HEALTH CARE SYSTEM IN THE UK 5
Type of health care system.
The health care system in the United Kingdom is devolved aspect andeach country manages its own form of health care. The health caresystem is divided into two both private and public health careprovision. The United Kingdom provides health care services free toits citizens and it might be paid through public taxation (Gillies,2013). Residents are provided with free health care services throughthe National Health Service (NHS). The UK provides high quality andaccessible health care to its residents.
Cost to the individual patient
The National Health Service of the United Kingdom provides healthcare services for free at the point of use. Residents are providedwith health care services based on their needs, but not on the basisof their ability to pay. Residents and legal immigrants in the UKare, however, charged a small fee to access some services such as eyetests, dental care and long term care services (Gillies, 2013). Theresidents must also possess NHS number in order to receive thepayment. Residents who choose to use the private health careproviders are however charged a fee.
Access of care
Access to health care services in the United Kingdom has beendescribed as the best. The Commonwealth Fund in Washington rated thehealth care system as the best in the world. The Washington basedorganization stated that the health care system is both accessible toall the residents, as well as foreigners (Gillies, 2013). However,the accessibility to the foreigners is limited to only emergencyservices and the treatment of certain infectious diseases.
Limitations to care
The health care services are universally accessible to allthe residents of the United and also to the legal immigrants.However, health care services are limited to the illegal immigrantswho can only access the services during emergency or in cases oftreatment of infectious diseases (Gillies, 2013). Free Health careservices in the United Kingdom are also limited to services such asvarious aspects of long term care and services such as dental tests.
Although the cost of health care in the UK is not entirely free,analysts have argued that the cost of health care in the UK isrelatively cheap than that of other nations. The cost of the healthservices not covered by the NHS are lower than the ones provided forby the private health care providers (Langenbrunner t al., 2009). TheCommonwealth Fund in Washington stated in its report that the healthcare system in the United Kingdom is the most accessible andaffordable to the residents.
The UK health care system provided by the NHS is a patient centeredform of service. In this regard, it is evident that the servicesseeks to offer quality and satisfactory services to the patients.According to the British Social Attitudes survey, over 60% of theresidents in the United Kingdom are satisfied with the health caresystem in the country (Gillies, 2013). This is way above the US 28.9%of the people who stated that their health care system is effective.
Primary vs. specialist care
The United Kingdom, through the National Hospital service has beenprovided both primary and specialist health care to the residents.Both forms of health care are offered for free at the point ofdelivery (Langenbrunner t al., 2009). However, the provision ofspecialist care has been faced with various challenges with somecritics arguing that the services are slow. Recent amendments of theNational Hospital service policies has ensured that the specialistservices are timely delivered.
Sustainability of the system
The health care system in the UK is solely funded by public moneythrough taxation. In this regard, it is evident that the system is asustainable system. It is also noteworthy to note that the system hasbeen in existent since 1948 and therefore has proven its ability ofsustainability (Johnson & Stockpot, 2012). As long as thegovernment continues to tax the people, the health care system of theUK is guaranteed of its sustainability.
Gillies, A. (2013). What makes a good healthcare system?:Comparisons, values, drivers. Abingdon: Radcliffe Medical Press.
Johnson, J. A., & Stockpot, C. H. (2012). Comparative healthsystems: Global perspectives. Sudbury, Mass: Jones and BartlettPublishers.
Langenbrunner, J., Cashin, C., O`Dougherty, S., & World Bank.(2009). Designing and implementing health care provider paymentsystems: How-to manuals. Washington, D.C: World Bank.