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Health Care Public Policy - Essay Example

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Running head: Heath care public policy Course Number: Date Due Definition of terms Public policy is a generally well settled opinion by the members of the public concerning the duties of citizens to their fellow citizens…
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Health Care Public Policy
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"Health Care Public Policy"

Download file to see previous pages In the United States (US), the concept of public policy encompasses the process of decision making and analysis of governmental decision. Health care on the other hand refers to the constant monitory, diagnosis and treatment of diseases, illness or other physical body problems and the preservation of the physical wellbeing of human beings (Proctor & Smith 89). Health care public policy therefore basically refers to a settled opinion by members of the public concerning the manner in which issues of public health are handled across a country or state. Introduction States, countries and jurisdictions have different policies regarding to public health. Actually the configuration of the health care machinery varies from country to country, state to state but according to the World Health Organization (WHO), a well functional health care system should rest on adequate financing mechanisms, adequately trained and paid staff, decision making and policy formulation based on reliable information, well maintained facilities and advanced technologies in delivering health care. According to Charles Frame, an expert in market research and customer satisfaction at the Emory School of Medicine, it makes sense to have very basic level of healthcare for everybody. Members of the public are very influential in the process of policy formulation and therefore it is important for them to hold thorough knowledge of what policies, precisely health care policy entails and their rights and responsibilities in its formulation. State of health care system in the United States United States is one of the wealthiest countries in the history of the world yet its health care system can be described as unsatisfactory. To start with, the spending in the health care sector is rather high representing around 17% of the country’s GDP. Despite the high spending, the outcomes of the health care sector are not any better as compared to other countries that spend lower per capita such as Switzerland and Netherland. The cost of health care has actually risen over the recent years as observed by Allan Hubbard, Chairman, E & A Industries. He noted that the cost of a family insurance 19 years ago was $3000 but has currently risen to $12000 (as at 2008). The major problem according to Professor Herzlinger (20) is not to achieve a universal coverage but rather to get the value for money spent on health care. She therefore suggested three common theories that can improve the quality of services. These are; Managed competition. She suggested that the insurance system should be made private and consumers given the right to shop for their insurance. This would create a competitive environment among the insurers and consequently, quality would be achieved. Single payer. In this theory, she suggested that the government, as the single payer would control all resources, would have massive scale and could squeeze inefficiency and waste out of the system. Finally, she suggested the theory of Consumer-driven health care. This is an approach where the consumers are given their money and the opportunity to seek insurance and health care services by themselves. Although effective policies may be formulated and implemented, one of the most effective approach in addressing the issue of health care is through prevention not cure. It has been noted that majority of the health problems among the citizens of United States are life style ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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