A lot of the health care systems have a mixture of the private and the public provisions. However, in the National Health Service, the duties of the private health care system relatively vary compared to the mixed health care systems along with numerous dimensions. In specific, the health care is primarily provided publicly and financed by the general taxation instead of the private insurance payments. Despite this, there still exists a private sector alongside with the public sector in most of the countries that have the National Health Service, United Kingdom included. It is essential though to note that the difference I that the patients receive the public health care for free and therefore while they are after the private health care they must incur the costs of the medical treatment (Roehrich, 2014). It is also of value to look at the feature of the National Health System which is the considerable share of the health care providers that in most instances work in both the public and the private sector. This can be seen in the UK, where many of the private medical services are given by health care providers whose primary goals are to the NHS. The merger commission and the UK monopolies have estimated that roughly 59% of the NHS consultants had substantial private work (Tulchinsky, 2014). This kind of tendency is experienced in many other countries too. There are some benefits and disadvantages that arise when the public and the private sector work together. This paper will look at the merits and the setback of the recent changes in the UK policies where the public and the private sector can work together.
One of the main benefits of this shift is that there will be higher standards of care. While the National Health Service is normally enough, the private sector is usually cleaner and better appointed. This is because the individuals that have gone through the private clinics normally do receive a lot of benefits and good conditions such as the en suite bathrooms, private rooms, satellite television and less restricted visitation (Matsoso, et al. 2013). Furthermore, the private clinics and the hospitals are normally cleaner and thus lower risks of any complication or contracting an infection. Therefore, the recent changes in the UK policies will work towards bettering the conditions of the health care centers. This is a big challenge to the public sector. Thus they are forced to work had and maintain their conditions at a higher level. In this way, there is a healthy competition between the public and the private sector (Tanner, 2014). This will benefit the society, the patients, and the health care providers. Therefore, with the rise of the MRSA on the NHS facilities, cleanliness is considered as one of the most important factors.
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The private sector working alongside the National Health Service has made an easy accessibility to the NHS private patients units. As much as the care in the NHS facilities does vary widely, the private patient units are always on the top notch. The patients that are in these private clinics and hospitals can receive private rooms, faster access to specialists and treatment and are also able to get higher standards of care (Pacula, 2014). Individuals that have the private medical insurance are not limited to the private clinics and the hospitals but instead are given the preferred status even in the government funded facilities. This was coming together of the public, and the private sector works to eliminate the loopholes or the weaknesses that can be experienced in one of the sectors. It also gives the patients and the society to choose which health care sector will be of great benefit to them. Through this, there can be a very good peace of mind (Tulchinsky, 2014). While the NHS is very efficient and effective to a large number of people, there are various instances and examples where it has failed. The recent changes in the private sector coming in will help to mitigate some of these failures. The failures have created a worry for a lot of people that they may fall through the cracks in their moment of need (Cockerham, 2014. Being that there is no need to live with this kind of uncertainty, the private sector has come with the private medical insurance that will give one the peace of mind that comes with knowing that you will always get the best medical care that one needs and when you need it in a personalized and comfortable setting (Farrar, 2013). This is considered a major benefit to the people of UK as it is not as before where the private sector had very little shares or working with the National Health Service.
Despite the many benefits that are attained by the changes in the health policies in the UK, there are some drawbacks that have arisen. One of the drawbacks is that there has been less transparency. Responsibility becomes more difficult when there is more involvement of the private sector (Rosen, 2015). The profitable confidentiality makes it challenging to look into the public spending and at the same time converting complex contracts. This, in turn, creates another layer of administration. This is a back challenge in the health care system of UK since it will fright patients and the physians from delivering their best to the patients. Another big challenge for the participation of privatization in the NHS is the postcode lottery (Mazzucato, 2015). Here, there is the fear that with the many private medical centers that are delivering various services, people will start getting varying standards of care in different parts of the country.
In conclusion, it is evident that the engagement of the private sector in the National Health System has some benefits and demerits. However, there are more advantages that are attained from the policy shift in the UK compared to the demerits. In this way, it is a good change as both the society and the health care providers benefit from it. The right strategies can be set to mitigate the drawbacks.
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