Major Historical Development of Hospitals in the United States
During the 18th century, the United States did not have the formal institutions of health care that are commonly referred to as hospitals. As a result, the sick were attended to by the medical practitioners at the comfort of their homes. There were numerous challenges that characterized by this form of health care provision (Jonas, 2003). For instance, the majority of the medical practitioners did not own the necessary expertise and equipments that are applied in the administration of health care. This is an attribute that had negative implications on the standard of health care that was being rendered by the medical practitioners.
Additionally, most of the equipments employed in the provision of health care were not mobile. This attribute greatly impaired rendering of timely and high standards of health care to the patients. Boston was the United States' largest city at the time and had a population of approximately seven thousand people. All these people relied on the aforesaid form of health when they had health needs (Jonas, 2003). Another major challenge was based on incidences when people ailed from communicable diseases. Such medical conditions necessitated for the segregation of the affected people from the general population through a process known as quarantine. Such individuals were normally confined in locations that were remote from the city. This is because such areas were not easy to access thus they were suitable for carrying out such activities. These stations of isolation served as the first form of hospitals.
During the seventeenth century, mental illness was considered a major illness and special places were designed for the purpose of dealing with these people. Such places formed the basis of establishing hospitals, such as the Bellevue Hospital, which was established in the year 1736. The fundamental mission of the institution was to cater to the needs of the aged, mentally ill, and the poor. In the year 1789, a hospital was established in Baltimore and it was known as the Public Hospital of Baltimore (Raffel, 2005). This hospital remained in operation for a century and it was improved to its current status and name referred to as the Prestigious Johnson Hopkins Hospital. The number of institutions for health care increased significantly during the 19th century. Pest houses were established in most of the major cities across the nation and almshouses were also established to cater for the poor within the society. It is also during this era that some of the Almshouses and Pest house were equipped with infirmaries. During this era, most of the hospitals were extremely unhygienic and they led to the contraction of various hygiene related infections. This is an attribute that made many people resent visiting the hospitals.
In the year 1850, the protestant movement from Germany launched its operations in Pennsylvania. This movement revolutionized the entire health care industry within the United States. This is largely because it introduced the formal training of nurses. These nurses underwent training on the provision of health care (Raffel, 2005). The nursing profession was extremely upheld and developed during the civil war. This is because the nurses who were trained by this movement were providing health care services to various soldiers that had been injured during the war.
The twentieth century was marked by a wide range of major advancement in the health care sector. This is the era which health care insurance was introduced and marked a major advancement in the health care industry. The popularity of this product has been increasing over the years. This product managed to move from a preference product to the basic product that people required. This implies that it graduated from being a luxury into being a necessity. It is also during this phase that hospitals ceased being viewed as charitable institutions that addressed the needs of the low income earners (Raffel, 2005). This phase was characterized by the commercialization of hospitals. This is an attribute that facilitated a broad range of development to take place within this sector. Through the commercialization of the health care services that were being rendered by the hospitals, the standard of health care being rendered immensely improved. This is because the availability of funds facilitated hospitals to carry out research on various fields of health care.
In addition, it also facilitated the development and procurement of high technology equipment that was employed for the provision of health care. It also catalyzed the growth of the number of hospitals across the nations. This is primarily because there was a comparatively large population of people in demand of the health care services. This population could not be adequately catered for by the number of hospitals that were present at the time (Jonas, 2003). The rise in the number of hospitals facilitated the rise in the population of people that had access to relatively high quality health care. The private, public and non-for-profit hospitals that were set up, contributed to these significant improvements in the provision of health care across the United States.
The major historical events in Health care and hospitals in the UK
The Voluntary Hospitals were established in the United Kingdom, during the medieval age. These forms of hospitals completely relied on voluntary services as well as funding from well wishers. These hospitals were set up with the objective of supplementing the nature of health services that were being rendered by the hospitals present in the nation. These hospitals provided training for most of the medical practitioners and attended people who were suffering from long term illnesses. The popularity of these hospitals continued to increase progressively to a point whereby they were considered essential in the provision of health care within the United Kingdom (Pickstone, 1985). However, this situation was set to change in the course of the forthcoming years. The members of the general public started mounting pressure on the government to review the health care policies. The government succumbed to the pressure, thereby reviewing the health care policies, which led to the establishment of hospitals in all cities and major towns across the United Kingdom. This was a move geared towards enhancing the prevailing degree of access to a high standard of health care.
A Comparison of the US and the UK History of Health Care and the Evolution of Hospitals
Evidently the history of hospitals in the United States evolved more efficiently than in the United Kingdom. This is mainly because the growth was progressive and it took place over a relatively long duration (Pickstone, 1985). Although the history of hospitals in the two countries is considered comparatively long, the history of the United States is based on a long, enduring and difficult process that led to numerous developments in the health care sector. This effort was primarily geared towards enhancing the standards of health care that were being offered (Jonas, 2003). For instance, the introduction of the medical insurance policy played a central role in enhancing the quality of health care being rendered in the United States.
In conclusion, the health care industry has undergone a major revolution and since the 17th century, when it was informal and based on traditional practicians, to the current modern status of the sector. There were major events in the United States history, such as the American civil war, which shaped the health care industry immensely. For example, it led to the introduction of nursing as a professional, which has been imperative in the industry. In comparison with the UK, the US health care system developed radically and immensely leading to the development of the major foundations in the sector.
Jonas, S. (2003). An Introduction to the U.S. Health Care System: Fifth Edition. New York: Springer.
Pickstone, J. (1985). Medicine and Industrial Society: A History of Hospital Development in Manchester. Manchester: Manchester University.
Raffel, N. (2005). The U.S. Health System: Origins and Functions. New York: Cengage.