Public Health and the Role of Government in Health Care

It is good that public health and private medicine work together to benefit American society. The government usually offers public health care through national healthcare systems. On the other hand, private medicine can be provided by for-profit hospitals, self-employed practitioners, and non-profitable non-governmental providers, including faith-based organizations (Whitsel et al., 2019). Although they have been working together to complement each other, the contentious on their relationship is that quality care should not depend on the patient’s financial resources.

Another contentious relationship between private health and private medicine is the waiting times when booking an appointment. Whenever an individual is looking for medical advice or seeking treatment for a medical condition, they usually book an appointment with either private medicine or public health. In most cases, there have been concerns about the waiting times between private medicine and private health (Whitsel et al., 2019). Private treatments have been characterized as having shorter waiting times than public health care. Due to this, it made contentions because most Americans consider private medicine than public health care.

Treatment and drugs have been another contentious between public health and private medicine. Due to the cost of some niche drugs, public health may not pay for them. This leads to some patients being referred to private medication; however, the issues arise because most treatments have not been regulated in the private sector, making it very expensive (Ulrich et al., 2019). In addition, public health treatments emphasize prevention for the whole community while private medicine concentrates on diagnosis and treatment care for the entire patient. This has been a critical issue between their relationships since private medicine has contributed little to ensuring all Americans’ thriving wellbeing.

Professionals contained in both health sectors have also been contentious in the relationship. Professionals in private medicines are usually characterized by well-established professions with a sharp public image, while in public health, they are multiple professional identities with a diffuse public image (Whitsel et al., 2019). This has brought severe issues between their relationships because professions in private medicine feel that public health is over-utilizing their resources. In addition to the oppression of their professionals, the private sector has also felt that public health is not helping their success. For instance, public health care has been associated with imposing some regulations that are not favorable to private medicine. Therefore, all these have been causing issues between public health and private medication.

It is human nature for everyone to make mistakes, but these mistakes lead to wild consequences according to their severity. The severity of medical errors in America has led to causes of death and disability. The results of medical errors are usually the responsibility of the federal government (Whitsel et al., 2019). It should also be noted that not all medical errors lead to patient disability or death. Therefore, the government should take the necessary steps to monitor the status of the high-risk situations caused by medical errors. The essential steps that the government is supposed to take to reduce the issues of medical errors are discussed below.

It should monitor vulnerable populations because medical errors are a wide variety of patients, certain patients, and populations statistically at greater risk. A peer-reviewed white paper has identified the vulnerable people in the American Association of Critical Care Nurses as: patients with limited contact with public healthcare, patients with limited English proficiency, and those with low health literacy (Hiler et al., 2018). According to Maust et al. (2019), 45% of the U.S. population have at least one chronic disease, and 35% of U.S. adults take five or more medicines. These individuals have an increased risk of medical errors due to increased touchpoints with the healthcare system. Therefore, the government should implement biometric verification and improve communication. These measures are capable of drastically reducing medical errors in the healthcare industry.

It should promote interdisciplinary collaboration because improving and streamlining communication among links in the healthcare industry has often been neglected. For instance, in most health care facilities, pharmacists-critical allies in preventing medical errors have been relegated to the basement in predominantly order fulfillment roles. In addition, they have limited physical interaction with their colleagues from other departments and even lesser with the patients they are working to treat (Ulrich et al., 2019). To address this issue, the federal government should decentralize the pharmacy to position pharmacists as the permanent resource, especially to the vulnerable population. This will ensure that the pharmacists offer more comprehensive patient counseling. This will act as a second eye for physicians and nurses and oversee new automated technology in the healthcare system.

Finally, engaging patients in safety will happen when governments regulate healthcare professionals to never rely on patients and caregivers to take an active role in minimizing medical errors. Patients and caregivers cannot be trusted because they lack awareness or knowledge about their condition in most cases (Hiler et al., 2018). In addition, the government should put in more measures to educate the citizens on how they can be the strongest advocates of their health, especially when they visit a healthcare facility. For example, a patient can ensure a doctor is aware of the medication they have been administered another medication. Therefore, providing patients’ awareness and ensuring healthcare professionals do not actively depend on patient information will reduce medical errors.

The legislative attempts to address only one of the trio rising costs in the health care sector will not resolve the other issues. The lack of universal or variable quality of healthcare only worsens because the increase in price does not guarantee enhancement of the quality of offered healthcare. In addition, the increase leads to a lack of universal health care among low-income earners. Also, it prevents access to some treatment as they become expensive to almost all American citizens regardless of their economic status (Maust et al., 2019). In another perspective, if the legislative attempt to regulate rising costs by decreasing them, it will reduce health care quality. This is likely to happen since health care facilities will be forced to low-quality drugs to ensure they align with regulations by the legislature.

Attempts of the legislature to handle the issue of lack of universal health will ensure the wellbeing of Americans; however, handling this will affect the quality of health care because the legislature will not have addressed the cost of providing accessibility to universal healthcare (Ulrich et al., 2019). Therefore, this is an indication addressing the lack of universal health care will worsen the cost and quality of health care. In addition, tackling quality healthcare issues will affect rising costs and the lack of universal healthcare since quality comes with a price, and low-income earners cannot afford the fees. Hence, to ensure appropriate health care solutions, the legislature should address all three issues.


Hiler, C., Hickman, R., Reimer, A., & Wilson, K. (2018). Predictors of moral distress in a U.S. sample of critical care nurses. American Journal of Critical Care, 27(1), 59-66. Web.

Maust, D., Solway, E., Clark, S., Kirch, M., Singer, D., & Malani, P. (2019). Prescription and nonprescription sleep product use among older adults in the United States. The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 27(1), 32-41. Web.

Ulrich, B., Barden, C., Cassidy, L., & Varn-Davis, N. (2019). Critical care nurse work environments 2018: Findings and implications. Critical Care Nurse, 39(2), 67-84. Web.

Whitsel, L., Wilbanks, J., Huffman, M., & Hall, J. (2019). The Role of government in precision medicine, precision public health, and the intersection with healthy living. Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases, 62(1), 50-54. Web.

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