what are the health and social care sectors?

The health and social care sector consists of any organisation that provides health care to individuals, e.g. hospitals, dentists and specialised care such as physiotherapy, and social care, e.g. nursing homes, shelters and day-care centres. The health and social care sector is part of the education and health services sub-sector.

The sector includes both health care and social care because it is sometimes difficult to distinguish the boundaries of these two activities. The modern health industry includes three essential branches which are services, products and finance, and can be divided into many sectors and categories, and relies on interdisciplinary teams of professionals and paraprofessionals trained to meet the health needs of individuals and populations. Issues of confidentiality, privacy, risk-taking and, in general, the exercise of personal choice are ethical dilemmas that are encountered and processed on a daily basis in the context of social care. The sector is in constant need of qualified graduates, so find out how to pursue a rewarding career in the sector.

Others can take a course in health and social care as a route to further qualifications in the hope that it will lead to employment in the sector. The industries in this sector are arranged on a continuum starting with establishments providing exclusively medical care, continuing with those providing health and social care, and finally ending with those providing only social care. However, some jobs, such as social work, child psychotherapy, community education and educational psychology, require at least a bachelor's degree, and it is impossible to enter the field without a degree. The growing debate about the difference between the two systems may cause people to overlook the interconnectedness of health and social care.

Ideally, carers should make care environments not simply tolerable, but pleasant and satisfying for clients, which may involve social and educational activities with the people cared for. There is increasing crossover between social care and health care roles, so that, for example, one may work as a nurse in a social care setting, such as a nursing home. There is no universally accepted classification of sectors, but the key sectors of the healthcare industry can be broadly classified into four sectors called "Health services and facilities", "Manufacturers of medical devices, equipment and hospital supplies", "Health insurance, medical services and managed care" and "Pharmaceuticals and related segments". The term "managed care" or "managed healthcare" is used to describe a range of techniques designed to reduce the cost of healthcare delivery and improve the quality of care for organisations that use these techniques or provide them as services to other organisations.

Models vary from country to country, with payment responsibility ranging from public (social insurance) and private health insurers to patient-driven. Other approaches to defining the scope of the health industry tend to adopt a broader definition, including also other key health-related actions such as education and training of health professionals, regulation and management of health service delivery, provision of traditional and complementary medicines, and administration of health insurance.

Samuel Krejsa
Samuel Krejsa

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