in health in the UK. Although
some parts of the country have poorer health records than others. Differences
between the poorest and richest parts of Glasgow are greater than average
differences between Scotland and South-East England. There are significant differences
in life expectancy of at least 10 years between different groups in society.
Those living in poverty generally have poorer life chances and poorer health
because of lower living standards, including poor housing and poor diet. Those
in lower paid, unskilled jobs have a greater risk of accidents at work and can
suffer from stress linked to unemployment. Professionals enjoy healthier
lifestyles, not just because they have a better standard of living but also
because they are more likely to be aware of health issues than unskilled
workers. Similarly, women are more aware of health issues and more likely to
consult doctors than men. As a result, women appear to have higher sickness
rates than men, but this may reflect the fact that more male ill health is
unreported. The
National Health Service (NHS) was set up as part of the post-war Welfare State.
Its original aims were to provide a comprehensive, integrated service free at
the point of use. Its intention was to provide the best possible care for all
citizens and, wherever possible, prevent ill health. The NHS has not been able
to fully meet these aims due to the unexpected cost of healthcare and an
ever-increasing demand for limited resources. The NHS has treated more patients
every year and introduced many new treatments. With limited resources it has
had to deal with increased patient expectations, and the cost of new
technologies and drugs. The care needs of the increasingly elderly population
are also putting a significant strain on the NHS. As such it is often said to
be ‘a victim of its own success’. (BBC, 2014)


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