Health Care Systems: Cross-national Comparison - Essay Example

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Health care systems are the most important cornerstones of welfare states and are designed with the aim of meeting an individual population’s health care needs including but not limited to prevention of disease, provision of diagnostic, curative, rehabilitative…
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Health Care Systems: Cross-national Comparison
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Download file to see previous pages Health care system entails an organized plan that links the agencies, facilities, and every other provider of health care in a given country. Recent literature has presented varied suggestions in trying to categorize the health care systems of countries. Health care systems are generally founded on specific political, historical, cultural and socio-economic traditions which make the organizational arrangements considerably different between countries, in this case Sweden and Germany. Each of the two systems attempts to address the citizens’ need for health and health however the extent to which the demand for health care appropriately reflects the actual population is an issue that arises. We cannot measure health in a direct way thus a variety of indicators for quantity and quality of health should comprise features of population and indicators of health such as life expectancy, morbidity and mortality. It is all under these criteria that cross-country comparison of healthcare systems of Sweden and Germany is carried out. The outline of health status indicators and outcomes can assist to approximate the quantity and quality of health care of Germans and Swedes. However, there is need to appreciate the fact that cross-country comparison of health care in the two countries is only applicable within the constraints of data availability and comparability. Healthcare System in Sweden The population of Sweden in 2011 was 9.4 million and has ranked above Germany in several key health indicators. It has consistently ranked at the top for nearly all health outcomes when compared to the German outcomes, with a particularly low infant mortality rate of three per 100,000 live births and a high life expectancy of 78 years for men and 82.8 years for women according to 2005 statistics (Anell, Glennga? and Merkur, 2012). Healthcare is seen as a fundamental element of the extensive Swedish welfare system where the whole population has access to a comprehensive variety of services and is covered by the National Insurance Scheme, funded mainly through employer contributions. The most outstanding feature of the healthcare system is the main role the twenty three county councils and the three municipal councils play. These councils majorly play a central role of ensuring that the system is efficiently planned, financed and delivered to the population of their respective territories. Inpatient care is approximately entirely funded by taxes collected by the country’s councils and delivered by hospitals that the councils run and own. The prominence of the Swedish healthcare system has long been on equity and has been rather successful in containing healthcare costs at a stable fraction of national GDP standing at 9.9% as at 2009 (Anell, Glennga? and Merkur, 2012). Sweden has been able to achieve these better-quality outcomes at a comparatively lower cost. According to statistical outcomes from 2002, Germany spends US$3635 per capita on health care whereas Sweden’s expenditure is lesser (US $2517) yet achieves vastly better health care. However, the system has faced some challenges that have affected its delivery of healthcare due to swindling financial resources. There have been oversupplies in hospital services caused mainly by the strong traditional emphasis on hospital care. The choices of patients are very limited and output and competence in healthcare delivery is a major focus for transformation. The provision of health care coverage in Sweden though universal, it is limited for residents to choose outside their registered counties when a referral is not needed. Within their own county council, citizens normally have the freedom to choice of where they wish to obtain ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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