THE CURRENT STATE OF THE HEALTH CARE SYSTEM
Our current model of health care places the provider, in many cases the physician, as a gatekeeper to access to health. For whatever historical, political, social, or economic reasons this came about, the resulting effect has impressed upon the consciousness of people that health is a scarce commodity to be sought after and fought for, and that it is something external to be received in certain locations by an elite class, with whole economic systems and corporate structures dedicated to administering the transaction of health.
ANOTHER IDEA, MORE LIKELY BASED IN REALITY
However, instead of health care being seen as a disease-mitigating provision or commodity to be given by a class of experts, all human beings have the capacity to generate and share knowledge about health. Health care can be conceptualized as body of knowledge generated by populations, not about disease, but about health, directed towards taking charge of their own needs. Because, in the end, the generation of knowledge leads to empowerment.
SPACES OF EMPOWERMENT
Yet there are limited spaces in which people can reflect together on their own health, uncovering insights and gems and distributing them to each other to be applied. The current model of health care is totally unsustainable – the gatekeepers are scarce and more and more becoming paralyzed by the plight of the system, and the teeming masses are reading to break down the gate, only to find themselves on the other side. Creating systems, and structures to support them, in order to foster the process of bringing groups together in reflective, empowering spaces seems to be imperative in the context of the current crisis of health care.
In addition to spaces where groups of people can come together to generate knowledge towards empowerment to take charge of their own health care, there can be networks of groups, or networks of clinics, that reflect together and share knowledge with some frequency, always connected to the people at the grassroots. Practically, then, health care once again can actually become a body of knowledge and practice about health of people – and not only a forum where one social classes develops expertise around disease.
CURRICULA FOR EMPOWERMENT
Concomitant to the space is the content. The materials used in these spaces, with these people, would direct the process of generation of knowledge; and thus, the content is crucial to empowerment. Our current models focus on knowledge of disease – even prevention still revolves around disease. Yet, health is an intrinsic element of a human being – we’re all born with it, by definition, to whatever degrees, of course. Basic concepts and principles of human health, likely the product both of a profound reconceptualization of human nature – understanding its material and spiritual existence, its inherent oneness, its altruistic and cooperative tendencies – as well as of reflections that emerge from these spaces, can provide a framework within which reflection and generation of insights take place.
Thoughts?!? Would love to hear others’ reflections.