Global Healthcare Comparison
Part 1: Global Healthcare Comparison
For over two decades now, health issues have been and still remain part of the international development agenda. The global health agenda presents a ten year vision of the future of health. WHO remains the international body mandated to sets the global health agenda. This paper focuses on the WHO social justice agenda that considers health as asocial value and human right. The global health issue presented in the comparison matrix of United States and United Kingdom is Primary Health Care.
The purpose of this paper is to present a comparison of the United States and United Kingdom based on a global health issue (primary health care). The comparison will be focused on the policies enacted by the two countries to help manage primary healthcare issue. Also the strength and weaknesses of the policies will be determined.
Primary Health Care
Although several studies have confirmed that strong primary health care can address more than 90% of health needs, the WHO in their latest report provided an estimate that at least half the world still lack access to essential health services (Asia, 2018). WHO reported that the cost of health care, distance, lack of information, and low service quality are the barriers that prevent people from using primary health care as the foundation of health promotion.
CountryUnited States (U.S)United Kingdom (U.K)
Describe the policy in each country related to the identified healthcare issueThe Affordable Care Act (ACA), The ACA was enacted by President Barack Obama in 2014 to allow every American to purchase health insurance for whatever reason (Reisman, 2015). The ACA also provides special subsidies to low-income families to help them have full coverage. This policy helps in promoting the use of primary health care in the U.S because the cost of healthcare is made affordable.The United Kingdom policy on healthcare requires that all healthcare services and systems to be funded by the government (NHS) (Glasper, 2018). Healthcare in the United Kingdome is publicly funded through the taxes. The publicly funded healthcare services seem to be affordable to the majority of the population, thus promotes primary healthcare.
What are the strengths of this policyThe Affordable Care Act makes health insurance affordable through the subsidies it provides. By lowering healthcare costs, many people can seek primary health care.This policy converts health services from a predominantly market commodity purchased by individuals or families to a basic entitlement financed through taxes (public sources).
What are the weaknesses of this policyThe ACA does not reduce the cost of healthcare for everyone, because subsidies are for poor families and individuals with a disability. This means that the cost might not be affordable to those who do not qualify for the subsidies and cannot also afford the insurance plans sold on the marketplace.When the government takes an active role in healthcare services financing, it can weaken the functionality of the market mechanism.
How has each country’ government addressed cost, quality, and access to the selected global health issue?The U.S government has made the cost of healthcare affordable by providing subsidies for the poor and those with disabilities.The United Kingdom has a number of regulatory bodies that monitor access the quality of the services provided by private and public health facilities. The quality and outcome framework also helps in measuring the quality of services provided by practitioners.
How has the identified health policy impacted the health of the global population (Be specific and provide examples)Policies on health insurance have now been adopted by countries around the world to help their citizens pay for health care expenditures to avoid issues of going without care because of costs. For example, in 2010, the ACA ignited the debate on Universal Health Coverage to ensure that all people get access to needed quality health services without financial hardships (World Health Organization. 2013).The UK health insurance policy makes healthcare coverage free at the point of need and paid through government taxation. This has made many countries to try to adopt the UK health care system that promotes Universal healthcare coverage.
Explain how the social determinants of health may impact the specified global health issue. (Be specific and provide examples)Primary healthcare begins with an individual initiative to take care of their health. To promote primary healthcare, people must acknowledge that health starts at our homes, communities, schools, and workplaces (Hull, 2018). For example, people should ensure that they take care of themselves by feeding on a balanced diet, getting recommended immunization, seeking health care when sick, staying active, not smoking, and going for screening tests.Primary healthcare begins with an individual initiative to take care of their health. To promote primary healthcare, people must acknowledge that health starts at our homes, communities, schools, and workplaces. Examples include availability of healthy foods, safe and affordable housing, availability of health services and life-threatening toxins free environment (Hull, 2018).
Describe the potential impact of the identified health policy on the role of nurse in each country.The ACA provides nurses with new opportunities to expand access to care and improve the quality of care but at a lower cost.The policy help nurses to influence and improve their practice standards to promote quality and safety of care.
Explain how global health issues impact local healthcare organizations and policies in both countries. (Be specific and provide and examples)The global health issues contributed to the increase in studies, research, and practices aimed at contributing to the achievement of global health. For example, the USAID supports activities that improve the delivery of care, prevention and treatment of epidemic diseases. To be precise, U.S Funded programs are focused at increasing access to key services that help in preventing the transmission of HIV and TB (World Health Organization, 2014).UK government established Primary Care Trusts to assist in improving the health of their local population. Examples include the Countryside agency and the Institute of Rural Health (Farmer, Nimegeer, Farrington & Rodger, 2012).
General Notes/CommentsPrimary health care remains an essential issue in promoting preventive care. The main barrier to primary healthcare is the costs of the care services, and the efforts through insurance services to improve affordably is vital.Although the UK has been successful in improving access to health services, they should promote primary care services to reduce the number of hospital admissions that can lead to elective health care.
Primary health care can help in addressing majority of the health needs when effectively managed. Primary health care has become WHO latest agenda because of the increasing burden of diseases and hospitals high rates of admissions. This is a global issue that needs to be addressed collaboratively for countries around the world to promote global health. Primary health care therefore requires both national and international commitment through policies, laws and resources to improve access, quality and safety of preventive care. United States and United Kingdom have provided a good example through their commitment to enact health insurance policies that makes the cost of healthcare affordable to everybody.
Part 2: A Plan for Social Change
Local policies for improving primary healthcare in the communities or country level impact global change through policy diffusion and integration to improve health care systems. As a nurse leader the focus should be on supporting research, exchanging best practices an and engaging with the international partners to help improve the collective capabilities to deal with public health issues. Nurses can use the global health issue of “primary health care” to develop best strategies for improving access to healthcare and services that improve the health of the population.
Effective healthcare programs and services designed and provided by nurses and health care organizations can create social changes through various ways. The social support programs that support health care practitioners to serve individuals who need primary healthcare can make a positive impact on the community. Local healthcare programs that yield good results at the local level can inspire other countries or health care organizations to use them and thus leads to positive social change. For example, a global policy for ensuring safety and quality in the delivery of healthcare services like “making healthcare safer” is a policy that can guide nurses at the local level to ensure that they provide safe and quality primary healthcare to minimize the issues of more hospital admissions (World Health Organization, 2013).
Asia, S. (2018). Report: more than half world lacks access to essential healthcare. PharmacoEconomics & Outcomes News, 794, 5-13.
Reisman, M. (2015). The Affordable Care Act, five years later: policies, progress, and politics. Pharmacy and Therapeutics, 40(9), 575.
Glasper, A. (2018). The Government’s mandate to NHS England for 2018-19. British Journal of Nursing, 27(9), 512-513.
World Health Organization. (2013). Arguing for universal health coverage.
Hull, S. C. (2018). SINI 2018: Social Determinants of Health: Policy Drivers and Implications for Nursing.
World Health Organization. (2014). Tuberculosis control (No. SEA-TB-352). WHO Regional Office for South-East Asia.
Farmer, J., Nimegeer, A., Farrington, J. H., & Rodger, G. (2012). Rural citizens’ rights to accessible health services: an exploration. Sociologia ruralis, 52(1), 134-144.
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