Its no secret that the American healthcare system has some serious issues, from massive underinsurance to high treatment costs, the general outlook is pretty grim, which is why the issue has been a key point in the presidential election race. However, despite the rosy promises from the 3 main candidates the problems are about to get a whole lot worse. The issue is this, 78 million baby boomers (individuals who were born between 1946 and 1964) across the USA are about to reach retirement age and are entering a geriatric healthcare system that is simply not prepared for the patient load that it is about to receive.
As individuals age their propensity for developing a serious illness or chronic condition rise enormously, it is a simple truth that older people need more medical care than younger individuals. With this being common knowledge one would assume that the healthcare system would have adequately prepared for this eventuality, yet the reverse is true; doctors, medical facilities, and most importantly the domestic insurance industry, do not have access to the services required by geriatric patients.
An example of this upcoming fiasco can clearly be seen in
Add to this, already grim scenario, the shortfall in social security, the limited coverage offered by Medicare, and future budget cuts (expected to begin in July of this year), and essentially you are left with a healthcare system that is leaving a large proportion of Americans without the coverage, or treatment, that they deserve, but it doesn’t end there. As the healthcare system struggles to address the problem with the baby boomers other parts of the population will have services denied to them.
So what are the options? How can the system possibly cope with a patient load of this magnitude that will require constant care and attention without suffering? A good start would probably be to totally re-examine the system as it exists today. With millions of individuals either underinsured or with no insurance coverage whatsoever, the highest costs associated with medical treatment in the world, doctors with insufficient training, a high patient to doctor ratio, and a patient load that will increase every year, especially with regards to care intensive conditions (approximately 18% of the baby boomer population, or 14 million people, are expected to develop Alzheimer’s in their lifetime), it is difficult to see what can be done to resolve the matter of a system that is unable to cope with the burdens required of it.
One of the proposed solutions in to create a universal healthcare system that would be heavily subsidized by the government, however with the myriad of problems that currently exist in the system (namely healthcare in the USA being incredibly over burdened already) a universal healthcare service would be incredibly hard to implement. Add to this the wide ranging medical budget cuts, and it becomes evident that there is simply no room to create a national healthcare service providing low-cost, available care, despite the fact that this is tremendously appealing to the American public.
One, potentially, workable idea would be to subsidize the primary physicians as on of the major factors contributing to this situation arising is the extremely poor pay that frontline medical staff receive (half of the medical professionals providing care for the elderly receive less than US$ 9.56 an hour). If this is not workable, then perhaps low cost training could be used as an incentive to bring more qualified professionals to the field, as the training and qualification structure exists right now many doctors and nurses have to undergo extensive testing and, in some states, more than 150 hours on the job practice in order to be considered ‘geriatric qualified’; that’s a lot to ask for such poor reimbursement.
However, when looking at the reasons for this crisis and how it developed, a large amount of the blame seems to lay with Medicare, Medicaid, and the rest of the low-cost, ‘budget’, government backed insurers. By not providing quality coverage, creating absurdly low limits, and placing long lists of exclusions on many policies, these organizations don’t seem to have the interests of their policyholders, or the American public, at heart. Many elderly patients require care from a team, rather than just one medical professional, yet this extremely valuable service is not an included benefit under a Medicare plan, depriving these older policyholders the treatment that they need.
There is no easy or quick fix for the present medical nightmare that is about to hit the USA, all the proposed solutions, and even the possible solutions, will require a large amount of money and a complete shift in the way that Americans obtain their healthcare. All that can be done now is to wait for the major problems to start and address them as they happen, that or purchase an insurance policy from a company not linked to the US government.
In recent years,
However, after an age of great development in health care, progress in rural
Today, 79% of rural residents have little or no health insurance. With new capitalistic ideals,
It is no doubt that
The trends in economic prosperity and health insurance coverage are on a crash course and it looks as if
Furthermore, the traditional Chinese way of borrowing money from friends and family to pay for expensive medical conditions could become difficult. The working population, alike much of the developed world, is ageing fast and according to some predictions,
These obstacles have nation-wide, and even global, health implications too. Many epidemics such as SARS, Bird Flu, and HIV are not easily contained in rural
The most effective way to curb this dilemma is to offer affordable health insurance in rural
One of the major concerns facing many individuals who have newly arrived in
Public health is a major concern in
Despite a number of failed public health initiatives, including the unsuccessful ‘barefoot doctor’ scheme, many of
Chinese hospitals are all ranked based on the quality of treatment and the types of services that they provide. The ranking system will assign a number (1 – 3) to a medical facility, and under this ranking a hospital or clinic with the number 3 attached to it will always offer the best services; a rank of 1 is extremely low, and these facilities may not offer services outside of immediate emergency care. Under this numerical ranking system each hospital will also receive a letter grade of A through C, 3A hospitals will always provide the best medical services while 3C hospitals will still provide good, if slightly limited, care.
For foreign nationals in
201 – 206 Hubin Nan Lu
Zhenhai Lu, #10 Gujie
Chinese People’s Liberation Army Hospital
94 – 96 Wenyuan Lu
Outside of these main medical facilities are a number of primary care (out-patient) clinics, and every neighborhood will have a number of doctors providing out-patient services. In addition to this
One of the biggest issues facing modern America is the fact that large portions of the population are underinsured, an no where is this more evident than within the nation’s tertiary student community. In fact, it’s not just underinsurance that is an issue; it’s the total lack of health insurance within 20%, almost 1.7 million individuals, of the American student population that is so worrying.
Even among those college students that are covered by some form of health insurance the prevalence of underinsurance is staggering. 31% of part time students (those attending college for less than 8 hours a week) and 18% of full time students in the
Of course the schools say that they’re not to blame, and that the problem is in the fact that insurance premiums (especially with domestic American insurers) tend to get more expensive each year, and that by obtaining these lower coverage limits the educational institution is actually helping their students by saving them money. In this regards many schools have these group policies, but it is up to the individual students as to whether they purchase it (the only variation to this rule is with regards to international students who are forced to obtain a university insurance plan prior to starting classes). Only 30% of the 4,182 tertiary education institutes in the
Where colleges and universities in the
That however, is a situation that may change. Senate Bill 1168 has been passed with the aim of providing ‘full time coverage’ to seriously sick students who are unable to attend classes full time for up to 12 months after the condition originally emerges. Known as Michelle’s law, the bill is aiming to support this large portion of the
There are other options, especially with regards to foreign students in the country. With the emergence of a strong international health insurance industry (as opposed to the local/domestic market) many major insurers have come to the realization that students deserve quality protection as much, and possibly even more, as the rest of society. This has lead to the creation of specialized ‘international health insurance student plans’ giving individuals around the world the security that they need in order to get the education that they deserve.
Despite this development of customized international student plans however, and the creation of senate bill 1168 the