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"Health Economic Analysis "

  • For a long time, the provision of healthcare services has been the subject of heated debates. Healthcare is among the most disputable problems in the current times. Reviewing different approaches to this issue, the given paper assesses the ways of cost control making healthcare services accessible and analyzed an economic framework. Many scholars state that nurses can contribute to addressing the issue through research and practice. Besides, analyzing data before making decisions based on the WHO framework of healthcare efficiency is proposed. The paper concludes that the best framework for the delivery of healthcare services is the one that takes into consideration cost-effectiveness and equitableness.

     

    The provision of healthcare is critical in societies, where it can be extended through public or private entities. In practice, governments provide public healthcare using national systems or facilities. On the other hand, the private sector provides the same services through profit-oriented set-ups, self-employed practitioners, and non-profit guided agencies such as non-governmental healthcare organizations. It is argued that striking a balance between the two sectors is the best approach to providing healthcare. Therefore, the importance of the issue under analysis is based on emerging concerns about the role of private and public sectors in the extension of healthcare services. Proponents of the private sector believe that the system is more efficient than the public one. However, supporters of the latter emphasize the need for universal and equitable access to healthcare services as critical aspects. Thus, analyzing this issue will be informative to the scholarship and the community at large.

    Impacts of the Economic Framework on Healthcare Costs and Quality

    Predominantly, healthcare systems across the world are characterized by the operation of both public and private organizations in the delivery of healthcare services. However, McCormack and McCance (2010) contend that there are debates whether low-income and middle-income states should strengthen the public sector or the private one. During the 2007/08 global economic meltdown, governments came under pressure as their budgets were stretched to the limit. Given that they are the most significant funders of public healthcare, shrinking sources of revenue has influenced the availability of services to the citizenry. The recommendations of the IMF following the credit crunch of 2008 that states should expand the scope of the private sector in providing healthcare as one of the conditions for acquiring loans underscores the gravity of the debates about the efficiency of the two systems of healthcare (Spreng, 2011). Despite the often-touted efficiency argument, critics of the private sector expansion cite high poverty levels as a reason why the change is unwelcome. The naysayers hold that the poor cannot benefit from a private-oriented system because it discourages universal and equitable healthcare access.

    A public-private partnership arrangement is proposed as the most convenient approach to resolving the problem. The justification of the model is related to findings, which depict inconsistencies in the two sectors of healthcare (Babar & Izham, 2010). As already indicated, the private sector is thought to be more efficient owing to its profit pursuit. However, the sector has not always delivered services of the respective quality. For instance, a recent study has shown that private caregivers are not necessarily efficient. Based on the study by Schoen, Osborn, Squires, and Doty (2013), 37% of the adult population in the USA did not access appropriate healthcare in 2013 because of high costs. Further, 40% of the population spent approximately $ 1 000 of their personal savings on medical care, regardless of their insurance status. Therefore, even the insured struggled to access healthcare services in the USA. Moreover, 23% of the country’s population encountered problems in defraying their medical bills. In the same way, 32% of the people had problems with insurance paperwork or associated disputes. Schoen et al. (2013) also indicated that 75% of the population would welcome changes into the healthcare system. Such statistics spur a controversy given that the U.S. spent approximately $ 8 000 on each citizen’s health care. Relying on such studies as the one by Schoen et al. (2013), it is helpful to analyze the impact of private-public partnership on the system of healthcare.

    Based on the study by Schoen et al. (2013), the private sector cannot be assumed effective. The public sector is the only alternative to consider. However, it is often accused of inefficiency. Despite the setback, the public sector is useful when considering universalizing healthcare to enhance equity. In this regard, the sector is critical in addressing issues related to poverty in accessing healthcare.

    According to Sekhri, Feachem, and Ni (2011), choosing between the public and private sectors is a selection between profits and equity. Thus, to avoid a scenario where only the rich access healthcare services, a balancing act is required. In such an arrangement, the private sector should be allowed to carry on business, while at the same time, the public sector should be reformed to meet emerging trends and challenges. The latter should focus on efficiency in its operations in order to meet requirements of people with different incomes.

    Methods Used in Decision-Making and Cost Analysis

    Conducting a study to ascertain the contributions of the two sectors is necessary before a decision is made. Data are received from existing databases to identify and assess information and studies as compared to the six criteria of healthcare provision outlined by the World Health Organization (WHO). The main points of focus include accountability, transparency, regulation, quality, outcomes, accessibility and responsiveness, fairness and equity, as well as efficiency (Sekhri, Feachem, & Ni, 2011). In effect, the WHO framework of healthcare efficiency is used to assess the effectiveness of the two healthcare systems in order to arrive at an informed decision.

    Nurses Contribution

    Nursing focuses on the delivery of healthcare services to the community (McCormack & McCance, 2010). In order to contribute, nurses have many tasks and duties to perform. For instance, they work with patients, hospital leaders, and other stakeholders in the field. Thus, nurses can contribute by influencing the said-parties in regard with developing an appropriate healthcare program. They can do this by engaging in research, practice and lobbying activities. Through research, nurses can conduct studies or take part in health-targeted frameworks carried out by other professionals. In other words, conducting researches, nurses can convey their findings or observations while working with patients to inform of the quality of healthcare delivery.

    Evidently, healthcare is a sensitive societal issue. The question whether the private or public sector should deliver services is not the main aspect. On the contrary, the objective should be to have a system that delivers healthcare services more cost-effectively while satisfying the requirement of equitableness. Based on the argument above, it is concluded that a public-private sector partnership is more beneficial in delivering healthcare services.

     

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