Health systems, or health care systems, are organizations of people, resources and institutions that deliver health care services to meet the health care needs of the population. Their goal is to promote, restore or maintain health. The delivery of health care services can be coordinated between governments, charities, trade unions and/or religious bodies. Health systems include efforts to influence determinants of health in addition to providing health care.
Health systems provide resource generation, health care services, financing and stewardship, an ethic that embodies the responsible planning and management of resources. Values of health systems include quality, acceptability, efficiency and equity. Health systems include intersectoral action by health care staff, for instance nurses advocating to the ministry of education to promote female education, which is a determinant for better health.
Individuals who are part of health systems include health professionals and allied health professionals, who are health care professions distinct from nursing, medicine, and pharmacy. Examples of health workers include doctors, nurses, paramedics, dentists, therapists, pharmacists and optometrists. They can be self-employed or working in a hospital or clinic, whether private for-profit, private not-for-profit or government funded. They may also work in non-direct patient care fields such as medical laboratories or a government health department.
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