Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for the 'International Health Care Systems' Category

Visit your doctor whenever you like

Typical hours when illness strikes is 24 hours a day, 7 days per week.  In the US, typical physician hours are 9-5, Monday through Friday. Although this is changing (CVS Minute Clinics have Saturday and Sunday hours), it is still difficult for individuals who are work and are ill to see a doctor without taking […]

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Pharmaceuticals in China

As China is now the second largest economy in the world, spending on medical services and medications is also growing. Pharmafile reports: China is positioned to become the second-largest pharmaceutical market, after the US, by next year, according to healthcare analysts IMS Health; meanwhile, by growing an estimated 15% to 18% annually, the organisation says […]

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What is Reference Pricing?

To reduce utilization of pharmaceutical products, many countries have opted to use reference pricing. Reference pricing is a system where patient coinsurance payments depend not only on the price of the drug but also the price of alternatives therapies.  As the name indicates, reference pricing sets patient coinsurance rates as the difference between the drug’s […]

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US Ranks Last

According to a Commonwealth Fund report examining the health care system of 11 countries, Americans receive the worst health care.  The report summarizes the findings as follows: The United States health care system is the most expensive in the world, but comparative analyses consistently show the U.S. underperforms relative to other countries on most dimensions of performance. […]

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Brazil’s Health Care System and the World Cup

The World Cup starts June 12 in Brazil.  Although the event is sure to draw attention around the world, protesters have taken to the streets demanding that Brazil use the money for these events to improve the countries, health care and education services it provides to its citizens.  Brazil’s projected budget for hosting the World […]

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Free Health Care in the UK ‘A Thing of the Past’?

The UK’s National Health Service (NHS) is well known for providing free care to all its citizens. However, will £0 out-of-pocket payments be a thing of the past? Maybe so according to a recent survey of UK Members of Parliament (MPs). Pharmafile reports: In response to the question “if the challenges facing the NHS are […]

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P4P in the UK

General Practitioners (GPs) in the UK NHS are paid a mixture of capitation, lump sum allowances, and a pay-for-performance bonus. The P4P element, the Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF), rewards GPs according to their performance on a large number of indicators. QOF payments represented up to 20% of GPs ’ income in the first year […]

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Health Care Workers and Informal Payments

In many developing countries, making informal payments to health care workers is common.  Lewis (2000) estimates the frequency of informal payments in selected Asian and Central/Eastern European countries as: Armenia: 91%; Azerbaijan: 78%; Kyrgyz Republic: 75% Poland: 78%; Russia: 74% Vietnam: 81%; Do these payments work?  Would people be better off if these bribes were made […]

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Should single-payer countries subsidize private insurance?

In many countries with universal public health insurance, the government also provides subsidies for private insurance.  Examples of this practice include Australia, Spain and the United Kingdom.  Why do they do this?  Is it a good idea? There are arguments on both sides. Public subsidies are good.  Public subsidies for private insurance can stimulate the […]

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Health care crisis in Spain?

Due to its recent economic woes, Spain has imposed a number of austerity measures including significant cuts to social services and health care.  The Economist reports that “expenditure was reduced by 13.7% in 2012 and by 16.2% in 2013 (including social services). Some regions imposed additional cuts as high as 10%.” Cuts to health care […]

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