Print Сite this

Comparing the American and Australian Healthcare Systems

Introduction

Every country does its best to provide its citizens with a highly effective healthcare system. This phenomenon is essential because it ensures that the population’s health is at a decent level, leading to a better quality of life. However, various approaches and unequal access to material resources imply that nations can have significantly different medical industries. That is why it is a reasonable option for officials from one country to analyze the state of affairs in another nation to adopt successful practices. This strategy is even helpful for developed countries, and the United States is not an exception since its healthcare industry has some space for improvement. This paper will compare the American and Australian healthcare systems based on their costs, quality, and access and mention what the US can learn from this Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OCED) member.

We will write a
custom essay
specifically for you

for only $16.05 $11/page
308 certified writers online
Learn More

Comparison of Costs

When it comes to analyzing the healthcare systems’ costs, it is possible to focus on two approaches. On the one hand, one can draw attention to what funds the country spends on its medical industry. Based on this indicator, the United States is ahead of the curve because it spends significantly more than other developed nations on healthcare. Firstly, the US expenditures on healthcare accounted for 17% of its GDP in 2019 (Peter G. Peterson Foundation, 2020, para. 3). This figure is significantly higher when compared to other developed countries, and the OCED average was approximately 8.7% for the same period (Peter G. Peterson Foundation, 2020, para. 3). This information demonstrates that the USA dedicates an essential part of its budget to medical affairs. Further evidence for this claim appears when considering per-capita costs. It refers to the fact that the US spent almost $11,100 per person in 2019, while Australia only allocated $5,187 (Peter G. Peterson Foundation, 2020, para. 5). These findings explicitly demonstrate that the American medical industry is a higher financial burden for the country.

On the other hand, it is reasonable to research and compare the prices for a specific disease. These data will reveal whether the healthcare systems under investigation are expensive or cheap for individuals. Thus, the paper will focus on cancer and its costs because this health condition is widespread internationally, meaning that many people suffer from it. Precise costs significantly depend on a cancer site since this condition determines treatment duration and the required medication. Thus, the American Association for Cancer Research (2020) admits that annual costs for the terminal phase range “from $71,300 for those with prostate cancer to $239,400 for patients with acute myeloid leukemia” (para. 6). Simultaneously, Goldsbury et al. (2018) admit that prostate cancer invokes the mean cost of 40,729 Australian dollars (AUD) per year, while leukemia leads to approximately AUD 63,462 annually for the terminal phase. Even though these sums are in different currencies, the American healthcare costs are essentially higher because AUD is cheaper than USD. It means that the sums in USD become even higher when converted to AUD.

Simultaneously, it is reasonable to draw attention to medication prices. This paper will introduce the findings from the retrospective price comparison study by Parikh et al. (2019). The researchers focused on ophthalmic medication prices in the United States and Australia. According to the data obtained from 2013 till 2017, the prices of ranibizumab, adalimumab, and aflibercept essentially reduced in Australia, while such an effect was not recorded in the United States. This information demonstrates that Australian patients were offered more advantageous conditions because they had to pay less to get the required medication as time goes.

The data above reveal that the American healthcare industry is more expensive. On the one hand, the government allocates more financial resources to serve the needs of its medical system. On the other hand, medication and disease treatment prices are higher in the USA. It denotes that both the state and ordinary individuals should pay more when it comes to delivering medical service. Since the American healthcare industry is more expensive, it allows for supposing that it is better than the Australian counterpart. That is why the following sections will identify credible evidence to test this suggestion.

Comparison of Quality

When it comes to estimating the healthcare system’s quality, it is reasonable to focus on specific health outcomes. The first option is to draw attention to all-cause mortality rates since these indicators grasp a myriad of multiple healthcare-related factors. According to Kurani et al. (2020), this mortality rate is 840.2 deaths per 100,000 patients in the US. Simultaneously, every 634.4 patients out of 100,000 individuals die in Australia (Kurani et al., 2020). This information allows for supposing that the Australian medical industry is of higher quality. However, it is reasonable to look at more specific ratios to identify whether it is true.

Thus, the mortality rate for respiratory diseases is another suitable option to consider. Kurani et al. (2020) admit that this indicator essentially declined for many developed countries from 1980 to 2017. For example, there were 88.9 deaths per 100,000 patients in Australia in 1980, while this indicator was 63.7 in 2017 (Kurani et al., 2020). Simultaneously, the opposite state of affairs is found in the United States. It relates to the fact that 79.8 individuals died out of every 100,000 patients in 1980, while 2017 witnessed an average of 83.4 deaths (Kurani et al., 2020). Consequently, this information demonstrates that the US has seen an increase in respiratory diseases’ mortality rate.

