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Provision of Health Services in Economy in UK, Essay Example

Pages: 4

Words: 994

Essay

The government has a huge role in the provision of health care to its people. The government in most countries nowadays are providing for the funding for health care services. Yet, the mere involvement of the public sector in the provision of health care, such act is still the main root of the some political debate amongst the government agencies and the society in general. However, it cannot be denied that the importance of the involvement of the government and its role in health care is being neglected. Buy why is there a need for the government/State to intervene in the provision of health care of its people? The answer is simple. This is because of the fact that health care is one of the fundamental rights of every person. Just like education, people should be afforded health care regardless of their income and wealth. The general public is entitled to health care and it should not be taken away from them by virtue of poverty. It is undeniable that poverty is one of the main reasons why people cannot afford health care. The expense and cost of health care is high and poor people cannot afford it. Should they not be given the chance to see a doctor? Should they not be afforded even the most rudimentary of health care?

The main question that needs answer, however, is should the provision of health services in an economy be left to the market or should the State provide for it? This paper aims to answer this question in relation to the health care system in United Kingdom.

In the United Kingdom, the State is paying for the provision of health care through the funds that are gathered from the taxpayers. Although there are private sectors that are working along the national health services the dilemma of the public is that private health care has to be paid by individuals seeking for it (Boyle, 26). The cost of medical treatment are either being paid cash or through a private insurance company. In the United States of America, take for example, the private insurance market is booming and employees and individuals who can afford to pay for private insurance do so to finance health care cost when needed.  However, with the utilization of health care markets, it cannot be denied that people will have the ability to demonstrate their own preferences and in return, the health care providers will be motivated to supply the demand of the people. In addition, people will have the opportunity to present new ideas that allows for the innovation of the services and meet the health care needs (Folland, 387).

The problem, though, with this system is that the consumers are underpowered. With the rising upfront cost of health care services, there will be times when people will not be able to afford the services and would rely heavily on private insurances. It is not failure proof. The NHS, on the other hand, that is centrally funded through taxation comes strong when it comes to providing free health care services to all the residents of United Kingdom. It is a known fact that the main barrier of the provision of proper and quality health care to the people is the cost. Not everyone can afford to pay for prescription drugs, for check-ups and other health care services. But this should not hinder the State to provide it for people who really needs it. This is a situation when it can be said that the provision of health care should be left for the State since it is the government’s obligation to take care of its people.

Taking into consideration both the advantages and pitfalls of markets and central planning by the State, it cannot be denied that the provision of health care should be left with the government. It will give more advantages to the general public than the market. Although markets will bring efficiency and more choices and autonomy to the system, there is no clear indication that markets will provide a fair outcome. Ideally, when the State provide for health care system, there is no doubt that it will be regulated and when it gets to the crunch, the State will guarantee universal health care for its residents (Baldwin, 88). Though it is a known fact that State provision of health care can sometimes be inefficient, controlling and inflexible, at the end of the day, everyone gets access to the system.

On the other hand, the downside of the markets is its own process such as duplication and costs associated with transactions and regulations. But then again, the costs associated with it will never be higher than the bureaucracy associated with central planning. This can be opposed by the fact that the State can always improve its policies and how it is managing health care. There are always opportunities for enhancing the delivery of health care, its efficiency, customer service, innovation, free inquiry and the responsiveness to the needs of the patients (Kay, 105). There is a gray and fine line that separates markets and NHS. The truth of the matter is that it is just based on individual’s preferences, point of view, and ability to afford health care. The thing that matters most is that everyone should be given equal access and quality health care based on what their health requires. All in all, the NHS system of the United Kingdom is considered one of the best health care systems in place as compared to Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United States of America.

Work Cited

Baldwin, R. Understanding regulation: Theory, strategy, and practice. Oxfor: Oxford University Press, 1999.

Boyle, Smaje. Acute health services in London: An analysis. London: The King’s Fund, 1992.

Folland, H. The economics of health and health care. New Jersey: Pearson, 2007.

Kay, J. The Truth about markets. London: Penguin, 2004.

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