Sample Essay Paper on Healthcare systems

Healthcare systems are integral in the welfare of any country. Healthcare management is one of the aspects that every leadership will strive to foster in order to directly influence the lives of the citizens. In third world countries, constraints have been manifested due to lack of adequate facilities. Because of this, deplorable conditions have often characterized the lives of citizens. There are a number of measures that various governments have adopted in order to improve healthcare services.  Increase in budgetary allocations has made it possible for purchase of health equipment vital in the process of service delivery (Kazandjian 98). In addition, adoption of training programs tailored to equip medical practitioners with the desired skills has also been considered. Healthcare provision forms one of the central objectives of US government. The country has initiated a number of policies that intends to improve the quality of health care services besides subsidizing the cost. However, certain constraints are still evident in the country’s health system. The country is rated poorly in terms of health care provision among the developed countries. Health care provision is also highly regarded in Austria. The country is highly rated in health care provision in the world. The universal healthcare system in the country that allows for subsidized medical cover of the nationals will closely be considered. Constant improvement of health care services has often resonated the agenda of various regimes in the country. There are a number of comparisons that can be drawn from the health care services of the two countries. The paper will majorly focus on health care services in US and Austria with the aim of deriving certain similarities and differences in the services. Effective comparison will therefore aid in adopting recommendation on the measures that should be adopted to improve the general quality of the systems.

Background of the Health care systems

Since 1800, various non- governmental organizations have advocated for the need to introduce a social fund program that could cater for the medical requirements of American nationals. In the period of 1883 – 1912, the popularity of a voluntary fund that supported nationals in times of bereavement increased. However, the beginning of the 20th century saw a rising need for improvement of the social conditions of the working class. The House of Congress has often adopted a number of policies targeting to improve the living standards of both the working class and the unemployed. This resulted into the introduction of various insurance medical covers that attracted government subsidies. Introduction of the Affordable care act as is a result of the need to improve the social conditions of the American people. The Social Democratic party of Austria played a key role in the creation of social welfare programs that finally resulted into the universal medical covers. The need to provide the nationals with affordable and quality health care services greatly inspired the adoptions.

 

In both United States and Australia, health care provision is offered by both the private sector and the public sector. In the US, the private sector assumes a larger percentage of the country’s health care provision. Private institutions are individually owned while others are sponsored by non-governmental organizations (Kazandjian 98). The private sector witnesses minimal government control in terms of quality and general operation. However, the federal government enacts policies that should be adopted by both the private and the public sector. Increase in the healthcare costs in the US is attributed to private sector operation. Due to lack of government subsidies, healthcare services in private institutions are expensive. In bid to reduce the cost of healthcare access, the federal government has embarked on programs aimed at supporting the public sector. Public healthcare sector has witnessed increasing budgetary allocation over the years and currently the sector receives the largest share of the country’s budget. In Austria, all individuals within the country receive funding from the public healthcare program. The program covers individuals irrespective of their nationalities. Public healthcare funding has received popularity in the country since it offers relatively cheap services that can be have considerably improved the living conditions of the nationals. Individuals can also take supplementary healthcare insurance with private healthcare institutions.  The Medicare program in Austria has generally improved healthcare provision in the country, being rated 9th in the world in terms of healthcare provision.

Healthcare insurance programs play an integral role in the healthcare systems of the two countries. Effectiveness and efficiency in access to these healthcare services is made possible through these insurance covers. In Austria, insurance covers have contributed to the reduced cost of Medicare. Ahm healthcare insurance provides a range of medical covers at customized prices. In 2009, Medibank  group subsidized the cover resulting into low premiums for the insured. The European Health Insurance card is key in access to public healthcare in Austria. The card allows the bearers to access the free treatment programs and constant medical checkups in the country. In the event of misplacement of the card, reapplication is made possible at any public health offices. The card is also offered to permanent residents of Austria irrespective of their nationality. In 2000, Austria government introduced Lifetime Health Cover loading that focused on providing subsidized health care services to bearers of the European Health Insurance card for their whole lifetime. The program aimed at curbing the constant premiums that could result into financial distress. Insurance medical covers are also evident in the American health care system. The introduction of the popular Obama care resulted into the inception of insurance policies into American medical programs. Affordable care act demands that employees to ensure medical covers with their respective employers to cater for treatment programs(Shi and Douglas 87). Employees remit certain amount of premiums in order to cater for the medical covers. The subsidized health care costs in the countries have seen a larger percentage of the national’s access medical services hence improving the living standards in the two countries. This is manifested through the high life expectancy in the two countries. Austria has a life expectancy of 81.2 one of the highest in the world while that of United States is 78.4.

Current issues in the Systems

There are a number of issues that are currently pronounced in the American healthcare system. The introduction of Affordable care act has elicited a number of concerns that are gradually being implemented in the country’s medical system. In 2011, there was a concern in the house of congress that advocated for the need to remit premiums in accordance to individual income. Obama’s statement that individuals could continue with their private medical covers has also drawn various reactions as it is contradictory to the Affordable act policies. In Austria, the integration of permanent inhabitants into the universal medical cover has influenced more individuals to subscribe to the cover (Shi and Douglas 387)

. A latest medical rating that places America ninth in the world has also influenced more government allocations into the sector. Chronic epidemics such as Ebola in various parts of the world have been a general concern to United States. Besides, the need to curb infections resulting from air pollution has also resonated most procedures in the two medical systems.

