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Comparison of Health System Characteristics Around the World

How does the U.S. healthcare delivery system compare with other countries’ healthcare delivery systems? What is the relationship of a country’s economic resources to health outcomes? How does the funding of services influence access to care? How does government involvement in healthcare delivery inform the patient/consumer experience?

There are no simple answers to the questions above. Yet, it is essential to engage in thoughtful, ongoing inquiry into questions such as these in order to gain a well-rounded perspective on healthcare delivery. In this Assignment, you will analyze and compare data to deepen your understanding of the U.S. healthcare delivery system, as well as other healthcare delivery systems around the world. Your examination of data can provide valuable insights, but it is also important to consider the context surrounding healthcare expenditures and outcomes. In this Discussion, you will examine health system characteristics, such as government involvement and funding of healthcare delivery in the United States and other nations.

For the Discussion and this week’s Assignment, select one country to compare with the United States in terms of healthcare (i.e., compare the same country in both the Discussion and Assignment).

To prepare for this Discussion:

  • Review the information related to health system characteristics in the Shi and Singh (2015) course text, as indicated in the Resources.
  • Research the characteristics of the U.S. healthcare delivery system and the systems of your selected countries using the Walden library and credible websites, such as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) site.
  • Consider the following questions as you research your selected country:
    • How is the health system organized? Is there a central governing agency?
    • How does an individual gain access to needed services, including specialized care?
    • How are healthcare services paid for? For example, does the country have a national health system with tax-funded coverage, a health insurance system with a single payer, a health insurance system with multiple insurers, or something else?
    • What benefits do people in this country experience because of the health system’s characteristics? For instance, are people guaranteed access to healthcare services? Do patients receive well-coordinated care because their health information is readily available to providers through an integrated technology system? Do they have a great deal of choice when selecting physicians?
    • What challenges do people in this country encounter? For instance, is there typically a long wait to see a specialist? Do patients encounter adverse effects because medical supplies are not readily available? Are healthcare services prohibitively expensive for most people?

Post by Day 4 a comprehensive response to the following:

  • Describe two or more defining characteristics of the U.S. healthcare system.
  • Explain how these characteristics compare to the characteristics of the healthcare system of your selected country. (Be sure to identify the country in your posting.)
  • Explain potential benefits and challenges for people in the United States and your selected country based on the health system characteristics you have identified.

Reminder: Be sure to cite your supporting documentation appropriately in correct APA format.

Readings

  • Shi, L., & Singh, D. A. (2015). Delivering health care in America: A systems approach (6th ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett.
    • Chapter 1, “An Overview of US Health Care Delivery” (pp. 20–28)
    • Chapter 2, “Beliefs, Values, and Health” (pp. 52–73)
    • Chapter 14, “The Future of Health Services Delivery” (pp. 557–558)
  • Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. (2015). Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Retrieved from http://www.oecd.org
  • WHO. (2015). Statistical information system. Retrieved from http://www.who.int/countries/en/

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