Healthcare institutions in United States and France have been encountering challenges of unprecedented scope. The increase in the number of elderly in the two countries has not only threatened to increase the cost of managing the healthcare sector, but has also led to the inflation rate. In reference to the current trend in the two countries healthcare systems, researchers and other healthcare professionals have raised their fear that the ever-increasing technologies and expensive medical treatment are likely to wreck havoc on public spending priorities. The increase in healthcare spending in United States of America is also likely to interfere with the effectiveness of the existing Medicaid and Medicare schemes. On the other hand, in France, the existing insufficient healthcare resources have resulted to intensive demonstrations and strikes by doctors and other critical healthcare professionals. Comparing the healthcare in France and United States is essential in identifying strategic approaches that may be utilized in improving their efficiency.
The current French healthcare system has undergone systematic transformation and changes since 1945. Although the basis of the healthcare system in France has remained uninterrupted, the country healthcare system has witnessed significant technological transformation since its formation. French healthcare system is a global universal healthcare that is largely supported and funded by the government National Health Insurance. In reference to the World Health Organisation, the French healthcare is a well-managed healthcare system in the world. In 2005, the French government used over 11.2% of its total GDP in funding its healthcare system. This figure was higher than the total amount spent by the entire European countries in funding the healthcare systems in the same financial year.
The country’s healthcare system has relied on private practice healthcare professionals since the beginning of the 21st century. Private healthcare professionals have helped the country healthcare system to encounter significant transformation and development. Until 2000, the health insurance has covered individuals who were under social security only. However, with the introduction of modern transformation and development in the sector, over 50% of the French population are currently under National Health Insurance Scheme.
Although the road to the current French universal healthcare has witnessed endless challenges and complications, the system is current one of the most effective plan in modern society. The system has been witnessing the inclusion of numerous technological changes and structural development. This strategy has mainly targeted improving efficiency in service delivery. Politicians have also played a vital role in facilitating the success of the French Universal Healthcare System. Despite being the central decision makers, French politicians have also been critical in enhancing sustainable funding of the system (Torsoli, 2013). However, some politicians have also led to slow development of the French universal healthcare system.
On the other hand, despite witnessing numerous manageable challenges, United States healthcare system has witnessed continuous and radical transformation since its establishment over a century ago. Just like the French healthcare system, United States healthcare institutions have witnessed radical transformation in the last twenty years. United States of America government has embarked on a system of using private sectors to fund management and operation of the healthcare due to over-utilization of the public resources. A study conducted by the National Institute of Health in 2013 demonstrates America’s development and transformation achievement. For example, out of the 17 high-income countries examined, United States healthcare institutions had the lowest mortality rate. Other healthcare challenges that have witnessed a significant drop in the last few decades include sexually transmitted infections, homicides, disability rate, injuries pregnancies related healthcare complications and lung and heart challenges (Rodwin, 2003).
Although the American government has over years for adoption of effective insurance policies in healthcare, the number of Americans who remain uninsured high at about 16%. Studies have further confirmed that over 60% of the resources that are used to support the development and transformation of American healthcare facilities are generated from programs such as Medicare, TRICARE, the Children's Health Insurance, and Medicaid (Whitehouse.gov, 2013). The United States life expectancy has also raised form 75 years in 1990 to 78 in 2010. Owing to the improvement of health care services in America, the life expectancy is likely to rise in the subsequent years. The United States healthcare system has often witnessed significant level of control from politicians and political institutions. In United States of America, politicians are responsible for the formulation and rectification of healthcare policies and schemes. Furthermore, America politicians are responsible for determining some of the resources that are used by healthcare institutions.
Funding the HealthCare System for France and the United States
The French healthcare system is one of the global healthcare institutions that are largely funded by the government National Health Insurance. The system is also rated as one of the best global healthcare institutions that offer quality healthcare services. In 2005, the French government spent over 12% of its total revenue to support its healthcare system. Although most of their income is generated by public insurance fund, French healthcare systems rely on physicians who are on private practice (Rodwin, 2003). Even through the system is effectively and sufficiently managed, the fund used in French healthcare systems have never gained self-management responsibility. With an aim of promoting and supporting the growth and development of its healthcare system, the French government has the responsibility of managing and controlling the operational and financial management of health insurance schemes.
Moreover, the French national healthcare service fund over 70% of the country’s healthcare costs. Studies have further confirmed that compared to other developed countries, only less that 4% of the hospital treatment cost is achieved from the private sector. The French government is urging private investors to invest in the countries healthcare systems to contain the rising healthcare cost. The inclusion of private investors is likely to reduce the cost incurred by the government in running and in managing healthcare institutions (Rodwin, 2003). The investment of private investors in French healthcare facilities is also likely to increase the resources essential in facilitating the healthcare general development. Owing to the increase in French population, the healthcare expenditure is on a rising trend. Many people are seeking for healthcare services provided by the state public healthcare institutions thus straining the country’s budget. To counter the problem, the country has embarked on initiatives that aim at researching for additional resources to cater for the country’s healthcare expenditure.
In contrast, the United States healthcare system is largely funded by private entities. Private healthcare investors manage and own a good number of America healthcare facilities. The inclusion of private healthcare investors in America healthcare institutions has largely reduced the resources that are required in control and management of the country’s healthcare sector. Based on the available statistical information over 18% of the Americans healthcare institutions are profit making entities, 20% are government owned hospitals while 62% are non-profit making organisations. Furthermore, studies have further confirmed that over 60% of the healthcare spending and provisions are generated from programs such as Medicaid, Medicare, Children Health Insurance and TRICARE.
