• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

A Comparative Analysis of the UK and US Healthcare Systems

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Transfer-Encoding: chunked A Comparative Analysis of the UK and US Healthcare Systems This essay seeks to explore the fundamental differences between the healthcare systems of the UK and the US. In order to do so, the structures of the two systems must first be outlined. Whilst the UK operates a socialised welfare system funded by the state, the US healthcare facilities are, for the most part, owned and operated by the private sector. However it should be noted that public health care does exist in the US. Medicaid is the largest source of funding for medical and health-related services for people with low income in the US. In 2014, Medicaid covered over 68 million Americans, just over 20% of the population (WSJ 2014). It is jointly funded by the state and federal governments, who determine participant eligibility through means-testing. Participation in the programme is not compulsory, although all states currently partake. In total, Medicaid bankrolls 16% of total personal health spending in the U.S. (KFF 2015) While the significance of this contribution cannot be ignored, it pales in comparison with the National Health Service, which provides universal coverage for UK citizens. The NHS provides free healthcare, at the point of use, to every legal resident of the United Kingdom. This reflects the ideological underpinnings of the UK system in the Beveridge model. ...read more.

Middle

In spite of this 80% of patients in the US were offered various options regarding their care, compared to 85% in the UK (Commonwealth fund, 2011). This finding would suggest an alignment between the two systems in terms of the standards service provided to their respective patients. It appears that the UK provides a superior quality of care than the US. However, quality of care alone does not define the effectiveness of a healthcare system. Efficiency In terms of healthcare, efficiency can be defined as the optimal allocation of resources in relation to the costs associated with allocating these resources. Efficiency within the healthcare system is paramount; a lack thereof could lead to unnecessary patient fatalities. The UK spent significantly less on healthcare as a percentage of GDP at 9.3% in 2012 compared to 16.9% in the US (OECD Health Statistics, 2014). Having discussed the differences between the quality of the two systems, it could be inferred that the UK is more efficient than the US in terms of cost. However, the UK wastes over £2 billion a year on unnecessary treatments (Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, November 2014) which demonstrates the existence of inefficiency in the UK healthcare system. Private medical providers in the US are paid per procedure, therefore the possibility that doctors may feel incentivised to prescribe more procedures instead of focusing on patient care- causing inefficiency- cannot be dismissed. ...read more.

Conclusion

Future The US healthcare system’s lauded free market credentials have been shown to be lacking, however solutions to its problems may lie in restoring that prized status. A report by the Economist (2014) suggests that expanding schemes such as Obamacare would improve efficiency by providing more citizens with the ability to shop around for a healthcare plan. Financial incentives and penalties directed at hospitals have so far helped to reduce perverse supply side incentives as mentioned earlier. Regarding the NHS, the concern is with the continued functioning of the current system in the face of demographic and financial pressures. Research has revealed that, while the NHS remains one the UK’s most treasured and valued institutions, actual patient satisfaction has fallen significantly (The Guardian, 2015). This may call for investment in order to bring services back in line with patient expectations, however this is where the NHS’s biggest challenge lies. The NHS is expected to end the current financial year £1bn in deficit, and NHS England has predicted that rising demand for care will leave a £30bn budget gap by 2020, unless productivity increases beyond its current trend (The Guardian, 2015). Economists have therefore stated the need for a debate on the choice between increasing the NHS’s budget versus accepting a lower level of care. Comparing the two countries healthcare systems based on Quality, Efficiency, Cost and Equity give us the general impression that the UK system has the advantage over the US. However, factors mentioned throughout this essay limit the appropriateness of a direct comparison. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Healthcare section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related University Degree Healthcare essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Poverty and healthcare.

    3 star(s)

    Who does poverty affect? The term is used to identify an individual's social and economic position. An individual may find themselves in this situation for one of many reasons such as low social class, unemployment, culture, education and also the environment, these concepts may reinforce the problem of poverty.

  2. The Effectiveness of Brief Interventions in Reducing Binge

    and 50% of street crimes, with such incidences imposing significant costs on society via intervention from the National Health Service, Police, Probation Service, and Prison Service (Department of Health, 2004). To conclude this analysis, Dean (1990) noted in his study that despite the harm caused by some levels of alcohol

  1. Euthanasia - an analysis of the theories and principles which guide healthcare practice and ...

    Critics of Kantianism state that the definition of duty can be interpreted in different ways by different people. The essential rule always to tell the truth may place an individual in an impossible situation, for example, being told something in confidence by one person then instructed to tell the truth about the confidence by another.

  2. Today's healthcare environment dictates that management decisions are clinically sound, operationally efficient, financially responsible ...

    the 1990 Act detailed medical audit as a required element of medical practice (e.g Warren, 1998 and Johnston et al. 2000). Clinical audit was again endorsed as an expected part of the clinician's role when the government introduced the new NHS reforms in the white papers 'The New NHS: Modern, Dependable' (DoH 1997)

  1. The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence of Prescription drug use ...

    According to the study conducted by National Institute of Pharmaceutical and Educational Research (Punjab and Guhwhati) and College of Pharmacy, Indore Intentional drug abuse of prescribed and OTC medicines has climbed steadily. Data from the 2005 National Survey on Drug Use and Health demonstrated that 6.4 million (2.6%)

  2. Review of Factors Influencing Successful Patient Education in a Rehab Unit for Spinal Cord ...

    The injuries associated to spinal cord are explained at different levels of incomplete, varying from no significant effect on the patient to a ?full? injury reflecting a complete loss of functional abilities. Diagnosing various spinal cord injuries initiate with restraining the spine and regulating the inflammation to minimise further damage (Zemper et al., 2003).

  1. This essay will give an overview of the structure and quality of health and ...

    For example the Nursing and midwifery council monitor the nurses and midwifes standard of care and practice. CQC are one of the regulators that assess service areas, through measuring standards and quality. According to the CQC (2014) their responsibility is to review and measures the quality of care across the

  2. This study aims to explore the perceptions of radiographers about private entrepreneurship in radiology, ...

    LITERATURE REVIEW According to Daniel, Mollura, Ezana,. Azene, Starikovskya, Thelwellc, Iosifescud, Kimblee, Polin, Garra, Stigter, Short, Johnsonj, Welchj, Walkerk, White, Javadi, Lungren, Zaheer, Goldberg, Lewin (2010: 496), access to radiology in developing countries has been widely documented, and two thirds of the world?s population lacks adequate access to medical imaging.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work