Health Care Services in the UK & the US

Health Care Services in the UK & the US

THE DELIVERY HEALTH CARE SERVICES IN THE UNITED KINGDOM AND THE UNITED STATES:

A COMPARATIVE PUBLIC POLICY ANALYSIS

This research compares the delivery of health care services in the United Kingdom and the United States. The delivery of health care services to elderly persons in the two countries is compared as a part of this policy analysis.

Health care services are delivered in the United Kingdom largely through the National Health Service (NHS) which was established in 1948 through implementation of the provisions of the National Health Service Act of 1946 (Ham, 1985, pp. 1516). The creation of the NHS was the culmination of studies of health care delivery in Britain than began in the 1920s and continued through the 1930s, when they were interrupted by the Second World War. With the election of a Labour government led by Clement Atlee in the Summer of 1945 (almost immediately following the defeat of Germany), the health care studies were renewed and intensified.

In the mid1940s, health care providers, social welfare activists, and the Labour government all agreed that the state of British health care was abominable (Ham, 1985, p. 15). All of these parties also agreed that effective correction of the problem required greater governmental participation. The disagreements concerned the character of governmental participation in the delivery of health care services. The British Medical Association favored an insurance scheme that would cover most of the population and which would cover both professional and provider services. An earlier Royal Commission had recommended the financing of health care services through general taxation. In the mid1940s, however, a government White Paper proposed the creation of a national health service as a social welfare programme, and most of the recommendations contained in the White Paper were eventually included in the National Health Service Act of 1946 (Ham, 1985, p. 16).

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