Before we come to the practice of health care education, we must know the principles involved. Health care education brings together the art and science of medicine along with the principles and practice of general education. The link is to be found in the social and behavioral sciences which include sociology, psychology and social anthropology.
Health care education can not be 'given' to one person by another. It involves, among other things, the teaching, learning and inclusion of habits concerned with the objective of healthy living.
The definition adopted by World Health Organization in 1969 and the Alma Ata declaration adopted in 1978 provide a useful basis for formulating the aims and objectives of health care education that may be described as -
o To promote the proper use of healthcare service available to the general people.
o To encourage them to adopt and maintain health promoting lifestyle and practices.
o To develop interest, endow with newer knowledge, improve skills and change attitudes in making rational decisions to solve their own problems
o To stimulate the individual and community self-reliance and participation to achieve health development through individual and community involvement at every step from identifying problems to solving them.
The educational objectives are aimed to the group to be taught in the health care educational program. The objectives flow from the health needs which have been discovered or invented. They should be carefully and unambiguously defined in terms of knowledge to be acquired, behavior to be to be acquired or actions to be mastered. They must be pertinent if the program is to be appropriate and successful.
The focus of health education is on people and on action. Its goal is to make realistic improvements in the basic quality of life. Many health education programs hope, in some way, to influence behavior or attitudes. The implication of these newer concepts is that health care education is an integral part of the national health goals. The fact remains that effective health education has the potential for saving many lives than has any one research discovery in the foreseeable future.
We all know that 'Prevention is better than cure'. Health care education will bring us the knowledge how we can prevent the disease before it surfaces in any individual. In the US, more than 130 billion dollars are spent last year to treat the patients suffering from diseases. By paying one fifth of the amount, incidence of many fatal diseases can be prevented. The surplus amount can be spent to another developmental work for the society.
Healthcare educating will make the standard of living better. Therefore, the status of a particular society will be lifted up. Better habitation, living, education, trade will make us a better human being. This is particularly important for the developing countries where there is not enough money to spend treating diseases through modern approach. It is always better to spend some money to healthcare education in order to lift the level of health consciousness among the common people.