Access to Health Care in USA This Research Paper

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Access to Health Care in USA

This research paper focuses on the degree of accessibility to the health care services in the U.S.A. Accessibility refers to the ability of an individual to meet health care needs and to acquire the needed medical services on time. It then discusses the findings of the research. The suggestions for the elimination of the prevailing problems in the health care system are also given in the preceding paper.

Health Care: Access to Health Care in United States of America

To achieve a long-lasting life and to save oneself from major diseases it is important that people have an easy access to the medical and health care services. Access to the health care services means that individual gets timely health services to attain the best heath results. In other words it refers to the ability of an individual to meet health needs and to acquire the needed medical services on time. (Albert, 2009)

Access to the health care system can be analyzed by evaluating four areas; first is the coverage of health insurance, it is more likely that individuals who are medically insured will get easy and timely access to health care facilities. Second is the availability of services of the primary health care doctor, the individuals should have a usual and primary care doctor for regular checkups and maintenance of health. The third one is timely receipt of health care services and treatment, the individuals must be provided with quickly treatment and care after a need for the provision of health care facility has been identified. The last area is related to the number of doctors and other workers available to provide health and medical services. (Albert, 2009)

The United States of America's health care system is usually under debates, on one end are those who believe that this system is the finest in the world and the most easily accessible health care system around the globe, whereas, on the other hand there are those people and scholars who believe that the system is fragmented and has been converted into a privileged service. This set of argumentators debate that the access to the health care services is a basic right of each and every individual. But due the fragmentation and inefficiencies of the professionals and concerned authorities, the United States of America's health care system has been converted into a privileged service that is restricted only for the elite class of the society. (Albert, 2009)

Findings of the Paper

The major findings from the research was that the United States of America has well trained doctors and workforce to provide health care services, high quality health care is easily accessible as the patients do not have to wait for a long time to meet the doctor and to receive required care. But the cost of health care in America is very high, it has become the privileged service for rich people and thus the access of poor people to health care becomes inefficient, due to high cost American citizen's access to health care is becoming difficult and no matter if they are insured or not they are having trouble in getting medical services. The main solution to this problem is to implement a universal health care system and to eliminate the existing fragmented system.

Accessibility to United State of America's Health Care Services

Waiting Time Associated with the Access of Health Care

It has been reported by a number of studies that the United States of America has the most effective health care system and access to health care services is much easier in the United States of America as compared to other countries. In addition to that, a number of scholars, such as Scot, indicate that health insurance should not be used as a key criterion to access health care system instead a basic criteria that should be considered while evaluating the health care system is the time period for which the patients have to wait before meeting the doctor or the specialist. There are only three countries in the world where only 10% of patients wait for specialists for more than 2 months and the United States of America is among these three countries along with Germany and Switzerland. (Scott, 2012)

Costs Associated With Health Care System

According to numerous studies, in the United State of America's health care system, usually the patients directly make payments to the doctors in exchange of acquiring a health care service from that doctor. It has also been observed that the cost of health services, in the United States of America, is higher as compared to other countries and therefore; most of the people in America are covered by insurance policy but even it does not guarantee the timely accesses to health services. The biggest disadvantage of health care systems in the United States of America is the high cost of health care and high expenses of treatments. Due to multiple sources of funding the administrative cost of the medical system is high in the United States of America, thus the access to the health care system is not anymore right of all the individuals in the United States of America instead it has become a privileged service for those who are rich and can afford it. (Maryann, 2011)

As compared to the other developed countries in the world, the United States of America's medical care system is the most expensive one and the United States of America spends more percentage of GDP on health care in comparison to other developed countries such as Canada, UK or Germany. According to a study, about forty years ago the United States of America and Canada used to spend around 7% of their GDP on health care but this rate has increased gradually and in 1982s the United States of America was spending double digit percentage of GDP on health care. (Albert, 2009)

According to a 38 comparative studies survey that was conducted a few years ago, according to that survey 14 studies suggested that access to the health care system is better in Canada, 5 concluded that the health care system is better in the United States of America and the remaining 19 studies gave a somewhat mixed result. It was concluded that access to health care is better in Canada as compared to the United States of America, but we should keep in mind that the variables like drug consumption, smoking and gun crime are higher in the United States compared to Canada or other developed countries, therefore, such variables can have a negative impact on the performance and efficiency of health care system. (Albert, 2009)

In reference to the comparisons that has been made above, the figure 1 compares the Canada's and United States of America's expenditure on health care

(Maryann, 2011)

Figure 1: Public sector Health expenditures per capita, 2010. (Maryann, 2011)

Benefits Associated with the United States Health Care System

The various benefits that are associated with the United States of America's health and medical system which make this system effective and readily accessible. (Maryann, 2011) The major benefits are mentioned below:

• Individuals have freedom to choose the doctors from whom they want to receive the health care services.

• United States of America has advance and sophisticated technology that has been equipped especially for the provision of medical services.

• The United States of America has well trained doctors and workforce to provide health care services. (Maryann, 2011)

In addition to the above mentioned benefits, the United States of America has the best and the most innovative health treatment practices around the globe and the health care system of the United States of America is one of the most effective systems because the government provides insurance to underprivileged people and many programs have been launched to insure poor people and there are proper agencies, that monitor the quality of medical institutions, health practices and medical treatments. (Maria, 2012)

Pattern of Access to Health Care in the United States of America

According to a research conducted by the Urban Institute, which studied the pattern of health care access in the United States of Americas from 2000 to 2010, a large number of adults did not visit a doctor in a year and had health care needs that are not being met because of high costs of treatment. (Alex, 2012) In this research, the access to medical and health care was evaluated on the basis of the following key factors:

a) Regular and easy accessibility to a prime health care doctor.

b) Maintenance of contact with a doctor for check up on a yearly basis.

c) Concerns and information about various unmet health needs and d) Delay of treatment due to high cost or any other reasons. (Alex, 2012)

The study evaluated that in all these areas, Adults under the age of 65 had the deteriorated access to healthcare in 2010 as compared to 2000; the study also showed that children had better access…[continue]

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