Models of Health

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Models of Health According to the World Health Organisation, “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” (World Health Organisation, 2011) There are two main models of health which reflect different perspectives. These models are known as the social model of health and the medical model of health. The medical model of health focuses more on the cure for an illness, whereas the social model of health concentrates on the origins of the illness rather than the cure such as class, gender and ethnicity. (HSC, 2009) In the medical model of health, the main focus is on a person functioning correctly physically and defines bad health and illness as the presence of disease. The medical model looks at the body as a machine, where if it were to break down, a doctor would take on the role of an engineer and attempt to fix it. Unlike the social model, the medical model of health does not take into account social aspects which can also have an effect on health and illness. The social model of health tends to focus on sociological factors, linking illness to things such as poverty, poor housing and unemployment. Eg, the impact that poverty and social class has on illness and health are reflected in life expectancy figures. Although life expectancy in the UK has risen, there is still a gap in life expectancy between the middle class and the working class. (HSC, 2009) YES BE CLEAR HERE WHAT THE TWO CONDITIONS ARE For example, if a patient with asthma symptoms went to the doctor, in order for the doctor to give a diagnosis they would interact with the patient and obtain some medical history. After that the doctor would check the patient physically or order medical tests to be carried out such as blood tests. They would then prescribe medication that would make them better. However, it fails to
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