Healthcare systems are important structures in any nation because they ensure that people and communities have good health. The systems ensure that individuals are physically, socially, and mentally healthier. Additionally, the healthcare systems respond to find solutions to any arising public health issues like pandemics. Healthcare systems vary from one nation to another. Nevertheless, all healthcare systems worldwide share a common goal of ensuring that healthcare is readily available and accessible to all people in a particular country (Hannawa et al., 2021). Therefore, this paper aims to compare the Germany and United States healthcare systems. Also, the paper will compare the healthcare systems in France and Britain. The key differences and similarities guide the comparison of the healthcare systems. Lastly, this paper will highlight the disadvantages which can impact patient care in all the systems.
Germany versus the United States Health Care Systems
In Germany, the healthcare system is guided by a social insurance framework that requires all employers and workers to contribute (Achstetter et al., 2022). The system supports universal coverage where everyone can access healthcare regardless of earnings and health status. According to research by Hannawa et al. (2021), healthcare professionals ensure that the system is highly managed and that all people seeking medical assistance are helped. In contrast, the United States healthcare system allows private and public insurance (Zieff et al., 2020). Private insurance allows people to buy their coverage, and employers provide it to their workers. According to Zieff et al. (2020), medicare for people aged 65 and above and those with low socioeconomic status is provided as public insurance.
Another difference between the two systems is the cost of accessing healthcare. The German healthcare system allows clients to negotiate prices to access healthcare services (Achstetter et al., 2022). When patients can negotiate prices based on what they have, and they access medical services, the cost will be low. Whereas in the United States, the system does not allow for negotiations on treatment costs (Zieff et al., 2020). The costs are very high. The high costs have affected many people, making the services inaccessible to people who might need help raising the cost.
Moreover, the administration is another important factor in accessing healthcare services. The German healthcare system allows for a less complex administrative process which allows patients to access medical help quickly and efficiently (Achstetter et al., 2022). Patients only need to have their insurance card to be assisted. In the United States, the administrative process is complex since it requires patients to navigate many insurance providers and make payments before they access medical assistance (Zieff et al., 2020).
The healthcare systems in Germany and the United States also have similarities. One of the similarities is the option of private insurance (Achstetter et al., 2022; Zieff et al., 2020). In the United States, private insurance is commonly the major source of coverage, while in Germany, it is used to augment statutory coverage.
Another similarity between the two systems is the quality of care they provide. The two nations provide high-quality healthcare to people (Achstetter et al., 2022; Zieff et al., 2020). The systems have been in the front to solve public issues like pandemics. The nations have invested in building quality healthcare facilities and facilities for doing medical research. It has made the two nations to be ranked high in providing healthcare assistance.
Lastly, the two nations’ healthcare systems face an aging population. The number of aged people seeking medical assistance is increasing daily (Achstetter et al., 2022; Zieff et al., 2020). The aging population has forced the healthcare systems in the two countries to strategize on providing long-term care and managing chronic diseases associated with the population.
France versus Britain Health Care System
The healthcare systems in France and Britain are the best in Europe. Despite the two have similarities, they have differences in providing medical assistance. One of the differences is how the systems raise funds to support the provision of medical services. In France, taxes, private healthcare insurance, and social security contributions are used to raise funds (Malone et al., 2021). In contrast, national insurance schemes and taxes are used to raise funds for the healthcare system in Britain (Law, 2022).
In France and Britain, the structure of the two systems is different. Commercial and public institutions are responsible for providing healthcare in France. The healthcare system in France is decentralized (Malone et al., 2021). Patients have complete autonomy in selecting their healthcare providers and facilities, while the government is responsible for regulating the prices of medications. On the other hand, providing medical care in Britain is the responsibility of the National Health Service (Law, 2022). The National Health Service (NHS) in the United Kingdom is an organization that is publicly funded and gives away free medical care to everyone in the country.
