The Importance Of Biomedical Model

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John Germov (2009) work ‘Imagining health problems as social issues’ discussed the social origins of health and illness, emergence and importance of bio-medical model and social model of health and limitations of bio-medical model. A brief explanation is given below.

The emergence of the biomedical model
In 1878, Louis Pasteur was the first person who came up with the idea of ‘germ theory of disease’ that focuses on the role of germs in causing a disease. After the ‘germ theory of disease’ a new term ‘Specific Aaetiology’ (meaning specific cause of disease) was developed by Robert Koch that was based on the idea that every disease is caused by a specific kind of bacteria. Porter (1997) stated that there are different channels such as food,
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Biomedical model observes the body as a machine which is made up of interrelated parts and systems. According to Najman (1980) the research and training related to medical field in twentieth century were mainly revolved around diagnosis and curing of specific diseases in individuals. There was no reference to social causes of origin of disease. Thus medical field in western societies was predominantly interested in biological aetiology rather than social.
Limitations of Biomedical Model
No doubt that due to the emergence of biomedical model, there was a significant advancement in diagnosing and treating the communicable diseases which were the major cause for mortality at that time. But the biological model has the following shortcomings:
a) Ignoring social and psychological factors
Powles (1973) observed that the biomedical model neglected social and psychological factors that play an important role in the development of a disease. According to Rene Dubos (1959) development of disease is a complex phenomenon and it is caused by a numbers of factors such as physical environment, food and nutrition, and stress as compared to biological
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The overall wellbeing of a person depends upon the interplay and combination of a number of factors existing in biological makeup of the person and in the society such as availability, accessibility, approachability and affordability of health care services, culture of people, physical, social and economic environment, living and working conditions, social and community ties etc. These factors act as determinants of health and wellbeing of the people and are influenced by the choices made by the people. The model by Dahlgren and Whitehead (1991) illustrates the four layers of factors such as gender, age, race, and hereditary in the centre that influence the health of individuals. These factors are non-modifiable factors. The centre is surrounded by the four layers consisting of individual lifestyle choices, community network, working and living conditions, socio-economic, environmental and cultural factors which are modifiable in

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