Health care in the United States and health care in the United Kingdom are two very different systems, and each program has its own share of critics and fans. For more information on healthcare visit www.surgeonabroad.com. The U.K. boasts a health plan that offers free care at the point of services offered to all of its more than 49 million residents. General Practitioners see and treat those who are ill at walk-in clinics. The doctor to patient ratio is 23 to 10,000. These physicians then recommend inpatient admission to a hospital for any patient who needs more intensive treatment. The hospitals are semiautonomous, self-governing public trusts with an average of 128 beds available for every 10,000 residents. A 24-hour telephone helpline is also accessible to those who may need medical information or assistance in their homes. Ambulances are free for those who have had an accident or emergency situation.
In the U.S., those who are ill may schedule an appointment with their family doctor or visit the emergency room of a hospital. There are more doctors in this country — 26 for every 10,000 residents, but office visits tend to be expensive, especially for those with no health insurance. Private walk-in health clinics exist in some areas to relieve the long wait, expense and congestion of emergency rooms. U.S. hospitals have 31 beds per 10,000 people, compared to 39 beds for the same 10,000 residents in the U.K. They may be publicly or privately owned. For those same 10,000 people, there are 94 nurses in the U.S. and 128 nurses and midwives in the U.K.
The biggest difference in the health care systems of these two countries lies in how each program is funded. In the U.K., a more socialized plan pays for its health care through a combination of public taxation and national insurance contributions. Only about 11 percent of the British purchase their own private health insurance. Certain services, such as prescriptions, glasses and dental care are free only to seniors, children and the unemployed. Make sure your dental covers Cosmetic Dentistry in San Antonio. However, only about 15 percent actually pay for their medications.
In the U.S., more than $2 trillion is spent each year in health care expenditures. However, 15 percent, or 45.7 million residents, have no insurance coverage of any kind and can be refused service by private care givers and hospitals. Medicaid is a government plan for basic care of very low-income residents and those with special needs. Medicare is insurance offered to those over age 65 and some patients with specific needs such as kidney dialysis. More than 50 percent of the health insurance in this country is provided by private, for-profit organizations. The remainder is offered through employers and the government.
Although the U.S. spends $7,290 per capita, or 16 percent of its GDP, on health care compared to the much lower $2,999, or 8.4 percent of the GDP of the U.K., the infant mortality rate in the U.S. is higher by almost two points, and residents are expected to live one year less. Yes, healthcare in these two countries is definitely different — in costs, in coverage and in services delivered. An alternative healthcare being used is locum tenens jobs.
Megan Murray is a health, fitness and financial blogger. She is also a contributing writer for www.policyexpert.co.uk/home-insurance/.