Biomedical vs Social Essay

Submitted By samsonr
Words: 1333
Pages: 6

Biomedical Not the Only Health Model
Health has been attempted to be defined using various models of health. This essay argues that biomedical is not the only solution to all round health and that a combination of models are required to further the ways to promote total wellbeing and provide a functional society. In this essay the focus will be on merely two aspects; the biomedical model and the Social model. These two models work in different views of health, biomedical working in a micro perspective focusing on the individual, and Social in a macro perspective looking at a larger social network. While the Bio Medical side defines health as the absence of illness the Social model takes a more upstream approach in relation to health attempting to prevent illness at its source.

The Biomedical model outlines health with the negative approach that good health is the absence of illness and disease. It explains the operation of the body and concentrates on a cure for the individual rather than prevention of the initial condition. Biomedicine is essentially a form of knowledge used by medical practitioners and professionals alike to describe the workings of the bodies and the best cause for treatment. However biomedicine is only one form of explaining these things (Ryan, A. 2003). Its major emphasis is defining whether people are fit for productive labour (Jones. L,1997). Therefor functional fitness is the fundamental in this model. The Biomedical model often views the body as a machine; with each separate part treatable/fixable with the roles of doctors and medical professionals as mechanics who repair the broken parts. (Ryan, A. 2003). In effect this is directed toward the functioning of organs and tissues of the body which places high values upon the scientific field yet ignores the overall wellbeing of the patient. Although the biomedical model is easily criticized due to its contracted view and inadequacies of broader health, Baum.F (2008) states “However, faced with a severe injury or a body part that is malfunctioning, we are happy to be seen by a medical doctor whose expertise lies in curing the present problem.” Treatment always involves removal of the cause, for instance virus or bacteria. The basis of the biomedical model is on the belief that there is always a cure and the idea that illness is temporary. This emphasises the importance of the bio medical model and shows that due to its immediate cause and cure incentive is proven as why it has been portrayed by many as the dominating model in defining health over the years.

“The term social model of health is based on the interaction of social determinants and considers balance between structure and agency” Fanany and Fanany (2012)
The Social model encompasses a very broad view of health. It sees health in a political, economic, social, psychological, cultural and environmental view as well as taking into consideration biological factors (Jones, L. 1997). The main mode of health is the prevention of illness before it occurs and the idea that health is something developed and maintained. Fougere. G. (1994), States that through the social health model three states are explored. Who gets sick, who stays well and why. He then explains that the reason people get sick is not largely related to biological implications but that of the social gradient to which they reside. For example New Zealand’s life expectancy is higher than that of third world countries not due to the difference in genetics but to the differences in the availability of vital resources, health care and the likes of adequate housing.
The Social model is also addressed as the public health system this is because it functions in a macro perspective on a large social network of people. Like the biomedical model the Social model of health relies on medical interventions yet basis the fact that health problems arises not from individuals but from within a social context and the environment to which we