Discuss about the Healthcare System in Australia and UK.
Health Care system in Australia plays an important role in providing health care services to the individuals residing in the Country. It includes access to hospitals and medical facilities and treatment for the cure of various diseases. The health Care System in Australia is a complex method and has many responsibilities because the States depend on financial matters from Commonwealth in order to support their health care systems. There are various programmes in the State and a number of healthcare initiatives are organized in the country. There are also non government organizations such as The Australian Red Cross Blood Service that collects donations of blood and delivers them to various providers of Australian healthcare. The National Health and Medical Research Council helps in funding research in health and medical domains. Private organizations also play an important role in providing healthcare services such as Medical Resonance Imaging (MRI).The Australian healthcare system plays an important role in delivering various healthcare services such as emergency services, primary healthcare services, treatment plan and surgical procedures, and rehabilitation facilities. Healthcare facilities in the UK is provided by the National Health Service and it provides healthcare facilities free of cost to all the residents who are living permanently (Hepburn, Cohen, Bhawra, Weiser, & Hayeems, 2015).It involves general practitioners to provide primary health services to patients. The hospitals also provide wide range of services including special care to patients suffering from mental illness, emergency care by ambulances to individuals who met with accidents that is free of cost at times. The country also provides private health care services for residents who wish to pay and they do not receive NHS funds for the medical treatment and various services. This essay deals with the comparison of Health Systems in two countries that is Australia and the UK on the basis of various areas like the Funding System, Governance System, Maternal Mortality Rate, Infant Mortality Rate, Life Expectancy at Birth and Health Status including Low Birth weight, Obesity, Diabetes, Asthma, Hypertension, Cancer and % GDP spent on Health.
Funding System in Australia and the UK
Funding and insurance of health in Australia includes both funding by the government and private health insurance. Medicare scheme is used for funding by the government to provide free care in public hospitals, prescriptions at low cost and a large no of medical services. Private health insurance in Australia is provided by insurance organizations called as health funds. Medibank is the largest health fund with a market share of 30 %.There are various private insurance health schemes introduced by the government of Australia such as Lifetime Health Cover, Medical Levy Surcharge and Private Health Insurance Rebate. Medicare is a administered by Medicare Australia and it is mainly concerned with the payment of nurses, doctors and the finance of hospitals that are state run.
The National Health Service (NHS) provides healthcare services that include health care including dental care, ophthalmology, primary care, and long-term healthcare. It includes trusts that help in the delivery of healthcare services such as commissioning trusts that help in the analysis of the needs of local population and the provider trusts that involve NHS bodies to deliver the health care service. According to a report of 2014, the United Kingdom was awarded for providing best healthcare services in the world on the basis of various categories such as patient- centered care, safe and co-ordinated care and efficiency in providing patient satisfaction. Palliative care provided by the UK to its patients has also awarded as best on the global level.
Governance System in Australia and the UK
The health ministers in the country that includes the state and territory ministers and the Commonwealth to coordinate the public health system in Australia. The Standing Council on Health has an important role in coordination and includes a group of health ministers. The Council of Australian Governments is an important intergovernmental forum in the country and includes the Standing Council. The main objectives of the Standing Council are providing patient care and satisfaction by providing transparent medical facilities with the help of expert clinicians and nurses. It also helps to fund various hospitals so that they can provide excellent health care services to its patients in the future. It also helps in reducing the gap between the Indigenous and non-Indigenous population residing in Australia. The Standing Council also works to provide primary health care services to the ageing population, health care services in the rural areas, Indigenous and mental health services and community health care (Kelaher, Sabanovic, Brooy, Lock, & Brown, 2014).
The Advisory Board plays an important role in the development of various healthcare strategies governs the healthcare system in the UK. The Cabinet Office and the Office the Prime Minister also help in monitoring the progress (Bowling, 2014).
Maternal Mortality Rate
Maternal death is defined as the death of a woman during pregnancy or after 42 days after the pregnancy. Maternal death in present years. The death of the mother in the family leads to various problems among her family members. The occurrence of deaths in maternal population is expressed in terms of maternal mortality ratio. The MMR is defined as the number of death occurred due to some complications and issues during the pregnancy that is called as direct deaths or worsening of disease that has occurred due to pregnancy per 100,000 women that are giving birth. It does not include if the death has occurred after 42days of pregnancy or due to any other unknown causes.
According to a report of The World Health Organization 2015, it was recorded that around 19 deaths of women occurred during their pregnancy in Australia and its MMR was 6 in the year 2015 (Hollams, Klerk, & Sly, 2015). The death of pregnant women belonging to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population was double as compared to the women of normal population as they are incapable to provide proper treatment and healthcare facilities to pregnant women.
