Health Status and Health Care Services in Ireland
with comparison to the United States
HSM310 Introduction to Health Services Management Course Project Date submitted: 02/24/13
A health care system refers to the comprehensive organization, structures and strategies through which Medicare and health care is made available by the government to its citizens. A health care system is a product of countries politics. It is a nations system of governance that will dictate upon the most convenient model of health care to adopt. There is no universally acceptable method, and in adopting each; a government has to take into account a variety of factors, which would range from available finances versus the total population. A comparison of two models of health care or two countries approach to the provision of health services has to encompass the core issues of financing and health care management. Health sector is the most vital industry in a country and how effectively or ineffectively it is handled goes forth to reveal the social, political and economic policies of a country towards its citizens. A biggest investment of a government has to be in its people and what better way to do it than to invest in the health sector. The purpose of this paper is to focus at the comparison of the United States health care system with that of Ireland. It will focus at financing and management of both systems, how they compare and contrast as well as the merits and demerits of each. Despite the fact that United States spends the most in health care in proportion to its gross domestic product, it is among the nations in the developed world that lack a comprehensive health care.
The U.S. health care system is the subject of much debate. At one extreme are those who debate that Americans have the “best health care system in the world”, pointing to the easily available medical technology and the state-of-the-art facilities that have become so highly representative of the system. At the other extreme are those who criticize the American system as being fragmented and incompetent, pointing to the fact that America spends more on health care than any other country in the world yet still suffers from massive un insurance, irregular quality, and administrative waste. Understanding the debate between these two diametrically opposed viewpoints requires a basic understanding of the structure of the U.S. health care system. This primer will explain the organization and financing of the system, as well as place the U.S. health care system in a greater international context. ORGANIZATION OF U.S. HEALTH CARE SYSTEM
As with all other countries, there are both public and private insurers in the U.S. health care system. What is exceptional about the U.S. system in the world is the dominance of the private component over the public component. In 2003, 62% of non-elderly Americans received private employer-sponsored insurance, and 5% purchased insurance on the private non group (individual) market. 15% were enrolled in public insurance programs like Medicaid, and 18% were uninsured. Elderly individuals aged 65 or over are almost consistently enrolled in Medicare. (amsa.org). FINANCING OF THE U.S. HEALTH CARE SYSTEM
The financing of health care centers around two streams of money: the collection of money for health care (the money going in), and the reimbursement of health service providers for health care (the money going out). In the United States, the accountability for these two functions is shared by private insurance companies as well as the government, both of which are known in policy terms as “payers.” The United States can be thought of as a “multi-payer” system. The health of its citizens is a primary concern for any nation, since it affects everything from the happiness of the people to the work they perform. Ireland’s system currently hybridizes a private system, such as that...
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