HealthCare Delivery Systems
HealthCare Delivery Systems
Healthcaredelivery systems refer to the organization of resources,institutions, and people intended to provide healthcare services toparticular populations. Health systems vary substantially across theworld. In fact, the organizational structures and history is uniquein each country. Some states have distributed health system planningamongst market stakeholders. On the contrary, other countries haveconcentrated energy among religious organizations, governments, tradeunions and other united institutions to provide organized health careservices customized to target populations. The objective of thisessay is comparing similarities and differences between variousinternational health care systems across the globe.
Oneof the major health care delivery programs in the United Statesincludes group health insurance plans. The health system emergedduring World War II. The employers began offering employee benefitsin the form of affordable healthcare services to attract the limitedlabor supply. Since then, many healthcare reforms implemented in theUnited States from the 1970s has enhanced this philosophy (Yih,2010). Currently, US has over 1200 insurance companies that givegroup health insurance programs. The objective of group insuranceplans is providing employees with affordable, high quality andefficient healthcare services (Cooper & Taylor, 1994).
TheMedicare program is another healthcare delivery system intended forretirees above sixty-five years. The service differs from grouphealth insurance plan in that the beneficiaries are unemployed, andthe government pays for the individuals’ treatment cost. Foryounger and poorer American citizens below sixty-five years, thegovernment has established Medicaid healthcare delivery system tooffer free medical services. Eligible candidates for the Medicaidprogram include poor individuals that cannot afford the service andnon-beneficiaries of subsidized healthcare systems such as the groupinsurance (Cooper & Taylor, 1994). In addition to these methods,the US has a variety of other healthcare systems intended for theuninsured. The programs include the Veterans Administration, militaryand Native Americans among others. These programs are extremelycomplex since they have varied the reimbursement, underwriting,benefit and eligibility (McCarthy & Schafermeyer, 2007).
Canadauses a healthcare delivery program called “Single payer system.”The intention of establishing the system is ensuring healthcareequality among all the citizens. The coverage of the plan isuniversal and comprehensive. The provincial governments provide fundsfor the compulsory medical care using tax money (McCarthy &Schafermeyer, 2007). However, the federal government contributes andcontrols some of the money the provincial administrations contributeto the citizens’ healthcare plans. Patients are independent tochoose their preferred healthcare provider. Majority of thephysicians in Canada have private practices that they charge a feebased on services they provide. Many hospitals are not-for-profitinstitutions that are managed by trustee boards. The modernhealthcare delivery system in Canada began in Saskatchewan in the1950s and then spread to the entire nation by 1966 (Baribault &Cloyd, 1999).
Japanprovides medical services to every citizen using employer-financedinsurance plan. The aim of using employer-based program iscontrolling the cost of healthcare expenses. The result of the planis a substantially healthy nation at one of the most affordablehealthcare cost in the world (Yih, 2010). The country has a varietyof insurance programs that are funded using various obligatorydeductions, patient co-payments, and taxes. Patients have the libertyof choosing their preferred healthcare providers (McCarthy &Schafermeyer, 2007). On the other hand, healthcare delivery providersare compensated using a national rate and formula negotiated by apanel composed of citizens, insurers, and providers. The governmenthas set a price limit to control price increase of policies at agiven time. The main benefit of the restricted policy price isequitable access and affordable healthcare program (Baribault &Cloyd, 1999). Japan established its present healthcare program in1922 as the government believed that a healthy nation was necessaryto maintain the nation productive and affluent. Initially, Japanintended the program to serve manual laborers, but the countryamended its constitution after World War II to make the programcompulsory to everyone (Cooper & Taylor, 1994).
Americanhealthcare delivery system differs from that in Canada and Japan inthat the government has not set healthcare systems’ price limit. Asa result, the healthcare cost varies from one provider to the other.The economic law of demand and supply also determines the cost ofhealthcare services, which makes American medical care programs amongthe most expensive in the world. In the United States, severaldoctors are directly employed in public hospitals while manyhealthcare professionals in Canada have private practices (Baribault& Cloyd, 1999).
Onthe contrary, health care delivery systems in Japan, Canada, and theUSA have similarities such as liberty to choose from severalhealthcare providers. In addition, insurance programs play anessential role in providing affordable healthcare plans to everycitizen. Each country also offers fully sponsored or subsidizedhealthcare services to the extremely poor, army veterans and otherspecialized group that may not afford to make regular contributionstowards the healthcare services (Baribault & Cloyd, 1999).Employers are supposed to deduct some cash from their employees’salary, and provide either a hundred or two hundred percent match tothe deduction, to pay for healthcare insurance (Cooper & Taylor,1994).
Inmy view, I would recommend sickness fund healthcare system as it hasproven functional in countries such as Germany. Germany’s tradeguilds established the initial health system in 1883 that thegovernment applied as a model to create the country’s “sicknessfunds”. The objective of the system is financing, paying andproviding healthcare services. It integrates decision-making anddecentralized power with efficient bargaining power that occurs atlocal, federal and state levels. Germans have solidarity and believethat everyone is entitled to access quality medical servicesirrespective of their capability to pay, income or employment.Similarly, if other countries in the world can adopt such ahealthcare system, everybody would have access to quality healthcareservices. Patients covered by the program can access affordablehealth care services universally (Cooper & Taylor, 1994). Some ofthe services that sickness fund covers include drugs and dental careservices. It also provides young mothers’ grants, money forpurchasing eyeglasses and compensation wages when individuals aresick. Since sickness funds do not offer healthcare coverage for someissues, individuals can purchase health insurance plans for theuncovered services. Everybody in Germany is supposed to be a memberof a sickness fund, except the wealthy persons that can affordprivate health insurance. I believe the world’s population wouldhave access to quality health care services required for maintaininghealthy nations (Baribault & Cloyd, 1999).
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Baribault,M. & Cloyd, C. (1999). HealthCare Systems: Three International Comparisons.Ethics of Development in Global Environment.
McCarthy,R. L., & Schafermeyer, K. W. (2007). Introductionto health care delivery: A primer for pharmacists.Sudbury, Mass: Jones and Bartlett.
Yih,Y. (2010). Handbookof Healthcare Delivery Systems.CRC Press.