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The Role And Inter Relationship Of The Medical And Health Professions

1681 words - 7 pages

Medical and health professionals have a major impact in society, on a professional and power / status level. This essay will outline a major development in healthcare then analyse the inter-relationship of doctors in today’s society in terms of power and status, linking that with the major development in healthcare. It will then proceed to sum these points up using Marxist, feminist and functionalist views. The latter part of the essay will outline an understanding of the history of the NHS and what developments have happened to shape our society today. A major development, if not the biggest development of healthcare is the creation of the NHS itself, although this essay will be focusing on a development within the NHS.

There have been many major developments in the healthcare industry over the years, one of those developments being the robotic arm used for heart surgery. In 2010 there was an article reviewing how a pensioner became the first patient to have surgery on his heart using a robotic Arm. Usually the surgery is done by hand, giving surgeons and their assistant’s dangerous exposure to levels of radiation for hours. However with this new machinery the operation was completed in just one hour. It was completed safely behind a screen in a non-radioactive room and was hailed an 'enormous success' by British doctors. Surgeons are often looked upon as one of the elite members of the healthcare profession, in turn giving themselves a high status in society. While it is true that being a surgeon is no easy task, ‘Salary For consultants on the new contract (covering 96% of surgeons), basic pay is £90,200 and average total earnings are £119,800’ (Dr Martin Elliott) with regards to their work you could argue this is a fitting salary. Since the introduction of the robotic arm, some surgeons require extra training to perform this procedure, but they do not receive a pay rise, on reflection their social status is in fact heightened due to this. In the recent years, cardiac deaths have been halved due to cardiac specialists and preventative surgery that the robotic arm can offer. Surgeons are well paid, well trained, hardworking life savers and the government has recognized this by rewarding them with a substantial salary and a high social standard of living.

Speaking of social status and power, this essay will move onto three sociological theories about healthcare first of which is a Marxist view. Navarro thought that that there was a link between medicalization and an ‘oppressive capitalist society’. He also believed that medicine actually disguised poverty and social inequality (the underlying cause of disease), then presented health as an issue on its own. A further Marxist view on health suggests that healthcare professionals such as doctors and surgeons are unaware that they are working in a service that is predominantly about the worker staying healthy or are professionals serving their own interests therefore becoming wealthy off the...

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