What Is Medical Treatment?

The medical treatment (also called the medical care) that health professionals provide to patients includes medicine, therapy, and surgery. Treatments may be preventive, such as a vaccine against an infectious disease, or they may be used to control a health problem that has already occurred. In some cases, a health problem may be cured by the treatment itself, as in the case of the disappearance of athlete’s foot following the use of special creams and powders.

The patient’s health condition and preferences will determine what type of medical treatment is chosen. A physician must ensure that the patient receives all of the information he or she needs to make an autonomous decision, including the risks and benefits of various treatments. This information is recorded by the physician in the patient’s medical record. It can be accessed by other physicians who may be involved in the patient’s care, as well as by the patient himself or herself when it is needed.

Other functions of medical treatment include the assessment and certification of the health status of patients, the prognosis of illness, the segregation of ill persons to limit their communication with others and the provision of comfort and solace. These are known as paracurative or supportive care and do not usually result in a direct improvement in health, but rather in other valued outcomes, such as relief of pain and distress, emotional support, etc.

Medications are the mainstay of most medical treatment. They can take the form of tablets, injections or intravenous fluids, but also may involve diet and exercise programs, psychotherapy and other forms of therapy, and psychological or behavioral interventions. Some medications are used to control symptoms, such as pain or depression, while others are intended to cure a specific health problem, such as antiviral drugs to treat HIV infection.

Many patients have difficulty deciding what treatment is best for them, due to uncertainty about the disease, insufficient information, and/or lack of financial resources. Getting involved in your own healthcare, with the help of your family and your doctor, will give you the tools you need to make sound decisions about medical treatment.

In addition, most people with health insurance pay only a small part of the charge on their medical bills, referred to as a copayment or co-insurance. The remaining part of the charge is owed by the patient and can vary widely from hospital to hospital, depending on the provider’s rates and the type of health coverage.

If you do not have health insurance, it is important to compare prices and quality of services before choosing a treatment. Some hospitals are more expensive than others for the same procedure, but there are ways to get discounts, so be sure to ask about them. This can save you a lot of money, especially on non-emergency procedures like a knee replacement or cataract surgery. Many state governments have websites that allow you to look up procedures and compare prices in your area.

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