What Aspects and Characteristics of American Health Care of the 18th and 19th Centuries Have Had a Major Impact on Shaping Today’s U.S. Health Care System

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What aspects and characteristics of American health care of the 18th and 19th centuries have had a major impact on shaping today’s U.S. health care system?” The main historical developments that have shaped the health care delivery system in the United States. Knowledge of the history of health care is essential for understanding the main characteristics of the system as it exists today. For example, the system’s historical foundations explain why health care delivery in the United States has been resistant to national health insurance, which has been adopted by Canada and most European nations. Traditionally held American cultural beliefs and values, technological advances, social changes, economic constraints, and political…show more content…
In the early 1800s, both in Europe and in the United States, physicians with formal medical training began to stress the idea that germs and social conditions might cause and spread disease, especially in cities. Many municipalities created "dispensaries" that dispensed medicines to the poor and offered free physician services. Epidemics of cholera, diphtheria, tuberculosis, and yellow fever, and concerns about sanitation and hygiene, led many city governments to create departments of health. New advances in studying bacteria were put to practical use as "germ theory" became the accepted cause for illness. It was in the face of epidemics and poor sanitation, government-sponsored public health, and healthcare that private healthcare began to systematically diverge. Impact As America became increasingly urbanized in the mid 1800s, hospitals, first built by city governments to treat the poor, began treating the not-so-poor. Doctors, with increased authority and power, stopped traveling to their sickest patients and began treating them all under one roof. Unlike hospitals in Europe where patients were treated in large wards, American patients who could pay were treated in smaller, often private rooms. In the years following the Civil War (1865), hospitals became either public or private. More medical schools and institutions devoted to medical research emerged. A trend toward physicians needing more training

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