Get your
100% original paper
on any topic

done in as little as
3 hours
Learn More

A similar situation is with the mortality rate for the circulatory system diseases. Even though the overall trend among the developed nations reflects a decline in the number of deaths, the United States faces more adverse effects. It relates to the fact that the mortality rate for the US was 254.8 per 100,000 patients in 2017 (Kurani et al., 2020). Simultaneously, Australia witnessed 169.9 fatal outcomes during the same period (Kurani et al., 2020). This information reflects the general trend regarding that the Australian healthcare industry is more qualitative.

Another essential metric to consider refers to the mortality rate for cancers, and this information does not follow the trend above. It means that the OCED country witnesses more cancer-related deaths when compared to the United States. In particular, Australia and the US witnessed 184.4 and 183.1 fatal outcomes per 100,000 people in 2017, respectively (Kurani et al., 2020). Even though the difference between the two nations is not significant, it is still possible to state that the US follows a more effective approach in managing cancer patients.

The number of obstetric traumas during vaginal delivery can also reveal the quality of healthcare systems. When instruments, including forceps and others, were involved, the US and Australia witnessed 11.1 and 6.8 traumas per 100 patients in 2016, respectively (Kurani et al., 2020). Simultaneously, the situation was the opposite when vaginal deliveries were without any instruments because 100 procedures implied 2.5 traumas in Australia and 1.7 occurrences in the United States (Kurani et al., 2020). However, it is worth admitting that the total number of obstetric traumas is higher for the US.

Finally, it is possible to identify quality by focusing on medical errors. This term refers to all medication, laboratory, and other errors that can lead to worsened health outcomes. According to Kurani et al. (2020), American patients are more subject to this problem because 19% of adults witnessed such issues in 2016. As for Australia, its healthcare system seems to be more efficient because 11% of patients only dealt with such errors during the same period (Kurani et al., 2020). It means that American citizens face more threats when they utilize medical services.

The statistical data above demonstrate that Australia can impress with a better quality of its healthcare system when compared to the US. The rationale behind this claim refers to the fact that the OCED country has lower mortality rates for many diseases and a smaller number of medical errors. Simultaneously, the mortality rate for cancers is the only metric that goes against the trend above because the United States performs better in this area.

Comparison of Access

When it comes to comparing access to healthcare services, it is reasonable to consider insurance rates. In the United States, it is a significant problem because an essential part of the population experiences difficulties getting an insurance package. In particular, Cohen et al. (2019) indicate that “33.2 million (10.3%) persons of all ages were uninsured” in 2019 (p. 1). It denotes that a significant portion of the US population has insufficient access to medical services. Simultaneously, one should admit that uninsurance rates are higher among minorities. Cohen et al. (2019) also stipulate that a higher part of men do not have medical insurance in the United States. Those who have medical coverage deal with private and public packages. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2021) support the thought above by claiming that 8.3% of adults who are 18 years old and higher fail to receive medical care due to high cost (para. 2). These statistical data reveal that the US healthcare industry has some room to provide citizens with better access.

The situation is significantly different in Australia because its citizens are said to deal with more accessible healthcare. According to the official data, approximately 3% of the population does not have any insurance. This conclusion is made since “11.2 million Australians (44% of the population) had some form of private patient hospital cover, and 13.6 million (53%) had some form of general treatment cover” in 2019 (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2020, para. 6). However, it is worth admitting that access to medical services is significantly worse for inhabitants of remote areas when compared to the rest of the nation (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2019). This information allows for making a claim that the Australian population has fewer problems accessing medical services when compared to the Americans.

We will write a custom
essays
specifically
for you!
Get your first paper with
15% OFF
Learn More

It is reasonable to find additional evidence to identify whether the suggestion above is valid. In this case, it is appropriate to look at The Healthcare Access and Quality (HAQ) Index. According to this metric, the United States has lower results compared to other developed nations in 2016. For example, the HAQ Index for the US was 88.7, while Australia witnessed 95.9 points (Kurani et al., 2020). It is worth mentioning that the given Index uses a 100-point scale, meaning that a higher number of points indicates that a healthcare system is of better quality and offers easier access to individuals.

Recommendations for the United States

The information above can become a source of valuable information for the US. In the beginning, one should admit that credible statistical data have demonstrated that the Australian healthcare industry is more effective when compared to its American counterpart. Thus, the US can and should adopt the OCED country’s experience and approach to ensure that American citizens are given decent medical services. That is why the following paragraphs will comment on specific recommendations for the USA.

