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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 130-131

Medical social worker: Strengthening linkages between the hospital and the community

Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Ammapettai, Chennai, India

Correspondence Address:
Saurabh RamBihariLal Shrivastava
3rd Floor, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Ammapettai Village, Thiruporur - Guduvancherry Main Road, Sembakkam, Kancheepuram - 603 108, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2347-9019.139074

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The concept of medical social work had emerged towards the end of the eighteenth century, and has gradually become an integral element in the practice of medicine. It is executed with the help of Medical Social Worker (MSW) - a paramedical worker who has been trained in the social case work and art of interviewing. The aim of this manuscript is to describe the role of MSW in establishing a linkage between the healthcare system and the members of the community. The MSW is a pivotal member of the health team for any public health initiative whose success is based on community engagement and participation. Recognizing the importance of medical social worker in healthcare system, they are now considered as an essential part of the health care along with doctors and other allied health professionals in the analysis and correction of the social and emotional factors, eventually leading to ill health. They are also increasingly being relied upon for supplying information that is of fundamental importance in reaching the correct diagnosis and management of the patients' health. To conclude, the MSW plays a decisive role in helping sick people - individual-by- individual, both through the best use of the patient's capabilities and community resources and thus eventually assists in the strengthening of the healthcare delivery system of the entire nation.

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