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Healthcare System - a Comparison Between U.K. & U.S.

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Essay title: Healthcare System - a Comparison Between U.K. & U.S.

HEALTHCARE SYSTEM:

A COMPARISON BETWEEN U.K and U.S.

Abstract

The challenges facing the Social Security program and the economy as a whole will grow over the coming decades as the Baby Boom generation enters retirement and as improvements in human longevity contribute to an overwhelming concern as regards health care costs and availability. The purpose of this study is to prepare for this future by requiring those interested in shaping future public policy to gain a greater understanding of the long-term changes in our population and economy—including trends in fertility, mortality, productivity, employment and wage growth as it pertains to the U.S. and to explore the cross cultural remedies of such expansion.

As life spans increase and fertility rates remain steady at or just below replacement rate, a large and growing part of those changes will be shaped by the volume and composition of immigrants coming to this country and their descendents. In fact this change has already begun. The President’s Council of Economic Advisors recently reported that from 1996 to 2003, nearly 60 percent of net employment growth, and 50 percent of the growth of the working age population was due to recent immigrants.

Insurance in the U.S.

By 2020, the number of insured Americans will double, hitting 70 million. And, it’s estimated that 12 million of these will need nursing care. But who is going to provide this? �Boomers will be the first generation in U.S. history that has to buy much of this care itself. Since Medicare doesn’t cover long-term nursing care, this huge expense could fall in their laps. The best way to make sure folks get the care they need later in life? Purchase long-term care insurance now.

Russian Health Care v.s. U.S. Health Care

Russia’s biggest health care concern is geriatric care. Typical health care in Russia for the elderly and infirm is provided for in large facilities where individualized care is nearly impossible. The ROC (Russian Orthodox Church) began the model of utilizing small apartments for such care eight years ago.

Residents receive three meals a day — cooked in the apartments kitchen by a full-time cook — plus constant care and monitoring by the St. Dmitri sisters and regular visits by doctors. A daily journal is kept on each resident.

The families of residents know and appreciate this. “Nearby relatives visit at least once a week. Some relatives live far away, but there is a priest who comes once a week so no resident goes without a visit for very long.” Worship with communion is offered every two weeks and there are parties at Christmas and Easter to which relatives are invited.

Such care is very expensive thus they must rely very heavily on donations and volunteers.” The St. Dmitri sisters — about 80 in all — also serve in orphanages, schools and soup kitchens. They receive their training at nearby St. Alexei Hospital.

According to the Journal of Modern Medicine (JMM 2008) The U.K.'s National Health Service (NHS) should allow geriatric patients individual control of their health care budgets, an approach that has been shown in pilot studies to improve outcomes and patient satisfaction in a cost-effective manner, according to an analysis published April 12.

Vidhya Alakeson, of the Department of Health and Human Services in Washington, D.C., makes a case for individualized funding mechanisms that allow individual patients to decide how their health care budgets are spent.

As examples of the model's success, the author describes individualized funding programs in social care in the United Kingdom that led to reduced costs and improved patient satisfaction, and cites U.S. programs piloting individual budgets for geriatric patients with mental illness that resulted in greater mental health stability, increased patient satisfaction and decreased use of crisis-related services.

Individualized budgets would allow such patients to more accurately match resources with their health care needs, the author argues, and would signal the NHS's commitment to patient-centered care. "The time has come for governments to match their rhetorical commitment to a patient-centered health care system that delivers high-quality, integrated care for long-term conditions to a real commitment to pilot individual budgets in health care."

Retirement Security

Over the course of the 20th Century this nation developed a complex of public and private programs that

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