Firstly, American officials should understand that their medical industry is unreasonably expensive. The given research paper initially supposed that high prices could be associated with better quality, but further information denied that suggestion. Even though both the government and ordinary citizens should pay more in comparison with Australia and many other developed nations, the US healthcare system is not free from essential defects. This information demonstrates that the United States should reconsider its approach to healthcare budgeting to ensure that medical services are not a significant financial burden for the whole nation.

Secondly, the comparison of quality of Australian and American healthcare systems has revealed that the OCED state can impress with better outcomes. The rationale behind this claim refers to the fact that Australia has significantly lower mortality rates for many diseases, while its citizens face medical errors less often. It demonstrates that the OCED country provides the population with medical services of better quality. Thus, the US should learn from Australia how to reduce mortality rates for respiratory and circulatory system diseases. It is reasonable to expect that the United States will manage to improve its medical indicators because the nation tends to deal with cancers successfully.

Thirdly, there is no doubt that the US should do its best to solve the problem with medical insurance. The case of Australia is a personification that it is possible to improve the situation because the nation has a small portion of the uninsured population. It denotes that the United States should ensure that its citizens have sufficient access to medical services and that costs are not barriers for individuals.

Conclusion

This research paper has compared the Australian and American healthcare systems based on their costs, quality, and access. The overall conclusion implies that the United States’ medical industry has many defects when compared to its counterpart under investigation. One can look at credible evidence to notice that there is sufficient rationale behind this claim. It refers to the fact that the American healthcare system is more expensive for both the government and ordinary patients. Simultaneously, the Australian medical industry impresses with better quality and easier access, meaning that people have fewer barriers to receiving medical care. This information can become a significant signal for the United States to improve its healthcare sphere.

References

American Association for Cancer Research. (2020). Cancer care costs in the United States are projected to exceed $245 billion by 2030. Web.

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. (2019). Rural & remote health. Web.

Need a
100% original paper
written from scratch

by professional
specifically for you?
308 certified writers online
Learn More

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. (2020). Private health insurance. Web.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021). Access to healthcare. Web.

Cohen, R. A., Cha, A. E., Martinez, M. E., & Terlizzi, E. P. (2019). Health insurance coverage: Early release of estimates from the National Health Interview Survey, 2019 [PDF document]. Web.

Goldsbury, D. E., Yap, S., Weber, M. F., Veerman, L., Rankin, N., Banks, E., Canfell, K., & O’Connell, D. L. (2018). Health services costs for cancer care in Australia: Estimates from the 45 and up study. PLoS One, 13(7), e0201552. Web.

Kurani, N., McDermott, D., & Shanosky, N. (2020). How does the quality of the US healthcare system compare to other countries? Peterson-KFF Health System Tracker. Web.

Parikh, R., Feng, P. W., Tainsh, L., Sakurada, Y., Balaratnasingam, C., Khurana, R. N. Hemmati, H., & Modi, Y. S. (2019). Comparison of ophthalmic medication prices between the United States and Australia. JAMA Ophthalmology, 137(4), 358-362. Web.

Peter G. Peterson Foundation. (2020). How does the US healthcare system compare to other countries? Web.

Cite this paper

Select style

Reference

StudyCorgi. (2022, July 21). Comparing the American and Australian Healthcare Systems. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/comparing-the-american-and-australian-healthcare-systems/

Reference

StudyCorgi. (2022, July 21). Comparing the American and Australian Healthcare Systems. https://studycorgi.com/comparing-the-american-and-australian-healthcare-systems/

Work Cited

"Comparing the American and Australian Healthcare Systems." StudyCorgi, 21 July 2022, studycorgi.com/comparing-the-american-and-australian-healthcare-systems/.

* Hyperlink the URL after pasting it to your document

1. StudyCorgi. "Comparing the American and Australian Healthcare Systems." July 21, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/comparing-the-american-and-australian-healthcare-systems/.


Bibliography


StudyCorgi. "Comparing the American and Australian Healthcare Systems." July 21, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/comparing-the-american-and-australian-healthcare-systems/.

References

StudyCorgi. 2022. "Comparing the American and Australian Healthcare Systems." July 21, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/comparing-the-american-and-australian-healthcare-systems/.

References

StudyCorgi. (2022) 'Comparing the American and Australian Healthcare Systems'. 21 July.

This paper was written and submitted to our database by a student to assist your with your own studies. You are free to use it to write your own assignment, however you must reference it properly.

If you are the original creator of this paper and no longer wish to have it published on StudyCorgi, request the removal.