At a time when the United States healthcare system is undergoing vast changes in technology and access, there are a myriad of healthcare stakeholders who all play important roles regarding access and care. Providers play the role of ensuring good care is given, facilities grow and change as needed to accommodate new healthcare technologies and consumer demands, and ancillary health professionals continue to learn new skills and tasks as budgets decrease and they are forced to do more with less. However, there are many reasons why the most important stakeholder in the health care system is the patient.
Patients are the most important stakeholders in the health care system for a variety of diverse reasons. First, a patient’s need to be treated for an illnesses or disease or a patient’s need for preventative care drives the demand for a health care system in the first place. Without patients, there would be no healthcare system or no need for doctors, nurses, ancillary health care workers, or health care facilities and all the people it takes to adequately run a hospital or clinic. Additionally, treating and preventing disease on an individual basis for each patient keeps entire communities, geographic regions, cultural groups, and nations healthier. As a result, or benefit, of increased or optimum health, communities, geographic regions, cultural groups, and nations are happier, more productive, and better able to continue and expand growth and development.

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Finally, patients are the most important stakeholder regarding access and health care due to the biological nature of people. The fight or flight response in humans brings them to the health care system as they fight illness and disease. Ultimately, humans have control over just one thing – themselves. Nothing is more important to each patient than his or her own ability to survive and ultimately thrive.