Los diagnósticos como políticas públicas

Cuando pensamos en un diagnóstico médico, usualmente lo hacemos en términos científicos. La visión convencional (y acertada) es que las enfermedades se nombran y clasifican de acuerdo con investigaciones científicas. Por ejemplo, las revisiones que la Organización Mundial de la Salud hace aproximadamente cada diez años a la Clasificación Internacional de Enfermedades (CIE) refleja, en parte, los avances en la comprensión científica de las enfermedades y lesiones.

La clasificación y designación de enfermedades es condición de la investigación científica así como su producto. En efecto, ¿de qué manera los médicos van a explicar y controlar una enfermedad sin un lenguaje común sobre los fenómenos que observan? La CIE abarca la gama completa de enfermedades y lesiones humanas, y sus actualizaciones reflejan los conocimientos más recientes y son la base para la siguiente oleada de avances médicos.

Pero la clasificación formal de las enfermedades tiene otro aspecto, uno que tiene que ver con una serie de funciones sociales importantes. Ofrece un conjunto de nombres de enfermedades y códigos númericos para asignar y rastrear gastos y servicios de atención a la salud. Los gobiernos, las compañías de seguros y los pacientes usan estos nombres y códigos en cuestiones contables y presupuestales.

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