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ASSESS THE CURRENT MOVE TOWARDS COMPETITION AND CHOICE IN HEALTH CARE IN TERMS OF THE EFFICIENCY VS. EQUITY TRADEOFF - Essay Example

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Choice and competition are among the fundamental models of health service delivery that of recently, are being adopted by most countries for their important role of meeting the demand existing in the modern healthcare system…
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ASSESS THE CURRENT MOVE TOWARDS COMPETITION AND CHOICE IN HEALTH CARE IN TERMS OF THE EFFICIENCY VS. EQUITY TRADEOFF
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ASSESS THE CURRENT MOVE TOWARDS COMPETITION AND CHOICE IN HEALTH CARE IN TERMS OF THE EFFICIENCY VS. EQUITY TRADEOFF

Download file to see previous pages... It has been a key concern for policy makers to promote choice and competition, so as to increase productivity and responsiveness to consumers in healthcare. The western countries in Europe and the United States have embarked on renovating their healthcare services, to allow patient choice through availing price competition between the health care providers that customers can choose from. In the past, healthcare service had been a government dominated area, and in most developing countries it enjoyed a monopolistic position, with ability to provide a variety of services and capture the customer surplus in the market. However, today there are many private organizations that venture in the healthcare service as hospitals and pharmaceuticals, which are highly relying on modern technology to offer the customers quality service. As a result, this has made the cost, quality, and healthcare accessibility a legislative and policy issue that ought to be managed, due to the rising variation. The economic benefit of promoting competition and choice is to enhance competition pressure, so that private firms become more efficient, causing them to reduce costs of service and improve their services and products as a way of attracting clients, which is generally healthy and an improvement of the economy (Propper, 2010). New forms of health care financing and delivery have developed as a result of the competitive pressure for cost containment, to slow health care inflation and encourage clients to choose from the available relatively lower cost health care. Hospitals and physicians have been each forming mergers and joint ventures with their partners in the healthcare industry, hence influencing costs and bargaining power as they improve the quality of health care and its distribution to ensure equity in the society (Federal trade commission, 2004). Competition, Patient Choice, and Equity In health care, improving patient and user choices are perceived different in accomplishment of healthcare systems objectives. However, it has become a key concern for most nations so that they get to direct their future in health and public services in regard to patients wants. According to Fotaki, offering patient choice in England is viewed as an attempt to address the failure of the pre-existing policies that had been operational in providing equitable and high quality services to the population, while it is perceived as a way to achieve other desirable goals, for example reducing the waiting lists, hence not an explicit policy objective on its own merit (2007). There are numerous patient choice policies being developed in health care industries, but how efficient and effective they will be will depend on the adjustments they would have made from the past policies, and how attractive it would be to the customers in the already competitive market. The transition made so far is that the patient or user choice policies are been made based on the learned experiences in the previous policies. The health systems of most developing and developed countries are still been challenged in responding to the needs of the less privileged members of the society; therefore creating inequality when it comes to choice in healthcare and its delivery. Although the mergers and consolidation of health facilities and physicians have improved, it does not mean that the service being provided to some people, especially in the marginalized areas are similar to those being delivered in urban parts. The networks being formed have been effective to ensure equitable health outcomes, but the efficiency in health ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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