A Crisis of Confidence.
A crisis of confidence in the health-care-delivery system in the United States began and ended the decade of the 1970s. Although American medical science made spectacular advances and improvements in the overall American death rate and the infant and maternal mortality rates leveled off, the United States still lagged behind many other nations in these measures of health care. By the 1970s the medical and health industries became second only to the military industry in size and cost. Many inequalities in Americans' access to health care still existed. In March and April of 1971 hearings before the Subcommittee on Health of the Committee on Labor and Public Welfare of the U.S. Senate summarized five major problems in the health-care system:
- maldistribution and shortage of health manpower;
- inequality in health care and inequality in access to health care, including financing;
- rising costs;
- too little attention paid to keeping people well;
- lack of coordination in the health-care system, resulting in waste and duplication.
A Shortage of Health Providers.
By the beginning of the decade about 275,000 doctors in the United States were actually giving patient care, and there were many concerns about...
(The entire section is 1495 words.)
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