Health care industry
The health care industry or health profession is considered an industry or profession which includes peoples exercise of skill or judgment or the providing of a service related to the preservation or improvement of the health of individuals or the treatment or care of individuals who are injured, sick, disabled, or infirm. The delivery of modern health care depends on an expanding group of trained professionals coming together as an interdisciplinary team.
The health care industry is one of the world's largest and fastest-growing industries. Consuming over 10 percent of gross domestic product of most developed nations, health care can form an enormous part of a country's economy. In 2003, health care costs paid to hospitals, physicians, nursing homes, diagnostic laboratories, pharmacies, medical device manufacturers and other components of the health care system, consumed 15.3 percent of the GDP of the United States, the largest of any country in the world. For United States, the health share of gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to hold steady in 2006 before resuming its historical upward trend, reaching 19.6 percent of GDP by 2016.  In 2001, for the OECD countries the average was 8.4 percent  with the United States (13.9%), Switzerland (10.9%), and Germany (10.7%) being the top three.
According to Celent, US healthcare expenditures totaled US$2.2 trillion in 2006. According to Health Affairs, USD$7,498 will be spent on every woman, man and child in the United States in 2007, 20 percent of all spending. Costs are projected to increase to $12,782 by 2016.
Providers and professionals
A health care provider or health professional is an organization or person who delivers proper health care in a systematic way professionally to any individual in need of health care services.
Delivery of services
Template:Refimprovesect The healthcare industry includes the delivery of health services by health care providers. Usually such services receive payment from the patient or from the patient's insurance company; although they may be government-financed (such as the National Health Service in the United Kingdom) or delivered by charities or volunteers, particularly in poorer countries. There are many ways of providing healthcare in the modern world. The most common way is face-to-face delivery, where care provider and patient see each other 'in the flesh'. This is what occurs in general medicine in most countries. However, healthcare is not always face-to-face; with modern telecommunications technology, in absentia health care is becoming more common. This could be when practitioner and patient communicate over the phone, video conferencing, the internet, email, text messages, or any other form of non-face-to-face communication.
- Princeton University. (2007). health profession. Retrieved June 17, 2007, from http://wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn?s=health%20profession
- United States Department of Labor. (2007, February 27). Health Care Industry Information. Retrieved June 17, 2007, from http://www.doleta.gov/BRG/Indprof/Health.cfm
- From the Henry J Kaiser Family Foundation
- From Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
- "The Not So Short Introduction to Health Care in US", by Nainil C. Chheda, published in February 2007, Accessed February 26, 2007.
- OECD data
- Celent Report: According to figures published by Celent 12 June 2007. See also Healthcare Transactions: What’s in the Forecast for Financial Institutions?.
- "Average 2016 health-care bill: $12,782" by Ricardo Alonso-Zalvidar Los Angeles Times February 21 2007