It was reported in the 2015 that 74 pregnant women died during pregnancy in the UK due to abortion, infection, psychosocial issues and cardiovascular problems and its MMR was 7 in the same year (Johansson, Villamo, Altman, Bonamy, & Granath, 2015). It occurs due to various issues like direct death involving complications during pregnancy and indirect death due to cardiac problems and medical health issues that are not related to pregnancy. It has been reported that psychosocial issues is the main cause of deaths in women that occurs due to domestic violence and mistreatment that ultimately leads to suicide.
Infant mortality rate
Infant mortality rate is defined as the number of death of the infants per 1000 live births. In the year 2015, it was reported that deaths of 991 infants had occurred that included 542 males and 449 females as compared to 1012 infant deaths in the year 2014. This shows that there was a decrease of 2.1 % in the number of deaths of infants in the past 10 years from the year 2005-2016. The infant mortality rate in 2015 was the lowest with 3.2 deaths of infants per 1000 live births and in 2005; the infant mortality rate was 4.9 deaths per 1000 live births (Fraser, Sidebotham, Frederick, & Mitchell, 2015).
The infant mortality rate in the UK has decreased from 5.6 in the year 2005 to 3.9 in the year 2015 (Wolfe, Macfarlane, Donkin, & Viner, 2015).Scotland showed the highest decrease of all the countries in the 10-year period. Infant mortality rate is an important aspect to measure the quality of healthcare services provide to the country and the population growth.
Life expectancy at birth
Life expectancy at birth is an important measure to study about the health of the population and the mortality rate. It is used to measure the duration a person will be able to live based on present age and death rates specific to sex. In the last century, the life expectancy in Australia has increased in both the sexes. A boy who is born in the years 2013-2015 is expected to live until 80.4 years of age and girls until 84.5 years of age. For the individuals belonging to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Population who are born in between 2010-2012, the life expectancy was estimated to be 10.6 years less as compared to that of non-Indigenous population for males (Phillips, Morrell, & Daniels, 2014).Australia is considered to have one of the highest life expectancies in all the countries in the world.
Life expectancy at birth in the UK has increased from the previous years. A boy who is born in the years 2013-2015 is expected to live until 79.1 years and a female born is expected to live until 82.8 years if the rate of mortality remains the same (Head, et al., 2013).
Health Status : Low Birth weight
According to World Health Organization, if the weight of an infant is less than 2,500 grams or 5.5 pounds he or she is considered to be in a low birth rate category. It is monitored by using surveys in households and health system surveillance. It was reported in the year 2013, around 22 million newborn babies that are 16 % of all the infants that were born on a global scale in that year, had low birth weight (Hutchinson, De Luca, Doyle, Roberts, & Anderson, 2013). It is a challenging process because weight is not recorded in a large number of infants during the birth. Low birth rate is linked with increased occurrence of high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes.
Low birth weight in the UK has remained the same as compared to the previous years. In the year, 2013 it was reported that around 6% of babies had low birth weights that is it was less than 2500 grams (Drummond, Sculpher, Claxton, & Torrance).
Obesity refers to accumulation of fat in the individuals that make them overweight and leads to various diseases such as diabetes, cancer, mental issues and cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks and strokes. It was reported that 56% of the population were identified as obese in 1995 and it was increased to 63% in the year 2014-15 and the average weight for both male and female was increased by 4.4 kg (Ng, et al., 2014).There are various factors that lead to obesity such as lack of balanced diet and physical exercise.
It was reported that the obesity in the population living in UK showed an increase from 32.3%in the year 1995 to 52% in the year 2015(Arora, Hosseini?Araghi, Bishop, Yao, & Thomas, 2015). Body Mass Index (BMI) is the most common method to measure the obesity in the body of an individual and it is calculated by dividing the weight of a person in kilograms by the height square in meters.
Diabetes has become one of the major challenges in the health system of Australia in the 21st century. It has been reported that in every 5 minutes one individual develops the symptoms of diabetes. It was reported in the year 2016, a total of 1.7 million individuals suffer from diabetes in Australia. It is increasing at rapid rate and type 1diabetes is around 10% of all the diabetes and type 2 diabetes is around 85 % of all the diabetes (Renzaho & Marks, 2016).It has also been reported that there are around 4,400 amputations due to diabetes in Australia every year. Gestational diabetes is also increasing at a rapid rate in pregnant women.
It has been reported in the year 2016, there are around 4.5 million people in the UK who are diagnosed with diabetes. It includes 1 million people those who have not been diagnosed and are suffering from Type 2 diabetes (Niranjan & Price, 2016).
