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Comparison of Health System Characteristics Around the World

Comparison of Health System Characteristics Around the World

How does the U.S. healthcare delivery system compare with other countries’ healthcare delivery systems? What is the relationship of a country’s economic resources to health outcomes? How does the funding of services influence access to care? How does government involvement in healthcare delivery inform the patient/consumer experience?

There are no simple answers to the questions above. Yet, it is essential to engage in thoughtful, ongoing inquiry into questions such as these in order to gain a well-rounded perspective on healthcare delivery. In this Assignment, you will analyze and compare data to deepen your understanding of the U.S. healthcare delivery system, as well as other healthcare delivery systems around the world. Your examination of data can provide valuable insights, but it is also important to consider the context surrounding healthcare expenditures and outcomes. In this Discussion, you will examine health system characteristics, such as government involvement and funding of healthcare delivery in the United States and other nations.

For the Discussion and this week’s Assignment, select one country to compare with the United States in terms of healthcare (i.e., compare the same country in both the Discussion and Assignment).

To prepare for this Discussion:

  • Review the information related to health system characteristics in the Shi and Singh (2015) course text, as indicated in the Resources.
  • Research the characteristics of the U.S. healthcare delivery system and the systems of your selected countries using the Walden library and credible websites, such as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) site.
  • Consider the following questions as you research your selected country:
    • How is the health system organized? Is there a central governing agency?
    • How does an individual gain access to needed services, including specialized care?
    • How are healthcare services paid for? For example, does the country have a national health system with tax-funded coverage, a health insurance system with a single payer, a health insurance system with multiple insurers, or something else?
    • What benefits do people in this country experience because of the health system’s characteristics? For instance, are people guaranteed access to healthcare services? Do patients receive well-coordinated care because their health information is readily available to providers through an integrated technology system? Do they have a great deal of choice when selecting physicians?
    • What challenges do people in this country encounter? For instance, is there typically a long wait to see a specialist? Do patients encounter adverse effects because medical supplies are not readily available? Are healthcare services prohibitively expensive for most people?

Week 5 Discussion Instructions – 300 -500 words

  • Describe two or more defining characteristics of the U.S. healthcare system.
  • Explain how these characteristics compare to the characteristics of the healthcare system of your selected country. (Be sure to identify the country in your posting.)
  • Explain potential benefits and challenges for people in the United States and your selected country based on the health system characteristics you have identified.

Reminder: Be sure to cite your supporting documentation appropriately in correct APA format.

WEEK 5 Assignment Instructions –

Week 5 Assignment

International Comparison of Data

The World Health Organization’s “Statistical Information System” is an interactive database that allows you to compare health indicators for multiple countries. For this Assignment, you will compare the country you selected for the Discussion with the United States in terms of healthcare (i.e., please compare the same country in both the Discussion and Assignment.)

To prepare for this Assignment:

  • Consider the value of using standardized quantitative health measures or indicators to compare information internationally.
  • Examine the definitions of indicators presented in the Resources, including pages 55–62 of the Shi and Singh (2015) course text.
  • Use the WHO website to examine country statistics and profiles.
  • Create a table to record data related to three health indicators for the two countries you are comparing, as illustrated in the example Indicators Chart on this page.
  • Once your table is complete, compare the data and analyze it in light of the information presented in this week’s Resources and the research you conducted for the Discussion. What insights does this comparison give you about health and disease within the U.S. healthcare delivery system and the system of the other country you selected?

The Assignment

Write a 1- to 2-page paper in which you:

  • Identify the country that you are comparing with the United States. 
  • Define the three health indicators you have selected for your analysis and explain why you chose them.
  • Include the table you created to record and compare your data.
  • Summarize the results of your comparison, sharing at least two insights that you gained through this analysis of health and disease in the United States and your selected country.

Due by Day 7 of Week 5.

Your Assignment must be written in standard edited English. Be sure to support your work with specific citations from this week’s Learning Resources and additional scholarly sources as appropriate. Refer to the Essential Guide to APA Style for Walden Students to ensure that your in-text citations and reference list are correct. See the rubric for additional requirements related to research and scholarly writing.

Indicators Chart

Indicators (2012)United StatesSomalia
Life expectancy at birth m/f (years)76/8151/55
Total expenditure on health per capita (Intl $)8,89517
Under-5 mortality rate (per 1,000 live births) (both sexes)7147

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