Hesperian Health Guides
Chapter 3: The Medical System
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When trained promoters give basic health care in the community, everyone gets better care for less money.
Most areas of the world have several different kinds of health care. For example, there are community health workers, midwives and traditional healers, doctors and nurses. They might work in their own homes, in clinics or health centers, or in hospitals. They may be in private practice (charge money for their services), or they may be supported by the community, the government, a church, or another organization. Sometimes they are well trained and equipped—and sometimes they are not. Together they are called the medical system.
Most people use some combination of modern medicine and traditional remedies to treat their health problems themselves. This is often all they need to do. But sometimes they need to seek care from the medical system.
Unfortunately, many women have problems getting good health care. They may not have enough money to visit a clinic or buy medicine. Or maybe there are no health workers in their community. Even if women can go to a clinic, it can be difficult to talk with health workers about their problems. Sometimes the clinic or hospital does not offer the services they need.
More InformationSolving Health Problems
This chapter gives some ideas about how women can get better health advice and better medical care. It also suggests ways that women can work together to change the medical system so that it better responds to their needs.