Asthma is defined as respiratory illness that leads to difficulty in breathing. According to the reports, around 2.5 million individuals suffered from asthma in the year 2016 in Australia that means that one in nine individuals (Willis & Keleher, 2016). In the indigenous populations, the rate of occurrence of asthma is double as compared to that of non-indigenous populations. This disease is more prevalent in people who have low socio economic status.
There are around 5.4 million people who suffered from asthma in the year 2016 in the UK including 1.1 million children and 4.3 million adults (Cook, Cole, Asaria, & Francis, 2016). The UK has highest number of patients suffering from asthma and the NHS spends approximately 1 billion per year to provide care and treatment for patients suffering from asthma.
Hypertension is also known as high blood pressure and it can lead to various diseases such as heart failure, stroke or disease in kidney. It was reported that 2.6 million individuals suffered from hypertension in the year 2014- 2015 that is 11.3% of the total Australian population. The prevalence of hypertension was higher in males as compared to females that is, 12 % for males and 10.7 % in females and it also increases with age (Roberts, Algert, & Ford, 2015).
It was reported in the year 204-2015, that 32 % of the individuals residing in the UK suffered from hypertension as a large number of individuals do not keep a check on their blood pressure (Rapsomaniki, et al., 2015). Around one- third of the population in the UK are not aware of the fact that they are suffering from high blood pressure. It has also been reported that the level of high blood pressure increases in the women as there is a decrease in their income.
Cancer can be defined as the condition in which all the cells in the body multiply in an abnormal manner and become out of control. It was reported that, in the year 2013 there were 124,465 new cases of cancer diagnosis in Australia, which included 68,936 males and 55,529 females.It is also estimated that around 134,174 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in 2017 in Australia (Moore, Antoni, Colquhoun, Healy, & Bray, 2013) .
It was reported in the year 2013, that around 152,432 deaths had occurred in the UK due to patients suffering from cancer. Half of the patients suffering from cancer died due to breast cancer, lung cancer, bowel or prostate cancer (DeSantis, Ma, & Jemal, 2013). Cancer leads to more than one death in four of all the deaths in the UK. Liver cancer is the main cause of increase in the mortality rates in both the males and the females over the past 10 years and stomach cancer is the main cause of decrease in the mortality rates in both the males and the females over the past 10 years.
Health System Performance: Percentage GDP spend on Healthcare
The percentage of GDP spend in healthcare in Australia was 9.4% of the total GDP in the year 2014 as compared to 7.3% in the year 1995. This shows that the government of Australia has increased the expenditure to provide better healthcare facilities to its individuals to give better care and patient satisfaction. It was reported in the year 2014 that the UK spent 9.1 % of the total GDP in healthcare as compared to 6.7% of the total GDP spent in the year 2014 (Fuchs, 2014).Both the countries are efficient in increasing the expenditure to provide excellent health care facilities.
Maternal mortality rate was higher in the UK as compared to that of Australia in the year 2015.This is because of lack of proper treatment facilities to women during the time of pregnancy. It is also reported that psychosocial issues is the main cause of deaths in women that occurs due to domestic violence and mistreatment that ultimately leads to suicide. It was observed that there was an increase of 7% in the percentage of obese population from the year 1995-2015 and an increase of 20 % in the UK for the same year.This is because the population living in the UK do not follow a balanced diet and perform physical exercise leading to obesity. This in turn leads to various diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, stroke and heart attack. There are around 1.7 million individuals suffering from diabetes in Australia and around 4.5 million individuals in the UK. This difference is because a large no of people in the UK do not undergo health checkups and they are not aware that they are suffering from diabetes. There are around 2.5 million people suffering from asthma in Australia and 5.4 billion people in the UK. This is because of blockage of oxygen into the lungs and increase in the production of mucus. Around 11.6 % of population in Australia suffer from hypertension and around 32% in the UK. This difference is due to the reason that a large number of individuals do not get their blood pressure tested unless they visit the doctor. Deaths of cancer patients was also more in UK than Australia due to increase in the number of cancer patients.
It can be concluded from the comparisons of the health systems of both the countries Australia and the UK that both the countries provide government and private health insurance to all its individuals to avail proper health services and medical treatments. This helps the patients can get proper care and patient satisfaction. The department of Health Ministry governs the healthcare system in both the countries and they play an important role in developing and strategizing various measures and guidelines in order to deliver proper healthcare services in an effective manner. Infant mortality rate decreased in both the countries, the UK and Australia from the year 2005-2015. Life expectancy at birth was also almost the same for birth the countries. Low birth weight had no significant change as compared to previous years in both Australia and the UK. The percentage of GDP spent by the government in providing health care services to its individuals was same for both the countries in the year 2014 to ensure that people get access to proper medical facilities.
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