Or is it “health care”? Or “health-care”? The battle over how to properly use the term ufirsthealthcare has trudged on in America for many years. I have been involved in educating healthcare professionals and students here in New York City and on Long Island for over 27 years. For that entire time I have watched the phrase “healthcare” being grammatically abused by all – even by the largest book publishing companies, dictionary publishers, newspaper and magazine publishers, medical institutions, and government agencies in America.

Who Is To Blame For The Confusion?

But these very same publishers and institutions are to blame for the prolonged confusion. Some of them mandate the using of “healthcare” as one word for all grammatical situations. And some of them still insist on using “healthcare”, as well as “health care”, depending on the specific topic being discussed. To make matters much worse, some publications will even switch around the term and the way that it is used – all within the same publication. Here at our company we have consciously chosen to use “healthcare” as one word, but we certainly understand both sides of the argument. New compound words always seem awkward to use for a while. But eventually, we all accept and conform to the change. Most of us in America have already accepted the change to using “healthcare” as one word. Now it is time for the last few holdouts to accept this change and start using “healthcare” as one word.

Why We Use Healthcare

Why, then, does my medical training and publishing company embrace “healthcare” as one word? Well, “health care” may have technically been two words when the term first came about, but in all rational practicality it was one word. The distinction was a fine one – and way too subtle, obviously, to keep up. Before long, writers and editors alike started dropping that confusing extra space, transforming what had become a purely semantic nuance into no nuance at all. At my company, we have a core belief that we have an obligation to our students and readers to make everything that we teach and publish to be as easy to read and understand as possible. If this means using one word versus two, or using an unpopular or grammatically incorrect hyphen in a word, or splitting an infinitive, or using extra commas, then we will do it. Our first and foremost duty is to our students and readers, not the grammar editors or linguists.

Evolution And Improvement Of Our Language

But can we blame our language for simplifying and evolving? It’s equally possible that American society, in its infinite semantic wisdom, decided not to split hairs – or word phrases – where it is pointless to do so. This isn’t just the inescapable evolution of our language. It actually is a sensible change to make.

“Healthcare” and “Health Care” Defined

We will frequently see the word or phrase “healthcare” and “health care” but are unsure whether they are the same. Many people use each one to mean the same thing – but they were fundamentally different at first. At its most elemental definition, “health care” was a service offered by trained professionals to patients. As one word, “healthcare” meant the system in which the professionals work and where patients receive care. Healthcare as one word referred to a system to deliver health care (two words). Thus, America has a “healthcare system”. In Great Britain, it’s called the National Health Service.

We can easily see why these definitions can get confusing and become commingled. But now, most of us accept that the term “healthcare” is now a generic way of referring to any aspect of medical care – no matter what the topic being discussed. Whether it is a discussion of the diagnosis or treatment of diseases, or how that diagnosis or treatment is delivered, or how they are paid for, is now “healthcare” – one word.


The term “healthcare” will eventually become widely accepted as one word, whether linguists and editors like it or not. This acceptance has already occurred in British English, where “healthcare” as one word is used more frequently. Some American and Canadian publications still resist the change, still preferring both “health care” and “healthcare.” Australian English falls somewhere in-between. In any event, it’s inevitable that “healthcare” will eventually be accepted as one word.

AXA has launched a private medical insurance (PMI) policy designed for children. The group’s First Healthcare plan provides cover for children and young people up to the age of 18. Existing PMI family policies do cover children but this new policy is believed to be the first of its kind because the premium reflects the age group for which it is designed. The private medical insurance offered covers three main areas, in and day-patient treatment, out patient-treatment and additional PMI benefits.

In and day-patient treatment
This section of the policy covers hospital charges for any listed hospital in the United Kingdom. It also includes cover on consultation fees, diagnostic tests and radiotherapy/chemotherapy.
However, if these treatments are available on the National Health Service (NHS) within 6 weeks of the date on which the treatment should be undertaken, your child must use the NHS service available.

Out-patient treatment
This includes consultations with specialists, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, physiotherapy and other therapies. Also included are CT (computerised tomography), MRI (magnetic response imaging) and PET (positron emission tomography) scans.

Additional benefits
Help with the cost of medical care at home is one of the added bonuses as the cost of a nurse to administer treatment for cancer (antibiotics for example) can be covered. Private ambulance is also an added on benefit. The new healthcare policy also covers the accommodation costs for one parent who wishes to be near their child if the child is under 11 years of age. Related follow-up consultations or out-patient treatments are covered provided they are received within three months of the start of the claim. Finally, policyholders have access to healthcare professionals via a 24-hour help line.

There are a few main exclusions to the policy. Chronic (long term) illnesses are not part of the healthcare plan. The plan also excludes emergency/urgent treatment and dental costs. Psychiatric treatment is not covered by the policy. Cover for a first child costs £9.99 per month and for each additional child, £7.99 a month.

First Healthcare has also created an easier claims process that has been broken down into 4 simple steps.

Always visit your GP (general practitioner) first. He or she will refer your child to a specialist before any treatment can begin.

Contact First Healthcare before any specialised treatment has been arranged. Once the treatment has been confirmed a partially completed form will be sent out.

Visit the specialist with your claim form. He or she will complete the rest of the form and return it to First Healthcare for payment.

Contact First Healthcare first if your child needs further treatment. First Healthcare will confirm that your child’s treatment is eligible and how to proceed.

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