Impact of the Current National Healthcare System in the United States of America

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Healthcare system in the United States

Healthcare system in the United States is built on a continuous process of distinct changes in the medical fraternity (WHO 2000). Research by various scholars certainly confirms the stability in the health system that has significantly raised life expectancy to 79 years from 75 years a decade ago (Starfield 2000, p.484). The government is obliged to ensure proper medical services are availed to the citizens. These services will be inherently available within an efficient healthcare system which is sustainable. WHO explicitly describes an effective health care system as an organization of resources, people, and institutions objectively geared to the provision of relevant health care services required by a particular population (WHO 2000). This analogy suggests that the target group to these services should be able to afford them besides getting full satisfaction.

Significant Changes in the American Healthcare System

As aforementioned, healthcare system in the United States is marked with several evolutionary changes that are worth discussing. Research by Donaldson and his colleagues reveal that several errors occurred in various medical contexts. Such horrific situations include but are not limited to a case where Willie King's wrong leg was amputated and the death of Ben Kolb at eight years resulting from a drug mix-up during minor surgery among others (Donaldson et al. 2000, p.1). These coherent errors were profoundly attributed to a poor system that lacked the relevant skill combination in relation to the services offered. When extrapolated, medical-related errors lead to the death of several Americans. According to studies by Donaldson and his co-workers, medical error related deaths exceeded 6000 every year (Donaldson et al. 2000, p.2).

Comparatively, the cost of healthcare services in the American healthcare history is ranked on a higher scale in relation to other developed countries of the same caliber. Despite the ineffectiveness that led to several occasions of harm to patients, most of the people were unable to access the services. World Health organization bolsters these findings in the research done in the year 2000. The research revealed that the government spent more on healthcare provision per capita as compared to other necessary sectors in the State's Gross Domestic Product (WHO 2000). This higher expenditure on healthcare services occurred despite the fact that most of the operational healthcare facilities are owned by private sectors and non-profit organizations. Information from WHO suggests that the higher expenditure on American medical services was attributed to the use of several healthcare systems (WHO 2000).

Further studies by Starfield affirms that the American Healthcare System over time adopted the four health care system models, namely Out-of-pocket, Beveridge, Bismarck, and the National model (Starfield 2000, p.483). According to Rice and co-researchers, the four models are important and are applied in different economic backgrounds. Out-of-pocket model presents a healthcare setup where few people with ability to afford medical services are taken care of. This kind of model is biased and limited to a specific class of people in the community. The second model, Bismarck, is found on insurance policies. This aspect alludes to a medical cover where joint financing of employers and employees is achieved through the check-off system. Adopting this model is a breakthrough in the medical field since at given occasions, most reported deaths emanated from the patients' inability to afford the medical services (Donaldson et al. 2000, p.16). The Beveridge model entails a system fully controlled by the government. In this aspect, the healthcare provider is fully managed by the government. To some extent, Starfield attributes the rise in American medical expenditures to this model since the total cost of the medical services is bored by the government (Starfield 2000, p.487). According to WHO, the national healthcare system that has been adopted by major developed countries, is more reliable in the provision of medical services. This model is inclusive of both, the Beveridge and Bismarck models.

Impact of Changes to the Current Healthcare System

By adopting distinct medical systems, the American healthcare system aims to improve the overall provision of equitable and affordable medical care services across the country. Change is an important element of progress, especially where the resulting effect is beneficial (Rice et al. 2013, p.129). An effective healthcare system takes into consideration various responsibilities. These responsibilities provide an implicit reflection of progressive changes experienced in the American healthcare system over the past ten years.

First, the system has established a relevant health workforce. The human resource is vital in the provision of relevant healthcare services (Weiner 1994, p.228). This analogy is attributed to the fact that all activities, such as financial management, risk control medical care, and logistical practices are done by the employees. The professional skills in each department are, therefore, paramount in the development of a stable and effective healthcare system. Donaldson and his colleagues confirm in their journal that major deaths inside and outside the hospital environment were caused by lack of competence by the workforce involved in the various incidences (Donaldson et al. 2000, p.21).

With a strong professional background in medical field, the healthcare system is enabled to provide quality, affordable, and equitable direct health care services to patients. Historical studies on the health care system in the USA reveal that most citizens were unable to access vital medical services such as CT scan due to the high cost associated to them. It should be noted that most of the direct health services are accompanied with provision of drugs. By making these services accessible to a common citizen the country advocates to improve the life expectancy of its inhabitants further to higher limits (Wachter and Goldman 1996, p.24).

Moreover, the effectiveness of the healthcare system is assessed in terms of risk management. Providing relevant public health services alongside controlling epidemic health hazards is important. This analogy explains the need to have a medically secure environment for patients, workers, and the general public. In their health article, Dellit and his associates confirm that management of diseases and other health-related hazards is easier when the country adopts an effective healthcare system (Dellit et al. 2007, p.156).

Conclusion

It should be noted that an effective healthcare system is paramount in the provision of efficient medical services. In other occasions, the provision of healthcare services may not be limited to the various structures, such as hospitals or insurance companies, but to the personnel behind the service delivery (Jatoi and Leake 2003, p.898). As the government continues to allocate funds to the ministry of health annually, the services provided should be a true reflection of the same aspect to ensure quality, efficient, and equitable healthcare services are received by the people.

References

Dellit, T.H., Owens, R.C., McGowan, J.E., Gerding, D.N., Weinstein, R.A., Burke, J.P.,

Huskins, W.C., Paterson, D.L., Fishman, N.O., Carpenter, C.F. and Brennan, P.J., 2007. Infectious Diseases Society of America and the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America guidelines for developing an institutional program to enhance antimicrobial stewardship. Clinical infectious diseases, 44(2), pp.159-177.

Donaldson, M.S., Corrigan, J.M. and Kohn, L.T. eds., 2000. To err is human: building a safer health system (Vol. 6). National Academies Press.

Jatoi, I., Becher, H. and Leake, C.R., 2003. Widening disparity in survival between white and

African‐American patients with breast carcinoma treated in the US Department of Defense Healthcare system. Cancer, 98(5), pp.894-899.

Rice, T., Rosenau, P., Unruh, L.Y., Barnes, A.J. and Saltman, R.B., 2013. United States of

America: health system review. Health systems in transition, 15(3), pp.1-431.

Starfield, B., 2000. Is US health really the best in the world?. Jama, 284(4), pp.483-485.

Wachter, R.M. and Goldman, L., 1996. The emerging role of “hospitalists” in the American health care system.

Weiner, J.P., 1994. Forecasting the effects of health reform on US physician workforce requirement: evidence from HMO staffing patterns. Jama, 272(3), pp.222-230

World Health Organization, 2000. The world health report 2000: health systems: improving performance. World Health Organization

August 21, 2023
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Health

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