“Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in healthcare is the most shocking and inhumane” –Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
The purpose of this paper is to compare and contrast the Healthcare system in the United States versus the Healthcare system in the United Kingdom. When comparing the healthcare systems of the two countries the first thing that should be done is determining the differences between a “Good Healthcare System, which is the best attainable average level and a Fair Healthcare System, which is the smallest feasible differences among individuals and groups.” Ibid., p. 27-35 Data also analyzed in Gerard Anderson and Peter Sotir Hussey, “Comparing Health System Performance in OECD Countries”. Health Affairs; Vol. 20: No. 3 (May/June 2001): pp.219-232. According to the World Health Organization, “a health system, which is both good and fair would ideally have: 1) overall good health (e.g., low infant mortality rates and high disability-adjusted life expectancy), 2) a fair distribution of good health (e.g., low infant mortality and long life expectancy evenly distributed across population groups), 3) a high level of overall responsiveness, 4) a fair distribution of responsiveness across population groups, and 5) a fair distribution of financing healthcare (whether the burden of health costs is fairly distributed, based on ability to pay, so that everyone is equally protected from the financial risks of illness.” WHO (ibid.), p. 35 The major facts that will be discussed in this paper are: The cost of healthcare in the U.S. versus the U.K., the access to healthcare, health and well-being, responsiveness, fairness in financing, attainment and performance, and the satisfaction with the healthcare system. In addition to the major facts being discussed are the major problems. A solution to the problems that exist would be to implement what other countries call a “Unified Healthcare System,” which gives all Americans access to not only affordable healthcare but healthcare for everyone. This Unified System should also focus on turning healthcare into a system that actually “cares” about the health of a person and away from the economical gain of a country.
Define the Problems in the U.S.:
There are currently 47 million Americans who are without health insurance. “Health insurance is the country’s largest sector, accounting for over $2 trillion in annual expenditures-four times larger than national defense, yet millions cannot afford to take care of their health needs. During the past eight years, insurance premiums have nearly doubled, resulting in health insurance moving farther out of reach for millions. Burgeoning medical bills are increasingly leaving families drowning in debt. Tragically, one-half of all personal bankruptcies are caused by medical bills.” www.realtruth.org/articles/090203-005-health.html
Define the Problems in the U.K.
Earlier this year, the U.K. cut their health budget. The affects of the cuts were the release of 10% of staff as well as a decrease in beds and ambulance call outs. With the recent cuts, it will save the U.K. £20 billion, will is equivalent to $29 billion USD. “Among the cuts will likely be hip replacements. Patients will also be expected to communicate with their doctor by phone when they would normally visit him or her in their office, but the Department of Health stresses that the cuts will be attempts to improve efficiency and that no key services will be eliminated.” http://blog.standfordreview.org/2010/03/27/public-healthcare-in-uk-faces-major-problems/
A March 9th issue of the Daily Mail issued an article that surveyed 900 nurses. In this survey they expressed some dissatisfactions with the NHS. “Sometimes spare beds run out-and people have to sleep on chairs and mattresses on the floor. Nearly half the nurses said...