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400967 Health Care Systems in Australia and India Assessment 3 Answer

400967 Health Economics and Comparative Health Systems Spring 2019

Report

Weight:
50%
Type of Collaboration:
Individual
Format:
Assessment 3: Individual Critical Analysis Report (50%)
Length:
3,000 words
Curriculum Mode:
Report

Rationale

The purpose of this assessment is to enable each student to apply the knowledge that has been developed dur- ing the semester in the economic consideration of an important health service topic area. It enables students to understand the various health care and to explore in more detail an area of economic interest.

Task

  1. With reference to structure, financing and governance, compare and contrast two health care systems.
  2. Outline the advantages and disadvantages of each system.
  3. Comment on the proportion of the health budget allocated to public health within each system.

You will write a report to be structured in the following way:

  • Cover Page
  • Table of Contents
  • Executive Summary (300) words maximum): This section provides a short summary of the main points being presented in the report. This section does not add to the total word count of the assignment.
  • Introduction (approximately 500 words): This section (one paragraph) provides a context for the report by

introducing the topic and purpose of the report

Main body (approximately 2000 word) - compare and contrast health care structure, financing and governance of the two countries, discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each system and the proportion of the health budget allocated to public health within each system.

Conclusions/ Recommendations (approximately 500 words): Based on your main body, if you were a consultant working for this healthcare system, what general recommendations would you make? You must address the ageing population, increased chronic disease, increasing costs of technology and the demand on the entire healthcare system.

Please reference your work, using complete references placed at the end of the assignment, and an appropriate and consistent referencing style. List of references used in the report, must be at least 20 academic references.

Resources:

  1. Lecture and tutorial content.
  2. Recommended readings.
  3. Class instruction about how to do the assignment.
  4. Assignment template and associated advice supplied for this unit on vUWS.
  5. University Library:

Answer

Assessment 3: Individual Critical Analysis Report


Executive Summary

There has been prevalence in a splurge of health issues in this age of the modern world. While it is only natural that the Government cannot produce the required quantity of high-quality health solutions for every physical problem. A mix of factors including finances, population, recurrence of chronic diseases, the ageing population has been found to be influencing the level of health care facilities received by the people of the country. The study aims at investigating the health care systems of the countries including Australia and India to provide evidence regarding contrasting governance, management and finances of the type and frequency of health care services received by the general masses in the countries. The need for the inclusion of such diverse countries is to analyse the facts of the healthcare industry. The report would help in identifying the system of governance adopted by the countries. 

The healthcare industry of Australia and India is highly diverse due to their economic and social structure. Australia is a highly developed country. India is, however, lagging and is considered one of the third world countries of the world where health issues and poverty are prevalent. The healthcare services in Australia are sponsored by the Government and State-sponsored General hospitals having a wide network of hospitals all over the country. On the other hand, the schemes and insurance offer as provided by the Government of India also benefits a majority of the people. The report helps in recommending the Australian Government to adapt to the changing needs and alleviate any shortcomings in response to the changing demographics and stress as evident in the people of the country. On the other hand, the Indian Government is required to put special attention to the old age population and offer them the required services such as chronic diseases services and home-based care for its people.

Introduction

It is very important for the health of the common people to be considered of being a critical part of the Government policies. The 21st Century has been marked by a splurge of health issues which must be fixed. While it is only natural that the Government cannot produce the required quantity of high-quality health solutions for every physical problem (Sheingold & Hahn, 2014). They can at least provide the minimum primary forms of healthcare systems at a much cheaper rate. The onus for the welfare and safety of the population is on them, and they can control the areas of healthcare on which they can focus on and improve upon for a better tomorrow. With that being said, it must also be noted that all countries cannot and do not provide the same structure of health care solutions to their populations. It is largely based on several factors such as finances, population, recurrence of chronic diseases, ageing population and many more such factors. A mix of these factors influences the level of health care facilities received by the people of the country. The most important factor which influences the state of the healthcare systems of different countries is the finances required to cover the whole population of the country and bring them into the ambit of the systems and offer them the most basic facilities to elevate the overall health of the country.

