Healthcare or health care is the treatment and prevention of illness. Health care is delivered by professionals in medicine, dentistry, nursing, pharmacy and allied health.
The social and political issues surrounding access to healthcare in the US have led to vigorous public debate and the almost colloquial use of terms such as health care (medical management of illness), health insurance (reimbursement of health care costs), and public health (the collective state and range of health in a population).
The health-care industry incorporates several sectors that are dedicated to providing health care services and products. According to industry and market classifications, such as the Global Industry Classification Standard and the Industry Classification Benchmark, the health-care industry includes health care equipment and services as well as pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and life sciences. The particular sectors associated with these groups are: biotechnology, diagnostic substances, drug delivery, drug manufacturers, hospitals, medical equipment and instruments, diagnostic laboratories, nursing homes, providers of health care plans and home health care.
According to government industry classifications, which are mostly based on the United Nations system, the International Standard Industrial Classification, health care generally consists of hospital activities, medical and dental practice activities, and other human health activities.
The last class consists of all activities for human health not performed by hospitals, physicians or dentists. This involves activities of, or under the supervision of, nurses, midwives, physiotherapists, scientific or diagnostic laboratories, pathology clinics, home, or other para-medical practitioners in the field of optometry, hydrotherapy, medical massage, yoga therapy, music therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, chiropody, homeopathy, chiropractics, acupuncture, etc.[