Health: Beyond a Disease Model Sheila Cronin
The World Health Organisation’s definition of health is “complete
physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of
disease or infirmity” (1967).
There needs to be a fundamental shift from the disease model of health
to the social determinant model of health. Our understanding of health
will determine how we prioritise the care of health and resource the
various activities, agencies and institutions that impact on the care of
health. Healthcare is a social right that every citizen should enjoy.
The standard of care of any health system depends on the resources made
available which in turn is dependant on the expectations of society. In
any democratic society this obligation is transferred through taxation
and insurance systems to government and other bodies who assume
responsibility for this.