Essay about Health Systems

Essay about Health Systems

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Health systems encompass all activities that function principally to improve health (World Health Organization (WHO), 2000). The organization of a health system is crucial to achieving its three basic goals of accessible, high quality and efficient healthcare, so as to attain its primary goal of improving health. Each country adopts a specific organizational model that caters to its individual healthcare needs, which are dependent on its history, economy and sociopolitical status (Reid, 2010). This has sparked comparison of different health system models, which this paper serves to partake in. This paper will begin by establishing the different levels of care in health systems, before comparing the different models of patient flow through these levels in New Zealand, the United Kingdom (U.K.) and the United States (U.S.). Finally, this paper will discuss how different organization and focus of health systems facilitates and/or impedes the attainment of accessible healthcare, by comparing the New Zealand, UK and U.S. systems.
Each health system comprises of the following three levels of care: primary, secondary and tertiary care.

The Declaration of Alma Ata (1978) defines primary care as the first level of contact of patients with the healthcare system. This level of care comprises treatment of common illnesses (such as sore throats, diabetes, or hypertension), and preventive measures including vaccinations and mammograms (Bodenheimer & Grumbach, 2008). Primary care providers (PCPs) include general practitioners (GPs), nurses, pharmacists, dentists and physiotherapists (King, 2001).
Distinctively, only primary care is outpatient-focused and office setting-based. Secondary and tertiary levels, on the contrary, are both inpatie...


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...erica : a global quest for better, cheaper, and fairer health care. New York: Penguin Press. Retrieved from http://books.google.co.nz/books?id=IdnTLQ2K1v8C&printsec=frontcover
Sanders, J. (2002). Financing and organization of national health systems. In B. Fried & L. Gaydos (Eds.), World Health Systems: Challenges and Perspectives (1st ed.). Retrieved from http://www.ache.org/pubs/worldhealth.pdf
Shi, L. & Singh, D. (2004). Delivering health care in America : a systems approach. (pp. 241). Boston: Jones and Bartlett. Retrieved from http://books.google.co.nz/books?id=4YzlWmzm3v0C&q=secondary+care#v=snippet&q=secondary%20care&f=false
World Health Organization (2000). The world health report 2000 health systems : improving performance. Geneva, Switzerland: Office of Publications, World Health Organization. Retrieved from http://www.who.int/whr/2000/en/whr00_en.pdf

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