The waiting time for patients to access healthcare is another factor used to differentiate between the healthcare systems in France and Britain. In France, patients receive healthcare within a shorter period than in Britain (Malone et al., 2021). The difference is brought by how the nations invest in the healthcare system. Patients can access public and private medical professionals in France, which increases their chances of getting medical care. Also, with many professionals, the competition for healthcare is high, which reduces wait times. Nevertheless, Research by Law (2022) shows that the National Health Service is Britain’s primary healthcare provider.
Moreover, the differences between the two systems are seen in how the two systems handle the prescription of drugs. In France, the healthcare system is responsible for handling all the costs of prescription drugs (Malone et al., 2021). Conversely, the patients pay a small portion of the cost. Nevertheless, the system only allows the patients to pay a small cost. In contrast, the National Health Service in Britain is responsible for covering all the costs of prescription drugs. It means that patients do not have to use their money to pay any amount (Law, 2022). When patients pay some money from their pocket, it will reduce the costs they incur to access medication. In Britain, patients can access medication and treatment despite having no money.
Despite the differences in the healthcare systems, the two systems also have similarities. The two systems provide universal coverage for their people (Law, 2022; Malone et al., 2021). Universal coverage aims to provide care for the citizens and manage diseases. The two systems have a firm public health program providing citizens services. An example of the system is vaccination programs.
In addition, the governments of France and Britain ensure that all their citizens have access to medication (Law, 2022; Malone et al., 2021). In addition, the two healthcare systems aim to provide treatment to provide a healthier lifestyle and identify some healthcare issues. Moreover, the two systems have created programs for chronic diseases like cardiovascular disease.
Disadvantages Affecting Patients Care
Some challenges may require patients to access healthcare. One of the challenges is the time they wait to access medication in the healthcare system (Dawkins et al., 2021). The results of long-term waits are delays in accessing healthcare which may result in poor healthcare delivery. In addition, patients living in rural areas will be limited in accessing medication.
Moreover, limited resources may affect healthcare systems, impacting their effectiveness in ensuring that all their patients are satisfied (Dawkins et al., 2021). Some essential resources include skilled healthcare professionals, medications, and treatment equipment. In many nations, the budgeting for healthcare providers may be limited. When the countries do not fund the healthcare system, fewer resources will be available to provide effective care. Dawkins et al. (2021) state that more skilled professionals could be needed to improve service delivery. In other countries, patients will have to take long, travel distances in search of care. It will result in burnout, and the medical professionals will be overworked. Burnout and stress will limit service delivery.
Inequality in the healthcare system is another challenge limiting service delivery in many nations (Dawkins et al., 2021). People living in low-income, the disadvantaged, people with disabilities, and the minority may face challenges in accessing healthcare. When the healthcare system is not inclusive, the healthcare outcomes will be poor. Also, the inaccessibility in the healthcare system may be brought about by poor transportation, language differences, and a lack of strong insurance coverage. The system may not be inclusive because of discrimination, stigma, and bias, which limits access to healthcare (Dawkins et al., 2021). In addition, the disadvantaged may face social problems like insufficient food, poverty, and housing problems. This could result in more health-related problems like mental health issues.
Another challenge in the healthcare system which limits access to healthcare is medication errors (Dawkins et al., 2021). Medical errors are events that the healthcare system can prevent. Dawkins and colleagues illustrate that those errors in medication result in ineffective medication delivery. Incorrect diagnoses could result in poor treatment, worsening the patient’s health. Also, medication errors could lead to negative health problems, which may affect the life of the patients.
In conclusion, different nations have different healthcare systems. For instance, the healthcare system in Germany has universal coverage, while the healthcare system in the US is made of private and public insurance coverage. In addition, the healthcare system in France is decentralized, while the system in Britain is centralized. The NHS in Britain provides medical care for patients without any payment. Despite the differences in the healthcare systems in the four nations, all the systems aim at providing quality healthcare. In addition, the systems face similar challenges like high costs in healthcare, the aging population, and limited accessibility by minority groups. To solve the issues, governments should devise and implement policies that increase healthcare delivery, cover all patients, and ensure that all patients can access healthcare at affordable prices.
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