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The United States Health Services System

Introduction

The healthcare system in the United States of America accounts among the best healthcare systems in the world. The government has mandated several legal entities to aid in provision of health services in the country. The nation invests largely in healthcare, in the basis of per capita than any other nation globally. For instance it spends. Studies which have been conducted on healthcare spending internationally indicate that USA stand top in terms of healthcare spending in member countries s of the Organization of Economic Cooperation & Development (OECD). For instance the US government spent 13.6 percent of its GDP in 1998, for healthcare services, outdistancing Germany and Switzerland, whose figures stand at 10.6 percent and 10.4 percent respectively (Bureau of Labor service, 2001).

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According to a report released by the World Health Organization in 2000, the goodness of a healthcare system is measured through provision of good health status to the entire nation population, the government being responsive to the expectations of all stakeholders in the system and exercising a high degree of fairness in terms of financing the system. Under all these parameters the US government topped worldwide (Bureau of Labor service, 2001).

However, the costs of healthcare provision in the country are quite high, but the government accounts for more than a half of the costs. Researches indicated that in the year 2006, about 5 percent of the US population was accountable for over half of their healthcare costs. In USA different agencies as well as organizations are involved in the process of healthcare provision to the public. The organizations vary from government parastatals, private companies to non governmental organizations. For instance the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is a governmental non-profit agency which plays a centre stage role in the country’s healthcare provision (Bureau of Labor service, 2001).

The Centers for Disease Control and Preventions

The CDC, which is an agency of the US Department of Health & Human services, has its base in Atlanta, Georgia. It was formed in 1946 as a sub branch of the extensive Public Health system of the US. Initially the center was involved in entomology and engineering functions, which came to be integrated with public health later on. The agency is involved in protection of public health as well as their safety, in the provision and dissemination of information necessary in enhancing public health decisions, and partnering with health departments in the states and other organizations in promoting good health to the public (CDC ,1992).

CDC agency mainly focuses its national attention in the prevention and control of diseases, particularly diseases that are highly contagious, infectious and fatal. The center is also involved in occupational health and safety, as well as the environmental health status in the country, and for the good of the health of the US citizens. It deals with various categories of diseases which poses imminent danger to the Americans and the country in general.

The agency categorizes diseases in to three categories in its efforts of prevention and control. These are basically category A, B and C. the categories indicates the fatality of the agents of the diseases, with C being the category for the most contagious and fatal disease agents which are usually given the highest priority in terms of national attention.

Impacts of CDC ON

The State and the Public

CDC agency has had several impacts on US since its inception in 1946. It was among the pioneering agencies to initiate the Public Health Information Networks initiative, which were enabled to impart technological advancements in the US health care provision system. With the initiative and others, CDC manifested its commitments in maximizing health impacts and status in the nation. This saw a rapid advancement in the quality of health provided to the Americans.

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The support granted to the nation through such initiatives impacted positively in monitoring health communities effectively, and in identification of causes of diseases while availing tracking and management capacities to tackle disease outbreaks. The center in the recent past has offered great financial support to the government states in health tracking systems among other progressive works geared towards government provision of good healthcare services. The agency’s creation of National center for Health Informatics (NCPHI) and the PHI training center at CDC raise the standards of the US healthcare system to great standards (CDC, 1992).

Through the agency’s efforts in the prevention and control of contagious diseases, CDC has influenced the effectiveness of other stakeholder, in the health sector towards the provision of good quality health. The Department of Health which is a core stakeholder of the Agency has recorded success in terms of health administrations, as a result of commitments, coordination and partnerships between the CDC and other parties in the Public health (CDC, 1992).

However the agency’s continuous support to the government saw the agency supply the government with bio-weapons which were used in the Gulf War in 1990’s. This was what the public nationally and internationally termed as bio-terrorism. The weapons were highly criticized for being used against humans. After the center admitted publicly for involvement in the weapon, the agency as well as the government lost public trust, which negatively affected their activities (Marjorie, 2004)..

CDC’s centers, federal partners and other agencies

The healthcare system of the US comprises of both the public as well as private healthcare providers. CDC being a public agency in healthcare provision, its programs and activities are highly likely to impact on other agencies which are partial partners and stakeholders in the health sector. For instance a research which was conducted by the US Government Accountability Office identified several leadership and managerial loopholes which impacted directly on other CDC centers and the Public Health Service, as well as the Department of Health & Human Services. The research realized that the office of the director, which has got the overall responsibility in managing the agency, was lacking systematic information for tracking operations of its health programs. This greatly affected the operations of the agency, and those of its stakeholders and partners (Marjorie, 2004).

CDC strategic planning for a long time failed to involve its employees as well as external partners in the process. They were not involved in identifying the agency’s priorities, in facilitating the coordination of the centers and in activities related to the mission of the center. All these negatively the center’s working conditions and relationships had considerably worsened. Recommendations by the Government accountability office in charge of public healthcare provided several remedies to avert the situation in CDC (Marjorie, 2004).

References

Bureau of Labor Education. (2001).The U.S HealthCare System: Best in the World, or Just the most Expensive? University of the Maine. Web.

CDC (1992). CDC: the nation’s prevention agency. MMWR Morb Mortal Weekly Rep 41 (44): 833. Web.

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Marjorie E. Kanof (2004). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Agency Leadership Taking Steps to Improve Management and Planning, but Challenges Remain GAO-04-219 2004.

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