Pros and cons of the Health care systems

The universal health care program in Austria is widely praised since it allows individuals within the country’s borders to freely access medical services irrespective of their nationalities. The use of health cards by both the nationals of the country and foreign inhabitants is widely praised since it promotes cohesion among nationals of various countries.  Low income earners in the country are capable of accessing health-care services due to the subsidies offered by the government. Universal medical services also allow for equality in the service delivery within the medical system. Insurance plans adopted by the two nations have assisted in improving the quality of services offered besides curbing financial burdens among nationals. In both countries, the healthcare provisions allowed has contributed the high life expectancy witnessed in the two countries. However, owing the subsidies offered by the governments, huge public funds are allocated to the sector. It is reported that United States spends the largest portion of the country’s budget on health care provision(Mayes, Rick and Robert 209). The Obama care program has faced opposition since it prevents individuals from undertaking private medical insurance policies hence compromising individuals’ rights. The provisions in the Affordable care act are generally viewed to fit the high class persons owing to the high premiums remitted. Critics elucidate that the medical policy in America promotes inequality among various social classes in the community. In addition, in the event of uninsured persons, high costs are charged rendering medical services unavoidable to majority of the population. In Austria, the double charge for the uninsured persons is viewed as exploitative (Shi and Douglas 387)

 

Uninsured Individuals

The policies of both United States and Austria require that persons be insured in various medical covers in order to access the subsidized medical programs. Insurance covers allow nationals of the countries and permanent inhabitants to access subsidized healthcare services. Nevertheless, various individuals often opt for private programs.  The American health medical coverage has been viewed to be very expensive hence locking out the low income earners. Individuals without jobs are also found in the bracket of uninsured individuals. Statistics in 2012 reveals that about 47 million of the US population was uninsured. The high statistics of uninsured citizens can also be attributed to high demands required form insured individuals as manifested in the Obama care requirements (Hörbst 100) Uninsured population face challenges in terms of access to affordable medical services. In the events of preventive measure programs, the uninsured individuals are often not integrated in the programs. This therefore makes the population to be highly susceptible to infections. On the other hand, in cases of individuals not having medical covers in Austria high penalties are charged in the event of service delivery. The measure focuses on encouraging individuals to join the universal medical cover plan.

Regulatory role of the governments

The operations of the health care sector are highly influenced by the policies and recommendations of various arms of governments in both US and Austria. The governments of the two countries target to reduce the cost of accessing various health services. In regard to this, price control policies have been assumed so as to curb cases of overcharging among medical practitioners (Kazandjian 298). WHO has assisted the governments in regulating the standards of drugs offered and services in general. It is a responsibility of World Health Organization to ensure sale of authenticated drugs and delivery of standard services. The organization has also aided in setting required standards for all health officers. Besides the accreditation certificate, health institution must be service objective in order for their operations to be authenticated. Through quality assurance project, governments are capable to offer accreditation certificates besides legalizing health programs that meets the required standards. Government regulation is more pronounced in US where full adoption of medical covers has not been achieved. In both the two countries, regulation of the governments is witnessed through the funding. The federal government effectively regulates the operations of both the public healthcare sector and private sector through the budgetary allocations. Through the budgetary allocations, the US government has promoted the operations of the public sector through increment in the allocations. In 2010, the Obama’s government through the house of congress passed an amendment that increased the budgetary allocation to all public healthcare institutions. In the United States, the government has constantly outlined requirement for various policies besides determining premiums to be paid in various covers.

My opinion on the two Systems

In comparison of the two medical systems, the Austria system that allows for medical cover of both the nationals and permanent inhabitants of the country is better. This is confirmed by the high life expectancy of 82.4 in the country. In addition, the high rating of the country in terms of Medicare confirms the quality of the healthcare system. Since the inception time, Obama care has attracted constant critics from all spheres. It is viewed that the policy does not take into consideration the needs of individuals of low social class(Mayes, Rick and Robert 209). As a result of this, the policy has not received public acceptance. This is contrary to the universal healthcare policy in Australia that takes into consideration both the nationals and permanent inhabitants. The flexibility of the policy that allows individuals to enter other private medical covers has contributed to more effectiveness in the country’s Medical care. Besides promoting individual rights, the policy has promoted development of the private sector. In regard to the above elucidations, the healthcare system of Australia is more effective and accommodative.

Conclusion

It therefore becomes evident that healthcare systems play central role in the welfare of a country. There is need for governments to adopt policies that will result to subsidized costs of Medicare services. In light of the Affordable healthcare in the US, the federal government needs to adopt amendments in order to embrace the low income earners. Moreover, the system should allow for flexibility. In this regard, individuals should freely enter private medical covers. Besides meeting the immediate needs of citizens, flexibility will allow effective development of the private sector. In implementing healthcare policies, involvement of the citizens should be ensured by governments. Public involvement will result into adoption of policies that are in the interest of the public hence efficiency.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Work cited

Hörbst, Alexander. Ehealth2014 — Health Informatics Meets Ehealth: Outcomes Research: the Benefit of Health-It. , 2014. Internet resource.

Kazandjian, Vahé A. Accountability Through Measurement: A Global Healthcare Imperative. Milwaukee, Wis: ASQ Quality Press, 2003. Print.

Mayes, Rick, and Robert A. Berenson. Medicare Prospective Payment and the Shaping of U.s. Health Care. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, 2006. Print.

Shi, Leiyu, and Douglas A. Singh. Essentials of the U.s. Health Care System. Sudbury, Mass: Jones and Bartlett Publishers, 2010. Print.