The rising cost of the technology and the introduction of the technology in the healthcare along with the rising cost of the medication make it even harder for the general population to avail the private services of the healthcare industry of the countries. The contrast in the health care systems in several countries is explicit and yet cannot be generalized from the perspective of any single one of them. Thus, the idea for this study is to investigate the health care systems of two countries to provide evidence regarding contrasting governance, finances and management of the type and frequency of health care services received by the general masses. The differences in the systems of the healthcare which has been observed all over the world are largely responsible for the severity of the health issues faced by the population of the country.

The purposive study of this research would consider the health care systems of Australia and India to draw comparisons and understand the differences between the systems. The need for the inclusion of such diverse countries is to present the facts of the healthcare industry in order to understand what drives them or the system of governance adopted by the countries. In order to provide the required level of facilities for the people of the respective countries. The healthcare industry of the countries would be investigated in terms of the economic instances to understand a deeper knowledge of the systems while Australia is a developed country and India a third world nation with more than 1.3 billion population which makes it comparatively harder due to several different crops of factors (Worldometers, 2019). Thus an invasive study would be conducted to present evidence in support of the claims which has been in this research project. The advantages of the respective strategies and systems which have been applied by India and Australia would also be presented along with their disadvantages. 

Health Care Structure

The healthcare industry of Australia and India is highly diverse due to their social and economic structure. While Australia is a highly developed country of the world and India is also lagging behind and is considered one of the third world countries of the world where poverty and health issues are frequently prevalent. The healthcare industry of Australia is divided into health services and other associated facilities (Willis, Reynolds &Keleher, 2016). They have a line of Government-run General Hospitals which is the largest source of revenue for the country which is also half of the overall revenues of the countries health services of the country (IBISWorld, 2019). The country has a growing ageing population, and the private healthcare practitioners are expanding, which has added to the plight of the general population. The market size of the healthcare industry is $152 billion, and there is also a strong indication that the demand for healthcare services is going to rise in the coming years (IBISWorld, 2019). The revenue has also been driven by inflation, which seems to have outpaced the Medicare benefits for each of the services and the scheduled fees in several of the healthcare industries of the country. The projection of the industry is also indicative of the rise in the revenue of the industry to the tune of 3.6% over the coming years (IBISWorld, 2019). The total number of businesses in the industry is 136,479, which employ more than 785,850 people in the country (IBISWorld, 2019). Due to the rise in the ageing population and also the number of chronic diseases in the country along with the rising cost of health insurance in the country would drive the revenue to increase in Australia. The allied health care services would also be boosted due to the rise in the cost of the health insurance cost for the general population of the country.

The Indian healthcare industry is slated to rise to $280 billion by the year 2020 (Ibef, 2019). Although a large part of the population of the country can be regarded as being low income, there is a swift shift in increasing the lifestyle of the population, and more and more attention is being paid to the health services of the country. The income level is rising, health awareness and increased access to insurance have improved the healthcare system of the country. While the health care services are largely dependent on the Government hospitals of the country is improved in the coming years. This is evident from the 17.1% on year on year basis (Ibef, 2019). The primary source of the healthcare services which is offered to the people of the country is through the various schemes and offers which is made by the Government of India like the Ayusman Bharat, the National Health Protection Scheme and others (Ibef, 2019). The country also has a wide array of network centres in almost all the villages of the country, which is numbered at 168,418 in 2019 (Ibef, 2019). The number of Primary Health Centres (PHCs) has also increased in recent years to 33,476 (Ibef, 2019). Huge amounts of finances are allocated to the healthcare schemes such as $61.79 billion has been allocated in 2018 and is expected to grow to $132.84 billion by 2022 (Ibef, 2019). Hence, the structure is often skewed as in spite of such huge investments made by the government of India, the country's health centres can only offer minimal services to the people.

