Comparing Health Statistics between the United States and the United Kingdom
The health comparison between the US and the UK was developed based on a review of health statistics measuring health correlates, national health conditions, care, and costs related to health. Statistics on other indicators of health, such as life expectancy with a focus on life expectancy at birth and the expectancy to reach and live past 60 years: obesity, physicians per 1000 people, infant mortality rate, diseases, and disease rates, health financing, nature of the healthcare system and health providers, and fertility rates among others.
Both the US and UK healthcare systems have commendable health outcomes. However, stark differences are observable between the United States health care system and the United Kingdom health system in terms of health expenditure and budgetary allocations, health financing, costs, health outcomes, health accessibility, and affordability, health care systems’ responses to health issues, and endemic disease rates.
Endemic and Epidemic Diseases
Hepatitis A, Hepatitis E, influenza flu, and whooping cough were endemic in the US. Heart disease, stroke, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, and digestive diseases were common in the US and the UK. The same diseases were also identified as top killers in both countries, with heart disease and stroke leading the list. Obesity is becoming an epidemic in the US as a significant population is already obese or at risk of obesity compared to the UK. Empirical studies have established obesity as a risk factor for chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, musculoskeletal health issues, respiratory disease, and a DNA damaging factor (Włodarczyk & Nowicka, 2019). The obesity epidemic in the US is expected to lead to negative health outcomes in the US and an increase in overall health expenditure.
The health statistics have identified a number of inequalities that exist in the US and UK health care systems. They have also highlighted how the structuring of the healthcare systems influences equitable and equal access to healthcare services and health outcomes. Private sectors majorly provide healthcare services in the US. Most of the primary delivery systems in the US are run by for-profit health organizations. This structuring means that access to care services is based on the ability of individuals to afford the care services. This has made access to health care in the US more of a privilege than a human right. The health statistics indicate that income levels correlate with the population’s health outcomes. The review of health statistics further shows that the US has a huge variation in access to health and health outcomes across social classes, ethnicity, and race compared to the UK. Americans of non-white Hispanic and Black ethnicity have limited access to quality care services than their white counterparts, leading to poor health care outcomes. Such racial and ethnic differences as the basis of healthcare access are low in the UK.
Moreover, many US citizens pay into health plans and health care services mostly out of their own pockets. Financing for health services depends on private and public health insurance programs. However, some of these programs are limited in coverage for certain diseases, meaning the people have to co-pay to access health care. Restrictive disease coverage in insurance policies has contributed to catastrophic health expenditures in the United States (Zuniga et al., 2020). Low-income populations and those ethnically from Black communities find it difficult to subscribe to the private provider-dominated health insurance marketplace. For that reason, a large number of people are cut out of health insurance plans based on social class and racial profiling. Therefore, higher inequalities are experienced in the US healthcare sector in terms of race, social class, and type of disease coverage by insurance than in the UK.
Resources for Low-income and Governmental Assistance Programs for Health
Various resources and programs are available in the US and the UK, both in the private and public sectors, to support health for low-income populations. The US is dominated by private health insurance companies. However, there are government-sponsored health insurance programs such as Medicare and Medicaid. Medicare and Medicaid programs are combined with private health insurance and out-of-pocket payments to support the provision and access to health care services for low-income populations. However, the credibility of the government-backed Medicare and Medicaid health programs is based on income, meaning that a majority of the deserving population is more likely to be cut out of the insurance bracket, forcing them to depend on expensive private health insurance.
On the other hand, the UK has a system that enables all permanent residents to access the public health systems for free. This system is supported by public taxes, which eliminates the discrimination of access based on income level, as in the case of the US. In addition, the UK also has a mandatory social insurance program that pools funds to support the national health care system.
Health Expenditure, GDP Allocation, and Health Outcomes
According to Onofrei et al. (2021), the availability of public financial resources is essential for the efficient performance of healthcare systems. The US and the UK are among the top countries with the highest GDP allocations to healthcare. Based on the health statistics reviewed, health expenditure and costs in the United States are more than in the United Kingdom. The US, in 2020, allocated 18 percent of its GDP to health care. Conversely, the UK assigned only 10.4 percent of its GDP to healthcare in the same period. This shows that the US spends 7% more than what the United Kingdom spends on health annually. In addition, overall health expenditure and costs per capita in the US are way higher compared to the UK. Despite the huge health expenditure in the US, the UK has better health outcomes. Although arguable that high health expenditure is directly related to positive health outcomes (Dutton et al., 2018), the case for the US compared to the UK health expenditure and health outcomes means there are underlying factors and issues that influence health outcomes irrespective of expenditure.
Case Events of Healthcare Leaders in Population Health Improvement
Case examples of healthcare leaders involved in improving public healthcare include Paul B. Rothman, MD, who has been the Dean of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and the CEO of Johns Hopkins Medicine. Dr. Rothman has led research focused on immune system molecules and their role in the development of blood cells. His research has been applied in the management and development of evidence-based treatments for diseases like leukemia. Another case is that of Professor Mary Wells, a nurse leader who is involved in research and clinical academic careers in nursing and midwifery to improve nursing practice in general and in midwifery.
Dutton, D. J., Forest, P. G., Kneebone, R. D., & Zwicker, J. D. (2018). Effect of provincial spending on social services and health care on health outcomes in Canada: an observational longitudinal study. Cmaj, 190(3), E66-E71.
Onofrei, M., Vatamanu, A. F., Vintilă, G., & Cigu, E. (2021). Government Health Expenditure and Public Health Outcomes: A Comparative Study among EU Developing Countries. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18(20), 10725.
Włodarczyk, M., & Nowicka, G. (2019). Obesity, DNA damage, and development of obesity-related diseases. International journal of molecular sciences, 20(5), 1146.
Zuniga, C., Thompson, T. A., & Blanchard, K. (2020). Abortion is a catastrophic health expenditure in the United States. Women’s Health Issues, 30(6), 416-425.
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Before beginning work on this assignment, please review the expanded grading rubric for specific instructions relating to content and formatting. As we have learned and discussed this week, managers and leaders must use epidemiological tools to analyze data and make informed, safe decisions. Also, managers must actively work toward improving population health. For your first project, please research and thoroughly discuss the following:
Compare the population health of the United States to any other country by answering the following questions:
What do statistics/data tell us about health outcomes in general of each country? What specific diseases are endemic and have been epidemic?
What inequalities are evident from your research?
What resources are available to those with low incomes?
What type of governmental assistance is available and to whom?
How much of the countries’ GDPs are allocated to health care services?
What are some documented cases/events showing healthcare leaders playing key roles in population health improvement?
To support your work, use your course and textbook readings and credible Internet sources, and also use the South University Online Library. As in all assignments, cite your sources in your work and provide references for the citations in APA format.
Your assignment should be addressed in a 3–5-page document.
Submit your documents to the Submissions Area by the due date assigned.
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