Thursday, August 29, 2019

Public Health System Essay

Health policy and entire health care system in both the USA and Great Britain create a core for national quality standards. Dealing with health as a key condition for local and global human activity representatives of medical spheres in these two countries on opposite sides of the ocean have long-term experience which differs greatly in terms of functional, financial, and social issues. Financing. In the UK financing of the industry is done out of taxation paid by people on regular basis. 130 billion of dollars annually are spent to cover expenditures of healthcare system: paying out salaries for physicians, facilitating hospitals, providing latest medical technology and treatment (Hadikin, 2003). British health policy does not require from patients to pay on the scene since it has already been done automatically by their tax procedure. Sometimes those having problems with eyes or teeth will have to pay very small amounts to cover the cost for particular tests. However, such co-payments are not common in the UK and are covered by government for special society layers including aged and young people, special patients with chronic diseases, etc. The state pays directly to doctors and cover fees for a wide range of hospital services (Hawkes, 2007). In the USA payments for healthcare are done through private insurance system. Many believe that British system is more convenient since patients receive â€Å"free at the point of service† medical treatment. American healthcare sector is employee-employer based (54%) with partial governmental funding (46%) for the poor, the disabled, Native Americans, and elderly adults. Average American spends annually approximately $6,400 for healthcare where $2,880 is covered by government, $2,675 by private insurance, and more than $800 paid directly to doctors or other additional services. Unlike the US with population equal to more than 302 million people, the UK with its 61 million of citizens spends $2,720 each year to be confident in high-quality medical treatment. Described in detail, $2,370 are covered by British government received through national taxation and other $350 go directly from patients for extra services required (Sultz & Young, 2008). Challenges. Over years health policy in Great Britain has been facing significant obstacles in its strive for providing high-quality national medical service. First of all, due to the fact that all costs having to do with healthcare are covered through taxation without going directly to doctors on daily basis physicians tend to be less efficient. On the other hand being confident in that medical system is paid for by the government people with light complaints which can be easily treated at home with help of drugs purchased in the nearest drugstore immediately make an appointment unreasonably disturbing physicians who may have very urgent problems to take care of. Also, being structurally located under the government health policy in the UK must follow the rules set from above. That’s why if the government representatives decide that specific drug is cost-ineffective they may choose not to cover such medications. It is especially true for drugs against cancer which have always been extremely expensive with only several month effect and certain plastic surgeries which are considered to be addition features of healthcare and may never be crucial to health (Hawkes, 2007). Sadly enough, Great Britain tends to keep young people and those less than eighty years old in focus. The thing is that significant number of people in their eighties tend to be seriously ill whereas average life expectancy in Britain reaches 79. Unlike the US, where doctors do their best to save people no matter how old they are, English government refers to limited financing and number of able-bodied people who have the potential but need treatment. Unfortunately, anti-cancer treatment costs a lot and in majority of cases prolongs life of an aged person for couple of months only. In the UK National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence is authorized to decide whether specific drug in particular case is worth to be covered and normally they conclude that it is not. One more problem encountered by health policy in Britain again has to do with money issue. Governments have specific amount of money to spend annually on a person who has health problems. However, costs for drugs and medical treatment are constantly escalating and quality of service, therefore, is gradually dropping making this proportion more and more blurred (Hawkes, 2007). The biggest challenge for American citizen regarding health policy is a necessity to pay bills for all services they receive including various tests, prescriptions, visits to physicians, etc. Regardless of the fact that this tradition has a long-term history it has caused enormous inequity between the rich and the poor. Having created two healthcare bodies called Medicare and Medicaid which handle financial issues of old and poor people accordingly, they are far from being perfect. Firstly, people with membership in one of these institutions should go through never-ending bureaucratic procedures that require time and effort valuable for both aged people and low-income society representatives. Secondly, having received long-awaited registration they are provided only with basic services and typically have almost no choice while selecting doctors and hospitals (Barr & Dowding, 2008). In terms of care organization any insurance-based system including American one provides care upon request. For instance, when a person gets heart attack s/he is transported to the hospital, receives necessary medical treatment, and post-traumatic prescription. In Great Britain similar procedures are planned in advance. Thus, British doctors should calculate how many beds for what kinds of patients should be provided, how much vaccine should be purchased to immunize specific number of people and so on. Both American and British health policies have one thing in common having to do with technical issues of the system. Speaking about response times, neither of these states has a set regulation regarding standard response time applicable to all locations under any conditions. There exist certain agreed rules between providers of emergency service and official authorities that instruct required response times. Significant number of these regulations, however, have to do with private emergency service providers who cover only small portions of society. Both Americans and British have concluded that every location throughout these two countries should be provided with 8-minute medical help. (Davis, 2005) Irrelevant of the absence of set rules regarding response times cardiac arrests are considered to be the most urgent and demanding emergency calls in entire emergency service system. Majority of people who experience cardiac arrest should be provided with proper treatment including electric shock with ALS intervention within the first minutes. Figures show, that the sooner the ambulance arrives the more chances it has to save the patient from permanent brain death and irreversible processes which start occurring in human body shortly after the cardiac arrest. It happens on very rare occasions that the person survives receiving help within more than ten minutes. (Davis, 2005) Taking apart from cardiac arrest, response times for normal emergency calls that have to do with physical injuries or wide range of attacks vary from 12 to 14 minutes. Specifically, Wales show the worst result ever obtained in Great Britain in terms of response time and emergency service. According to recent statistics average Welsh emergency service provider arrives not earlier than 20 minutes after the emergency call. British authorities claim that it is totally unthinkable to demonstrate such low performance and that this part should be immediately improved. (Brindley, 2008) In conclusion it would be appropriately to note that both health policies have their advantages and drawbacks as basically any other system. The following table highlights key features of American and British healthcare sectors: Health policy in the UK Health policy in the USA Advantages Drawbacks Advantages Drawbacks Every member of society is provided with medical care Random cases of poor quality service due taxation payments as opposed to direct ones Better consumer choice provided due higher cost for medical services Only insured ones get the best service and treatment Because of sufficient NHS funds treatment and drugs cost less Some misuse medical treatment due to longing for communication and company (especially old people) Active implementation of latest technological equipment and scientific innovations in medical sphere Many retired people choose to work since it’s the only way to receive medical insurance Patients receive decent treatment regardless of their age, social status, or level of income Many claim they do not receive the right to choose a hospital or a doctor they like Patients visit hospital only in cases when it is really necessary, reasonable, or urgent Prices for medical treatment and drugs are higher because of debates and policy on governmental levels References Barr, J., & Dowding, L. (2008). Leadership in Health Care. London: SAGE Ltd. Breen, N., Woods, J., Bury, G., Murphy A. & Brazier, H. (1999).   A national census of ambulance response times to emergency calls in Ireland. Journal of Accident & Emergency Medicine, 17, 392-395. doi:10.1136/emj.17.6.392 Brindley, M. (2008). Ambulance Response Times Worst In UK. Retrieved March 20, 2009, from WalesOnline Health News Web site: Davis, R. (2005). The Price Of Just A Few Seconds Lost: People Die. Retrieved March 21, 2009, from USA Today Web site: Hadikin, R. (2003). Effective Coaching in Healthcare. London: Books for Midwives. Hawkes, N. (2007). NHS’s Advantages And Shortcomings. Retrieved March 20, 2009, from Frontline Web site: Sultz, H., & Young, K. (2008). Health Care USA: Understanding Its Organization and Delivery. New York: Jones & Bartlett Publishers

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