Financing

The financial source of the health care services of both the country is heavily reliant on the Government grants and low-cost services which are offered by the Australian Government and the Government of India respectively. Australia injected billions of dollars in the healthcare industry in 2018 for improving and meeting the minimum health requirements of the people of the country (Australian Healthcare Week 2020, 2019). The Government of Australia has also pledged an excess of $30 billion for the building of public hospitals in the country which could handle the workload which has been specified under the five years National Health Agreement (Australian Healthcare Week 2020, 2019). Every state and territory of the country has also pledged an increasing number of funding for the healthcare industry. 

India is, however, highly dependent on the private sector for the services. More than 74% of the total health spending is accounted for in the private hospitals of the country (Ibef, 2019). In spite of the prevalence of private hospitals as the main source of the health care facilities in the country, the Government of India renews and reaffirms the commitment every year with an increased allocation of the budget for the health care facilities being provided to the remotest location of the country. The 2019-20 fiscal year saw an allocation of more than $4.40 billion of the Union Budget for the National Health Mission. Along with that, the structuring of the services being provided to the people of the country is also being supervised and restructured in the process. The Ayushman Bharat has also targeted more than 500 million people as the beneficiaries of the services through the allocation of $887.04 million and offers free treatment to the people (Ibef, 2019). The scheme has also constructed more than 16,039 new hospitals in the country, among which 7980 are public while 8,059 are private hospitals (Ibef, 2019). The Government has also planned to allocate more than 2.5% of the GDP of the country in the healthcare services by the year 2025.

Governance

The healthcare system of Australia is divided into two branches, such as the private and the public healthcare system (Bupa, 2019). The public system of healthcare services in the country consists of public hospitals, affiliated health organizations and community-based services (Bupa, 2019). These are primarily owned by the individual state or territory governments. There are also provisions for the people of Australia to take advantage of the public system of healthcare for free or at a marginal cost which is facilitated by Medicare (Bupa, 2019). Medicare is also funded by the taxpayer's money. The private healthcare systems are privately owned and managed, which are well known for providing private hospitals, specialist medical facilities and pharmacies (Bupa, 2019). It should also be said in this regard that the services of the private hospitals of the country is also not entirely self-funded but may also include several government funds and services along with their services which can be accessed by the common people of the country (Bupa, 2019).  

While the main components of the healthcare services of India comprise of Government hospitals and private hospitals, diagnostics, pharmaceuticals, medical supplies and equipment, medical insurance and other associated services of the country (Investindia, 2019). The healthcare services of the country are driven by the changing lifestyle of the people and the demand for an improved healthcare services delivery due to the rising cost of the medication as well as the technological equipment is fostering the government of the country to intervene and provide help. The health insurance schemes of the government are also penetrating the glass ceiling to bring more people within the ambit of the government-run services (Investindia, 2019). The primary source of the services which are used by the people of India is mainly provided by the private hospitals of the country and independent government organizations. As such, the cost of the medical services is high, and the people of the country are falling victims to their overpriced systems which the government needs to control. 

Advantages

The advantages of the healthcare system in Australia are as follows:

  • The main advantage is that much of the healthcare services which are required by the people of the country is provided by the Government and State-sponsored General hospitals which have a wide network of hospitals all over the country (Duckett&Willcox, 2015).
  • The cost of the services is also kept minimal, and the prices of the services are also often compensated through the mandatory insurance offered by the government to the people of the country.  
  • The general hospitals owned by the government also have an array of services available at marginal costs for the people to avail. The public hospitals are well equipped and can perform several critical medical procedures (Wakerman et al. 2017). 

The advantages of the healthcare system of India are as follows:

  • The government is injecting billions of dollars into the healthcare industry, which is more likely to improve the services in the country. The budget allocation of the services are also increasing on year on year basis which shows the commitment of the government towards a healthier future (Patel et al. 2015)
  • The standard of the services available to the people of the country is also very high, indicated by the rising percentage of medical tourism in the country. The doctors of the country are well trained and can offer complex medical services in private hospitals.
  • The schemes and insurance offers which are provided by the Government of India also benefits a majority of the people as more and more people are coming under the schemes. They are offered healthcare services at a marginal cost or free of cost all around the country (Powell-Jackson, Mazumdar& Mills, 2015).

