Biomedical Model of Health: Meaning and Significance

The current dominant model of sickness employed in most Western hospital environments is the scientific theory of healthcare, which is based on the idea that health is measured only in terms of the absence of sickness. When contrasted with social training sets, the biological paradigm is often linked with worse results and higher health inequalities. Hippocrates, the "greek physician," advocated for physiological symptoms suggestive of sickness. Hence a version of the biological paradigm already existed before 300 BC. Nevertheless, in the Modern Science of the 1700s, this concept became the standard understanding of health. This paradigm is sometimes criticized for its assumption that heath is universal and can also be characterized without regard to a person's social or cultural background. The medical system is seen as an independent entity rather than a generator of cultural or cultural influence or as an integral part of the societal order. This is another criticism levelled against the concept.

Meaning of the Biomedical Model of Health

To define and evaluate the "model of health" of health, we need to be familiar with the concepts of wellness, sickness, and disease. The disease is seen as the result of a malfunction in the female organism for physiological reasons, according to the biological and medical models of health, which is a research discipline for measuring wellness. A sick person's body is separated from their thoughts and other factors and treated as if it were a piece of equipment. Thus, the therapy will be administered by appropriately trained medical personnel and take place in a setting with access to adequate hospital devices. "Heath is a condition of total physical, psychological, as well as societal well-being, not simply the presence of sickness or disability," the World Health Organization (WHO). Disease refers to a disturbance in a patient's emotional or mental state. In contrast, sickness refers to a disorder in the system and its components that medical professionals may detect and address.

Advantages of the Biomedical Model of Health

The Western world today still uses the biomedical paradigm of health. This may be compared to "blaming automobile problems on poor maintenance and absence of adequate service, or poor fortune" since the focus is biological causes like smoke, bad eating, and a sedentary lifestyle. Because of the prevalence of theoretical methods in medical services and the widespread adoption of these methods in favor of previous, more traditional methods, this paradigm serves as the basis for NHS policies and practices and essentially determines our healthcare delivery system. In the medical paradigm, doctors are the only persons qualified to treat ill humans due to their extensive training. Patients and caregivers should interact in clinical settings like hospitals and clinics equipped with sophisticated medical technology. In the physiological paradigm, doctors can keep influence and exert it. Blaxter said it best when he said, "There is a relationship between the notion of health as balance and sickness as a disruption of the brain's functioning, with the objective of medicine and technology the return to homeostasis." One distinct benefit of the physiological model is that it provides the patients with clear direction on how to get the best possible care and make a full recovery.

Moreover, there is substantial evidence from unbiased, irrefutable scientific studies that back up this strategy. Nevertheless, there are drawbacks, such as that patients are no longer recognized for who they are but rather for their labels. Both patients and doctors are unhappy with the increasing focus on technological advancements at the expense of human connection. There is increasing evidence that indicates integrative treatment has health advantages.

Biomedical Model in Women

Medical science has replaced religious institutions as the primary authority in policing female breasts for inappropriate sexual behavior and reproduction rate. Maintaining reproductive and sexual well-being within the bounds of a legally binding wedding is directly related to a woman's physical well-being.

Disadvantages of the Biomedical Model of Health

Its disadvantages can be studied through given two categories

Disadvantages Based on Environment

The medical approach has been criticized because changes in one's environmental and economic context have a far greater impact on one's health than medical factors. Improved sanitation and hygiene, water resources, nutritional standards, food methodological approaches, and living quarters are a few examples. Even while medication might be lifesaving, McKeown says it can also be counterproductive since a client may initially feel better but then struggle with the same issues.

Disadvantages among Women

In the past century, the medical field has been controlled by males. As a result, men have imposed their medical paradigm on menstruation, contraception, childbirth, and delivery. This is the focus of the feminist criticism of health. The growing number of medical experts at the time saw value in forming a healthcare industry. However, before the advent of modern medicine, when these issues were still considered 'normal,' women coped with them on their own with the help of their female family members and friends. Evidence demonstrated that having a doctor there during childbirth was of little value because of the surgeon's lack of understanding about the delivery process. Surgical care frequently puts the woman and the kid at risk. Women, according to feminists, cannot reclaim power over their health unless they abandon the male-dominated tradition of conventional medicine.


Due to its narrow focus on the body and its emphasis on treatment rather than prevention, the medical model of health contradicts the social model, which is the major opponent. The environmental aspects that Thomas McKeown analyzed in the past are still important now. Health services might re-evaluate their methods and include a more comprehensive perspective, where clients' preferences are considered, and they are offered options for where we would want to recuperate (as it does not always have to be a medical setting).

Updated on: 03-Jan-2023


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