There are several problems if the western paradigm is applied in the US. Between the 20th century and the initial half of the 21st century, the elder population of America would increase from 4 % to 20 %. Besides, the age group greater than 85 years would also increase by twenty five times during this period. As the old age group has been affected with diseases, the Western system does not seem to be appropriate for this group, due to the symptomatic nature of the treatment. Currently, the Western system cannot be utilized to cure a disease (Longino, 1997).
There has been a decrease in professionalism of the healthcare personnel, and greater amount of interest is now being given to cost-effectiveness. This could have a serious impact on the healthcare services. The new minority and cultural groups that have made a new home in America may find the system to be very costly. Besides, they may also consider the safety, adequacy and the invasive nature of the current system. Many of these cultures would be believe in a holistic system of medicine, in which greater amount of importance is given to the mind and its relationship to the body in ensuring health.
Besides, social and environment factors are also given importance by individuals belonging to other cultural groups (WHO Kobe Center, 2000 & Longino, 1997). The Western system of medicine tends to focus on giving greater amount of importance in extending life by treating the disease (usually the symptoms) rather than developing a preventive strategy or improving the quality of life. Individuals belonging to different cultures would be having greater confidence their own system of medicine than on the Western system.
The American healthcare system has not been culturally competent. Physicians and other healthcare professionals that are able to understand the language and the emotions of individuals belonging to the other cultural groups are not employed. They frequently discriminate individuals belonging to other communities. Hence, individuals belonging to such cultures may not approach the Western system of medicine for healthcare. Instead they tend to depend on the people who practice their country medicine. These systems may not be developed in the US.
Hence, the quality of life and the status of the health of such communities are usually poor. 3. What alternatives to the Western paradigm have been proposed, and how might these be applied to a specific cultural group? Alternative paradigms are needed to ensure that the healing process is enabled during disease. The Western system needs to adopt preventive and health promotive strategies to ensure that minorities and cultural groups can depend on the system more frequently. They should be able to access a more holistically caring kind of system that would address all their healthcare needs.
The individual should have greater control over their health and the disease that affects their bodies. It is very important that the psychological effects of various physical disorders be treated simultaneously. As long-standing disorders tend to depend greatly on lifestyle and other factors, a change in this regard should be required. Elements of the complementary and alternative system of medicine should be incorporated in the colleges and the schools, to ensure that importance is given. Besides, training programs needs to be conducted.
The communities should access their traditional paradigms, a system that they would fully rely and depend upon. This would ensure that the quality of life and their health status improve. Most of the CAM systems tend to depend on the preventive and the holistic aspects. Several of the traditional medicines systems tend to give a lot of importance to natural healing. They would be utilizing herbs to prepare medications that would help to restore vitality (Alves, 2007, WHO Kobe Center, 2000, & Teplipsky, 2002)
The new system should aim at controlling the costs, managing the excess number of physicians, providing more rational interventions, reducing the uneven distribution of the healthcare professionals, reducing the percentages of the uninsured, having more amount of exposure of the future professionals that are enrolled in the medical schools, and aim at a strategy of preventing disease and promoting health (Davidson, 2001).
Akbar, N. (2003). Our Destiny: Authors of a Scientific Revolution. Retrieved 15 February, 2007, from Africa Within Web site: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1275985/.