Disadvantages

The disadvantages of the healthcare industry of Australia are as follows:

  • The ageing population of the country is in need of technologically advanced services which have been provided to date. However, the rising cost of technology is a big disadvantage for the healthcare industry of the country in addition to the inflation and other economic problems (Macri, 2019) 
  • The demographic changes of the country have also put pressure on the government due to stricter budgets and rising number of the ageing population of the country. In 2013, it was seen that more than 14% of the population is over the age of 65, which is projected to reach 21% by 2053, which has changed the healthcare industry altogether.
  • The rapid changes due to urbanization in the cities of Australia have also prevented the Government of the country for the successful implementation of the healthcare policies (Macri, 2019).

The disadvantages of the healthcare industry of India are as follows:

  • The growing population of the country is one of the most formidable challenges which the country faces to date. Since the population has reached a staggering 1.3 billion, which makes it difficult for the Government to provide basic healthcare facilities in all parts of the country.
  • Although the investments in this sector are huge, the delivery of the services remains highly uncertain and strenuous at best (Somvanshi, 2019). The percentage of delivery is extremely low. This is a problem for the growth of the industry in the country. 
  • The other problem which is faced by the people of India is that the medical costs in India are considered to be one of the lowest in the world while remains unaffordable to the local people of the country (Somvanshi, 2019).
  • The doctor to patient ratio in the country is much lower than the prescribed limit of the World Health Organization which is 1:1000, and yet in spite of being understaffed, the medical tourism in the country has grown exponentially.

Recommendations

Ageing Population: The ageing population of Australia is on the rise, which should change the healthcare requirements of the country (Trezona, Fitzsimon& Dodson, 2019). Thus, the country must adapt to the changing needs and alleviate any shortcomings in response to the changing demographics and stress on providing necessary services to the people of the country. The projected 21% of the ageing population of Australia should serve as a reminder to make necessary arrangements for better-equipped healthcare services (Dow, Cyarto& Batchelor, 2016). While the Indian population is young but, special attention must be paid to the old age population and offer them the required services such as home-based care and chronic diseases services which is slowly beginning to show up in the country.

Increased Chronic Disease: Australia has put in place a detailed framework for the chronic problems of the country to be handled efficiently. The recommendations which can be made in this regard is improved visibility for the people of the country. The main problems such as arthritis, asthma and such problems are prevalent in the old age people, and the ageing percentage of the population should concern and focus primarily on increasing the services proportionately. The Indian healthcare services should also take special attention for the rising pollution and work closely with the pollution control board to provide the people of the country better air and water to use which is found to be one of the most prominent sources of these chronic problems in the first place. The Public Hospitals must also be equipped with the most common form of chronic problems so that they can handle the situation which may have permanent or fatal effects if not treated at the earliest. The hospitals must be equipped and competent doctors being present to handle any emergency situations even in rural areas of the country.

Increasing Cost of Technology: The cost of technology is rising all over the world. Hence, both the Australian Government and the Government of India must take special measures which would provide technological solutions at a much cheaper rate than is usually available in the market. The cost of the technology can also be reduced through the subsidies and tie-ups with the companies, which can greatly reduce the cost of the technology. The government can also take steps to provide a larger part of the cost of the technology and allocate a specific budget for this purpose. The indigenous technology also has the possibility of being cheaper, which can be used in public hospitals around the country. The government may also construct centres of technologies where the facilities are pooled for a number of public hospitals who can refer and use them. This would also reduce the cost of technologies to some extent.

Demands of the Healthcare System: The demands of the healthcare system can only be met through the extension of the current network of public hospitals. The rise of the inflation rate and the cost of the medical services is often the problem which can be managed through the subsidies and government help. The healthcare system should also pay attention to the rising prevalence of chronic diseases which should be handled swiftly. The malnutrition and similar services can be utilised to take care of the health of the people of the country from an early age. This would improve the overall health of the people as they are well-nourished and can be associated with the healthcare services for improved health.

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