Which country would you rather be ill in and why?

Topics: Health economics, Medicine, Health care Pages: 3 (1185 words) Published: September 30, 2014
Which country would you rather be ill in and why?

Health systems have played a part in the dramatic rise in life expectancy that occurred during the 20th century. They have contributed enormously to better health and influenced the lives and well-being of billions of people around the world. Their role has become increasingly important.

The National Health Service was set up in the 1940s, post-war Britain, based on the principle of universal healthcare free at the point of use, financed entirely from taxation which means that people pay into it according to their means. Only about one in 10 Britons have private health insurance. In France they have a similar healthcare system whereby the country provides universal public health coverage for all 64 million residents which allows them to have as much healthcare as they like, but they pay upfront and do not receive full reimbursement. This means that most people take out extra private insurance for areas that are not covered by public health insurance. In France there about 4,000 hospitals of which a quarter are public. However, the NHS are facing pressures that are threatening the high-quality care that the NHS has been praised for. A combination of rising patient demand, staff shortages and falling funding is undermining the very foundations of the NHS. Due to this, the UK has longer waiting lists than the France. Having said that, there are protocols in place that enable GP’s to refer patients with certain illnesses (for example diseases such as cancer which have a higher chance of recovery if dealt with in their early stages) which will be dealt with in a very short time period.

The UK is one of the lowest paying countries on healthcare as they spend around £1.979 per person, whereas France spends an average of £2,034 per person on health, which is only around 3% more than the UK. France has been ranked first by the World Health Organisation's survey of healthcare systems in the past. In a recent...
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