Health care delivery encompasses a complex system in which local, state, national, and international communities provide services that enable people to achieve a level of health at which they are able to live socially and economically productive lives. ‘Health for All by the Year 2000’ was adopted as policy by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1981; however, variable levels of achievement of this mandate have actually been implemented to date. This entry provides a general description of the present health care delivery system in the United States as well as a brief historical perspective designed to provide a framework for the analysis of future trends, values, and needs related to health.

The United States has a very complex system, often called a ‘multiplicity of health ...

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