Health care system in USA utilizes a large chunk of GDP on health care services. The high cost of health care in USA can be attributed to a number of reasons, the most important and noteworthy being the government’s lack of managements of the funds that are allocated for the health care. Healthcare system is a complex system that involves a well-knit unit of doctor, pharmaceutical personnel, hospital management team and so on. (Sultz & Young, 2011)
It is like a vicious cycle of the high cost of medical education in USA and a thus higher fee of the doctors that leads to an increase in the cost. Spending more on the marketing of the drugs does more good to the pharmaceutical industries in terms of the monetary benefits rather than the patients and sophisticated administrative units add to it. Another important cause is the insurance policies that aim at creating huge profits for the insurance companies and which eventually makes health care expensive. Furthermore, a lot of money is being spent on the diagnosis of the disease using expensive machinery whose justification is questionable because it might add up the cost without having much effect on the outcome of the disease itself. Despite the high cost of health care in USA, it has a few advantages in terms of quality health care by well-trained physicians who prescribe quality medicines. However, the disadvantages out rule the advantages because a more or less similar or superior health care is being provided by other developed countries which points at the flawed system of health care in USA. Betterment can only be brought about if the loop holes are identified and efforts are made to make corrections at all levels without compromising the quality of medical help that is provided to the people. To begin with a shift from private sector hospitals to public sector hospitals that has a specified budget can bring about a big change. When the concept of health care is changed from providing facilities and gaining huge monetary benefits for the services is switched to just providing medical services at affordable cost, a lot of improvement can be brought about. A further step in this can be made by excluding health care insurance and allowing the people to make wise and semi-independent decisions along with the physician regarding their medical condition and paying off from their pocket rather than through the insurance companies. Doctors need to have a good justification for the particular investigation being done and the choice of drugs after considering the affordability of that person and considering the outcome of the treatment that is being given. There can be a significant reduction in cost if the pharmaceutical companies reduce the cost of the drugs by reducing the expenses on marketing and by reducing their own profits. The hospitals can invest less on management faculty without compromising on the quality but cutting off the budgets when it supersedes necessity and aims at sophistication. (Sultz & Young, 2011)
Long-term care includes the care provided to the dependent population which includes senior citizens and very young people of the community who might be terminally ill or disabled, but it is mainly used for the former. According to 2012 survey, there were 58500 long term care providers in USA. This concept has increased over the years due to the increased life expectancy which is a result of better health care. These elderly people are unable to care for themselves and, therefore, many long-term care providers such as nursing homes, day care centers, and home care providers play an important role in this regard. There are, however, concerns regarding the source for generating enough funds to pay for the services that are provided. In some cases such as home care, the individuals pay for the services on their own and are not dependently on other sources but nursing homes and day care centers are primarily funded by the government through Medicaid. Thus, the government plays a major role in the health care of old and disabled population. There is also the role of adult children to help their diseased and disabled parents when they can’t meet their health expenses. It is the responsibility of adult children who are financially sound to pay off for their old parent’s medical services. Since the USA government funding is very well taking care of the old citizens and providing them with good medical facilities, their children back off from this responsibility.
It is an ethical issue as well to help the diseased parent financially and emotionally to fight the disease, and adult children should be encouraged to play their role as well. Since there is a major shift in the age pyramid with the older population increasing, and this increase is expected to increase in the coming years, therefore, a comprehensive plan should be considered to provide good long-term care. Several proposals have been given which aim at redefining long term care as not only providing medical aid to the old and disabled people but by aiming at improving their quality of life in general. This includes not only building nursing homes but improving their quality and the services that are provided by them and trained and cooperative nursing staff that can help the old people emotionally as well.
Sultz, H., & Young, K. (2011). Health care USA: Understanding its organization and delivery (7th ed.). Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett.