The U.S health care system is one of the main industries that contribute largely to the economy of the country. The industry has developed massively due to a population that is aging swiftly and the increased impact of chronic diseases on the general population. It is one of the fastest growing industries in recent times posting $21.8 billion for the economy in the year 2013. This has attracted huge investments into the sector, and it is likely to continue this upward trend. A section of the health care system is public, and it forms up to 20 percent of government-owned hospitals and 20 percent hospitals that are not for profit (Blyther, 2010).
The public health system includes agencies and health organization that assist the government in establishing public health among the public. Such agencies include the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S Food and Drug Administration, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Institute of Health and many other governmental agencies and organization. The research will seek to identify the reasons for the formation of the different agencies and their precise roles. The literature review intends to examine the present literature on the functions of the agencies and organizations found under the U.S healthcare system. The literature review will describe from various sources, the government public health agencies.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention is the main governmental agency that is tasked with the protection of public health and safety. The center for disease control is a massive agency that has contact persons in over fifty countries around the world. The administration has at its services more than 15,000 employees who work round the clock to fulfill its objectives. The primary aim of the CDC is to protect the lives of American citizens against diseases. The agency is the nation’s military when fighting diseases and its logo reads ‘saving lives, protecting people’. In order to do this, the agency conducts extensive research and provides vital information to the public to improve their ability to prevent diseases. Public health, safety, and security are guaranteed as the administration has established minimum quality standards that all the products being regulated have to get toThe agency detects and responds effectively to any health threats against the United States, the agency further utilizes technological advancements in an effort to mitigate and neutralize any health related risks (CDC, 2014).
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention pledges to the American people that it will nurture public health at all times and stages, that it will place the interests of the public above the interests of the government. An example of a practical situation where the Center for Disease Control and Prevention has come in handy in protecting American citizens is through its Field Epidemiology Training Program that has responded to numerous outbreaks across the world (CDC, 2014). The latest was the Ebola outbreak in Western Africa where the Center for Disease Control and Prevention assisted in preventing the spread of the disease to other parts of the world and especially to the United States.
The National Institute of Health is based in Maryland. The main role of the agency that is under the U.S healthcare system is to facilitate research that is health related. The National Institute of Health is geared towards making critical discoveries that would save lives and protect people. The agency is composed of up to 27 separate centers and has about 6,200 employees that run these facilities. The agency plays a paramount role in funding research activities in other areas across the globe. The agency has several goals that include expanding the information based on medical and biomedical sciences. The agency has seen numerous successes in its activities including the development of vaccines against life-threatening diseases like hepatitis and the agency’s long history; it has directly funded 145 individuals who have won the Nobel Prize (NIH, 2013).
The U.S Food and Drugs Administration is the third government agency for public health and safety. The agency was formed in the year 1906 and has its headquarters at the White Oak Campus in Maryland. The administration was formed for the main purpose of ensuring public health and safety through its regulation of foods and drugs. The commodities that are under this agency include but are not limited to tobacco products, cosmetics, vaccines, animal feeds, Veterinary products, and medications (FDA, 2014).
All these products should be supervised and approved by the Food and Drugs Administration to make sure that the drugs and foods are healthy for use in the general population. The agency has agents and centers distributed in various states across the country and have recently begun posting its employees to other countries like Chile and Belgium. The administration plays a critical role in encouraging product innovation and makes innovation in a safe, secure and health setting. Public health, safety, and security are guaranteed as the administration has established minimum quality standards that all the products being regulated have to get to (Stephenson, 2010).
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is the fourth the agency under the United States government Department of Labor. The agency was created in the year 1971 and has its headquarters as Washington D.C. the main goal of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is to provide a safe and secure working condition for men and women by being proactive in setting and enforcing quality standards in the workplace (OSHA, 2014). The agency conducts training and educational programs for working men and women in both the private and public sectors (Harwood, 2015). The agency has its presence in over fifty states in the country and function to reduce and prevent hazards and accidents in the workplace.
The agency has been very critical the establishment of minimum standards to be met by employers that are intended to ensure the security and public health of workers in their workplace. An example of these standards includes hospital safety for hospital employees and the National Safety Stand Down for those working in the construction and building industry (Martin, 2015). The agency has found that about 5,000 employees suffer fatalities in their jobs every year, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is geared toward reducing this number to zero by establishing public safety and security measures.
Lastly, the Environmental Protection Agency is the last department of the United States public health care system. The agency was formed in the year 1971 and like the Occupational Safety and Health Administration; it has its main offices in Washington D.C. (EPA, 2015). The Environmental Protection Agency is the number one agency that is concerned with the establishment of a clean and safe environment for the American people. The agency has at its disposal up to 15,000 employees who assist the agency in the achievement of its set objectives (Kelly, 2015). The Environmental Protection Agency has a national presence through ten centers that are spread across the country. The issues that are under the regulation and supervision of the Environmental Protection Agency include air pollution, water pollution, and control of hazardous waste and the protection of endangered species. The Environmental Protection Agency ensures that all the laws and legislation that are enacted to control the above are followed and complied with by individuals and organizations (Kohn, 2011).
As observed from the above discussion and review, public health and safety is regarded as very important by the government of the United States of America. The government is prepared to go to extraordinary levels to encourage healthy lifestyles, promote research for diseases, ensure a clean and safe environment and detect and control dangerous diseases. It is for these reasons that the United States healthcare system utilizes various government public health agencies to achieve the goals of public health and security. The various government public health agencies are separate and distinct; they have their staff and run on a separate and independent budget. The review portrays the public health agencies as being very successful. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention is tasked with the detection and control of diseases in the country. The National Institute of Health is responsible for the research in the medical and biomedical fields. The Food and Drugs Administration has the responsibility for regulating and supervising foods and drugs in the country. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration are concerned with setting standards for employee safety in their workplace. Lastly, the Environmental Protection Agency is tasked with protecting the environment and ensuring the compliance with legislation that is geared towards environmental protection.The Environmental Protection Agency ensures that all the laws and legislation that are enacted to control the above are followed and complied with by individuals and organizations
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Kohn, L. (2011). “National Institutes of Health: Awarding Process, Awarding Criteria, and Characteristics of Extramural Grants Made with Recovery Act Funding.” Diane Publishing
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National Institute of Health, NIH.(2013). “Mission.” Retrieved from http://www.nih.gov/about/mission.htm
Occupational Safety and Health Administration, OSHA.(2014). “Mission.” Retrieved from http://www.osha.gov/about/mission.htm
Stephenson, J. (2010). “Environmental Protection Agency: Major Management Challenges.” Diane Publishing