A good number of people who reside in United States are insured either through the available healthcare insurance or through other private entities. Although a god number of the resources that are used in the management of American healthcare institutions come from private sectors, the American government also spend over 17% of its GDP in funding activities in healthcare institutions. The country has adopted intensive strategic measures of involving society members in managing their resources to contain the rising cost of healthcare in America. The inclusion of private sector in the country healthcare institutions has proved effective in reducing cost incurred in running healthcare institutions. The healthcare expenditure is also largely reduced by the inclusion of numerous healthcare insurance schemes in the country’s healthcare systems.
Health Status and Patient Satisfaction
Both the French and United States healthcare systems offer quality and reliable healthcare services to its customers. Even though at a relatively higher costs, United States and France healthcare systems present as the best performing system in the global market. However, the French healthcare system is more effective than United States system. This owes to the fact that French government over more support in its healthcare system more that United States that relies on private support. In addition, the French healthcare’s system promotes the important of employing experienced local healthcare professionals. However, United States gets most of its healthcare professionals from other countries. External healthcare experts are criticised by healthcare experts for lacking the required historical background on American healthcare challenges.
In term of demographic structure, United States healthcare institutions serve huge number of patients that French health care system. Statistic shows that the America population is higher than the France population (NPR.org, 2013). The increase in the American population is attributable to a high number of immigrants from developing and less developed countries and the huge American geographical size. United States also has high life expectancy compared to French. This therefore means that, the number of elderly who are served in America healthcare systems is higher that the number of elderly who are serviced by French health care system. In most instances, the French Health Care system serves young healthcare professionals while the American healthcare system is more interested in offering free healthcare services to children and elderly. Studies have further confirmed that, the number of elderly in United States is almost twice the number of elderly who reside in France. The high life expectancy in United States is largely attributed to quality living condition in the country. Although at a lower level, French life expectancy is also high. Good eating habit, quality healthcare services, reduced poverty level and the nature of education in France are some of the factors that result to a high life expectancy in the country.
Achievements and Obstacles
The French and United States healthcare systems have attained significant achievement since their established. Apart from reducing the number of communicable diseases in the two countries, the systems have also come up with effective and sustainable policies of eliminating disease load. The quality of healthcare services in United States has also resulted to the increase in life expectancy in the country. Severe healthcare challenges such as sexual infections have also decreased at recommendable rate in United States of America. The French health care system has always been in the front line in dealing with serious healthcare complications such as malaria and HIV/AIDS. This has in result led to improved living standards and increased life expectancy of the citizens of these countries. Although these healthcare challenges are still problematic in the country, a reliable measure is in place to address holistically the challenge. United States healthcare system has also be championing for the reduction of malaria infection in the world. The America healthcare system has instituted numerous measures that aim at dealing with malaria infections at both the local level and international level. Other French and United States health care system achievements include reduction mortality rate, reduction of morbidity rate, improving global quality of life, and adopting effective measures of combating chronic diseases.
Despite achieving numerous achievements, the two healthcare systems have encountered numerous challenges and shortfalls (HHS, 2013). Lack of adequate resources is one of the major challenge that have significant affected the operations and activities of the two healthcare systems. The French and United States health care system have been encountering a serious challenge of lack of enough resources to finance their activities and operations. However, the American and French governments have so far instituted sustainable policies that aim at holistically dealing with financial problem. Increase in the number of patients has also been a major challenge in the management of the healthcare systems under study. Shortage of resources and poor adoption of the set policies has challenged the effort of both French and United States of improving their healthcare systems. United States and France have a huge population that relies on their services. The high number of old people who uses the services offered by America and French healthcare systems have therefore largely affected the operations and activities of the two reputable healthcare systems. Other challenges that affects effective operation and running of America and French health care system include political influence, socio-cultural integration, ineffective management of resources, increase in chronic diseases, and conflicting healthcare policies.
Based on the available statistical information, it is factual to state that United States and French healthcare systems are some of the most effectively managed institutions in the world. Despite encountering endless challenges and complications, the two healthcare systems have adopted critical measures that aim at holistically addressing the identified challenges. Although the two systems have almost similar strengths and weakness, some factors are unique in specific settings. United States healthcare systems encounter a challenge of an increased number of patients, while French major challenge is financial problem. French healthcare system needs to borrow from United States idea of allowing private investors to invest in its health sector to deal with financial challenges. Inclusion of private investors will reduce the cost that the French government incurs in financing its healthcare system. On the other hand, adopting the French policy of building numerous healthcare institutions will be vital in reducing the challenge of dealing with a huge population in United States.
HHS. (2013). About the Law. HHS.gov/healthcare. Retrieved on October 9th 2013, from: http://www.hhs.gov/healthcare/rights/index.html
NPR.org. (2013). “Health Care for All” NPR ORG. Retrieved on October 9th 2013, from: http://www.npr.org/series/91972152/health-care-for-all
Rodwin, V. (2003). The Health Care System Under French National Health Insurance: Lessons for Health Reform in the United States. American Journal of Public Health, 93 (1), p. 31. Retrieved on October 9th 2013. From http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1447687/
Torsoli, A. (2013). “France's Health-Care System Is Going Broke”. Retrieved on October 9 2013, from: http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-01-03/frances-health-care-system is-going-broke
Whitehouse.gov. (2013). Get the Facts Straight on Health Reform. The White House. Retrieved on October 9th 2013, from: http://www.whitehouse.gov/healthreform/myths-and-facts