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  • Podiatrist

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    A podiatrist, also known as a podiatric physician (/poʊˈdaɪətrɪst/ poh-dye-eh-trist) or "foot and ankle surgeon", is a medical professional devoted to the study and medical treatment of disorders of the foot, ankle and lower extremity. The term originated in North America, but has now become the accepted term in the English-speaking world for all practitioners of podiatric medicine. In the United States, Doctors of Podiatric Medicine (DPM) are doctors who practice on the lower extremities, primarily on feet and ankles. The preparatory education of most podiatrists includes four years of undergraduate work, followed by four years in an accredited podiatric medical school, followed by a three or four-year hospital-based surgical residency. Podiatrists are licensed in all 50 states. Worldwide, in many countries the term podiatrist refers to allied health professionals who specialize in the treatment of the lower extremity, particularly the foot. Podiatrists in these countries are specialists in the diagnosis and treatment of foot pathology, but not through surgical means.

  • Free clinic

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    Free Clinic of Simi Valley, Simi Valley, California A free clinic is a health care facility in the United States offering services to economically disadvantaged individuals for free or at a nominal cost. The need for such a clinic arises in societies where there is no universal healthcare, and therefore a social safety net has arisen in its place. Core staff members may hold full-time paid positions, however, most of the staff a patient will encounter are volunteers drawn from the local medical community. Care is provided free of cost to persons who have limited incomes, no health insurance and do not qualify for Medicaid or Medicare. To offset costs, some clinics charge a nominal fee to those whose income is deemed sufficient to pay a fee. Many free clinics offer services to underinsured individuals; meaning those who have only limited medical coverage (such as catastrophic care coverage, but not regular coverage), or who have insurance, but their policies include high medical deductibles that they are unable to afford. Clinics often use the term "underinsured" to describe the working poor.

  • Health care in France

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    The French health care system is one of universal health care largely financed by government national health insurance. In its 2000 assessment of world health care systems, the World Health Organization found that France provided the "close to best overall health care" in the world. In 2011, France spent 11.6% of GDP on health care, or US$4,086 per capita, a figure much higher than the average spent by countries in Europe but less than in the US. Approximately 77% of health expenditures are covered by government funded agencies. Most general physicians are in private practice but draw their income from the public insurance funds. These funds, unlike their German counterparts, have never gained self-management responsibility. Instead, the government has taken responsibility for the financial and operational management of health insurance (by setting premium levels related to income and determining the prices of goods and services refunded). The French government generally refunds patients 70% of most health care costs, and 100% in case of costly or long-term ailments. Supplemental coverage may be bought from private insurers, most of them nonprofit, mutual insurers. Until 2000, coverage was restricted to those who contributed to social security (generally, workers or retirees), excluding some poor segments of the population; the government of Lionel Jospin put into place universal health coverage and extended the coverage to all those legally resident in France. Only about 3.7% of hospital treatment costs are reimbursed through private insurance, but a much higher share of the cost of spectacles and prostheses (21.9%), drugs (18.6%) and dental care (35.9%) (figures from the year 2000). There are public hospitals, non-profit independent hospitals (which are linked to the public system), as well as private for-profit hospitals.

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