This health model is based on a medical scientific paradigm that emphasizes a restoration of health to a state of general well-being and the key word is recovery (Lyng, 1990:100).
On the other hand, the social model of health emphasizes the prevention measures that can be made on society as a whole that will promote overall well-being in a certain population by making some changes in the lifestyles of people. In other words, the social model of health looks at the social causes of diseases and examines how the breakdown in social systems can be contributory to the outbreak and spread of diseases (Earle, 2007:55). The large-scale health projects commonly adopted by governments to eradicate certain diseases embrace this social model of health by trying to change a whole citys or even an entire countrys population. This latest concept to sweep among public health policy makers compares societal breakdowns as the primary cause of diseases within society. A good example would be social and economic inequalities which contribute to the poor health of certain segments of society such as ethnic or minority groups which do not have access to proper medical care services.
The medical model of health is concerned mainly with the health of an individual and this is more or less in terms of physical health. This model takes a narrower view of the health of the individual in terms of physiological or biological changes as determined by a diagnosis. On the other hand, the social model of health takes an encompassing view of the health of the entire society and is a multi-disciplinary endeavour ranging from surveillance and detection of diseases in a population (epidemiology) to the promotion of public health through a provision of relevant health advice and timely health information.
As such, the social model of health acquires greater significance in terms of promotion of the economic well-being of a nation as well.