The Concept of Health Care
There are 196 independent states in the world if you count Taiwan, even though other countries refuse to recognize it. Each of these countries has its own health care system and an individual way in which health services are provided to its citizens. While we can not discuss the health care system of each of these countries, we can discuss the models on which the systems are based. Today, we delve into the concept of health care and find out how it works.
To understand the concept of health care, we try first to understand the health care models which countries employ to ensure dissemination of health services to its citizens. Countries will give the models different quirks to suit their particular situation, but overall they will fall in these four models.
The Out of Pocket Model
This is the commonest health care system in the world as it requires no organization or structure at all. It is employed by most under-developed countries which to no surprise make up the majority of the world’s population.
In this kind of health care system, if you have the money, you pay for health care services. If you are too poor, you simply wait for the disease to fade away on its own or you get worse and die. Most people can spend their entire lives in the rural areas and never see a single medical professional, not even a nurse. This system covers most parts of Africa, rural parts of Asia, and rural parts of South America.
This system accounts for many deaths from otherwise simple illnesses that someone is not expected to die from. Doctors are few, overwhelmed and under-paid in public hospitals and can not get to everyone on time. You have people dying from Malaria, Common cold, and even Jiggers.
The Beveridge Model
This may very well be the best health care system though very difficult to pull off. It is named after its founder William Beveridge who designed the English’s health care system. In this kind of system, health care services are just like another public service provided by the government the way it provides roads, schools, water, police, etc.
Just like other services, it is funded through taxation and ensures that all citizens have access to medical care no matter their social standing. Majority of the hospitals and clinics are owned by the government and so funds can be dispersed easily, while private doctors are paid by the government. In this system, you will never have to directly pay money to a doctor to get medical care.
The most obvious example of this system is Cuba, and then Britain. Other countries using this system include the Scandinavian countries, Spain, New Zealand, and the city of Hong Kong.
The Bismark Model
Obviously named after the Chancellor of Prussia, Otto Von Bismark, it is based on the insurance policy, but does not acquire profit. In this model, citizens are expected to have health insurance, from which they will be treated. The funds are raised through the employee and employer program, where each party contributes a certain percentage to the insurance plan.
Unlike the insurance plans in the US, this policy is not intended to make profit and covers everybody in the country such that everyone can still have access to health care. Most hospitals in this kind of health care system are owned by private individuals, though because the insurance policies are controlled by the government, they have most of the control.
Countries employing this kind of health care system include Japan, Germany, Netherlands, France, Belgium, Switzerland, and some parts of Latin America.
The National Health Insurance Model
This model attempts to combine the Beveridge and Bismark systems of health care. It eliminates the disadvantage of over straining the Government, while retaining control of the health care providers that comes from the Bismark model.
Every citizen pays into the national health insurance policy and in return the government pays for them when they fall sick. It is non-profit so it is not a lot, plus it allows the government to have monotony and so be able to subsidize medical care for its citizens.
It is employed by Canada, South Korea, and Taiwan. There is no marketing and so health care is way much cheaper to provide than in other countries or systems.
Most countries either fall in one group or another but the U.S. is the only country that has all the elements of all four health care systems. The concept of health care in the U.S. differs from one group of people to another and depending on where you lie, that is the kind of treatment you will get. For example, soldiers have a Beveridge system, ordinary working class have a Bismark system, the older generation gets the National Health insurance system, while the poor get the out of pocket system.