Health care by definition is the prevention and treatment of the various ailments and injuries that affect our physical and mental well being. It is, therefore, one of the most important aspects of man’s survival. As such, all nations across the globe have invested heavily in the well-being sectors of their countries in a bid to ensure that all citizens have access to quality health care. This is because a healthy nation is a wealthy nation regarding the productivity levels of the human capital. However, there are factors that need to be considered when formulating health care policies. This is because health care is affected by many other issues which if overlooked, may lead to ineffective health care delivery to those who need it. This paper shall set out to explore the understanding of health care by different people and briefly discuss the pros and cons of various health care systems all the while assessing their necessity or lack thereof.
Medical care systems analysis
As of today, most of the health care systems are characterized by being curative in nature. Smeltzer asserts that an ideal health care system should focus mainly on prevention, promotion of healthy living, and the management of chronic ailments and disabilities (801). She describes the current population trend as one characterized by a large percentage of people over the age of 45 who are increasingly getting sicker more often than before. Health care programs should focus on cost-effectiveness and resource management to ensure that they meet the medical needs of the whole population. These programs require money for them to be implemented. As a result, consumers are forced to dig back into their pockets and pay for medical insurance covers which are very expensive. On the same note, such programs have increased marginalization and discriminatory tendencies in health care institutions. For example, in America, the quality of healthcare a patient receives in some cases depends highly on the insurance cover that one has or on their ability to pay. These facts show that such a program undermines the main focus of medical care which is the preservation of life and should therefore be amended or abolished completely.
Over the years, medical experts and policymakers have tried to establish a system that will provide cheaper or free health care to the masses. Many people throughout the world die each day due to a lack of insurance and insufficient medical facilities from which they could have access proper health care. To prevent these bleak phenomena, most governments in developed countries have taken the initiative to provide free medical care for their citizens. According to Harrington (399), this health care plan will improve the quality of life of the citizens while promoting equality during service rendering. With free health care, people can easily adopt preventive measures by having regular checkups and physical examinations. This is very good as opposed to going to the hospital to be treated after the disease has already taken its toll. However many countries like America or China cannot independently fund such a huge program due to their large population size and other economic constraints. In addition to this, this will have a massive impact on medical performance by doctors who will have to work for extra hours due to the consequential increase in patient numbers thereby reducing the quality of health care provided. This proposal also suggests that the government will be responsible for setting the price ceiling of all medical services. This means that doctors and other medical practitioners will suffer from huge setbacks in terms of their incomes and profits that are accrued from the current health care systems. This is mainly why most health care providers are against this move because the disadvantages clearly outweigh the advantages.
Quality added life years (QALY) is another contentious subject that is currently being debated. Dranove (112) literates that the ever-increasing in the medical arena should be checked. As such, QALY can be used to establish what medicines to use, which diseases are worth curing, and whose life is worth saving. This system is very advantageous to hospitals and governments because they help in minimizing costs and improving the quality of life. For example, the government can now select which drugs to produce or import using the QALY and also save lots of money that could have been wasted on research done in finding cures for some chronic or terminal illnesses. Also, doctors can base their decisions on the same especially during organ transplants and surgeries depending on the future potentials of the patients.
Sadly, QALY does not auger well to most people. Dranove contends that this system is viewed by many as discriminatory and dictatorial to say the least (113). On a practical level, if two people are expecting a life-saving surgery, this model suggests that the decision on who to operate will depend solely on their QALY points. The decision of who should live and who shouldn’t cannot be left to points. This is the greatest evidence of undermining the value of life. In addition to this, all doctors and practitioners are under oath to save and prolong life for as long as possible. This program clearly undermines this oath. The program is also contributing to the presence of discrimination especially to the disabled because it focuses on the future potential gains that can be accrued from the lives saved. The disabled whose productivity is limited are therefore not favored when it comes to the decision-making process based on this program. These factors have therefore attracted many votes against it.
As earlier pointed out, health care is built on three main issues. However,these issues are on many occasions disregarded by the practitioners and the local governments as well. Siegel acclaims that health care in most prisons is very poor. This is because of insufficient funds allocated to the correctional facilities accompanied by the lack of medical staff willing to work in this environment (550). Additionally, overcrowding in these institutions poses serious risks to the general health care of the inmates and also to the administrative staff that work and live within these confinements. As a result, it is therefore true to say that health care deliverance and systems have failed in their core purpose rendering them less helpful to those who really require it.
There has been a widely held opinion that the health care system is in need of reform. This paper set out to explore the various facets of health care and from the discussions presented, it is clear that the current system is marred by inefficiency and as such, the system needs to reform the ideologies and systems that govern our health care. The manner in which health care is handled today as compared to past years has worsened mostly as a result of politicizing and monetizing the issue. This has led to the formulation of poor health care systems which are more costly than they are beneficial to the population at large.
Dranove, D. “What’s your life worth?: health care rationing – who lives? Who dies? Who decides?” FT Press, 2003. Print.
Harrington, Estes, Crawford, C. “Health policy: crisis and reform in the U.S. health care delivery system.” Jones & Bartlett Publishers, 2004. Print.
Siegel ,J, Larry. “Criminology.” Cengage Learning, 2008. Print.
Smeltzer, S, C. et al. “Brunner & Suddarth’s Textbook of Medical-Surgical Nursing.” Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2009. Print.