The healthcare industry is an aggregation and integration of sectors within the economic system that provides goods and services to treat patients with curative, preventive, rehabilitative, and palliative care.
The healthcare industry (also called the medical industry or health economy) is an aggregation and integration of sectors within the economic system that provides goods and services to treat patients with curative, preventive, rehabilitative, and palliative care. It includes the generation and commercialization of goods and services lending themselves to maintaining and re-establishing health. The modern healthcare industry includes three essential branches which are services, products, and finance and may be divided into many sectors and categories and depends on the interdisciplinary teams of trained professionals and paraprofessionals to meet health needs of individuals and populations.
A healthcare provider is an institution (such as a hospital or clinic) or person (such as a physician, nurse, allied health professional or community health worker) that provides preventive, curative, promotional, rehabilitative or palliative care services in a systematic way to individuals, families or communities.The World Health Organization estimates there are 9.2 million physicians, 19.4 million nurses and midwives, 1.9 million dentists and other dentistry personnel, 2.6 million pharmacists and other pharmaceutical personnel, and over 1.3 million community health workers worldwide, making the health care industry one of the largest segments of the workforce.The medical industry is also supported by many professions that do not directly provide health care itself, but are part of the management and support of the health care system. The incomes of managers and administrators, underwriters and medical malpractice attorneys, marketers, investors and shareholders of for-profit services, all are attributable to health care costs.
The healthcare sector contains a diverse array of industries, with activities ranging from research to manufacturing to facilities management. Drug manufacturers include biotechnology firms, major pharmaceutical firms, and makers of generic drugs. The biotech industry consists of companies that engage in research and development to create new drugs, devices, and treatment methods. Major pharmaceutical firms also engage in research and development but tend to focus more on manufacturing and marketing an existing portfolio of drugs than the typical biotech firm. Some pharmaceutical firms specialize in generic drugs, which are identical to name-brand drugs but no longer enjoy patent protection. Medical equipment makers range from firms that manufacture standard, familiar products—scalpels, forceps, bandages, and gloves—to those that conduct cutting-edge research and produce expensive, hi-tech equipment, such as MRI machines and surgical robots.