Home Healthcare Articles Healthcare system
A healthcare system is the organization by
which health care is provided.
From an economic perspective, healthcare may
be viewed as just another product or service to be purchased
by an individual, however, healthcare has many special characteristics
that encourage government intervention to a greater or lesser
The provision of critical healthcare treatment
is often regarded as a basic human right, regardless of whether
the individual has the means to pay-at the same moment some
forms of healthcare treatment cost more than a typical family's
Healthcare professionals are obligated by law and their oaths
of service to provide lifesaving treatment.
Healthcare professionals are monopolists in various respects:
surgery, gynecology, prescribing, etc.
Consumers often lack the information or understanding to be
able to choose rationally between competing healthcare providers
when they need treatment, particularly in the event of the need
of urgent or emergency treatment.
Healthcare systems models
Purely private enterprise healthcare
systems are comparatively rare. Where they exist, it is
usually for a comparatively well-off subpopulation in a
poorer country with a poorer standard of healthcare-for
instance, private clinics for a small, wealthy expatriate
population in an otherwise poor country. But there are countries
with a majority-private healthcare system with residual
public service (see Medicare, Medicaid).
The other major models are public insurance systems
Social security healthcare model, where workers and their families are insuranced by the State.
Publicly funded healthcare model,
where the residents of the country are insured by the
Sickness insurance model, where the
whole population or most of the population is a member
of a sickness insurance company, which many regard as
the ideal U.S. model, but which due to increasing costs
is now less true than it was previously in the U.S.
In almost every country with a government health
care system a parallel private system is allowed to operate,
this is sometimes referred to as two-tier health care. The scale,
extent, and funding of these private systems is very variable,
however. In Canada the lack of private care is notable, and
pride is widespread in their one-tier system of only government-provided
healthcare, largely coordinated at the provincial level.
History of healthcare systems
Needs fleshing out
religious-based health systems (the Catholic
philanthropy in health systems