A comparison on UK and US Health Care System

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Critical Analysis


Health care system includes a range of organizations, individuals, businesses and resources that provide health care services to the target consumers. Main objective of it is to fulfill the health and care needs of people (Rogers, 2011). Health care system plays a major role in maintaining the health standards of country. In the present report, critical analysis and comparison of health care system of UK and US have been done. This report also highlights the similarities and differences of health care system in between these two countries. Further, quality of services, sources of funding and various implications of health care system will be demonstrated.


World health organization is a global body that is concerned with maintaining the health standards and public health at the global level. According to world health organization, UK is ranked at 9th level for providing superior quality of health care services. However, US lies on 17th rank for providing prime health care services to its target population (International comparison of health care system, 2004). Further, US is taking significant steps to improve its rank in the categories of health care system. For this aspect, US is increasing its government spending on health care sector. Therefore, both the countries; US and UK are doing intense research and development to develop new medical technologies. This has led to origination of cancer therapy, organ transplantation, artificial organ implantation etc.

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Similarities and differences between funding of US and UK government

Main similarity between health care services of UK and US is that both countries take funds from public and private sectors to improve and develop health care sector. Further, government of both countries spend the amount collected from different sectors in bettering health care system, developing medical technology, introducing lifesaving drugs etc. According to OECD, total expenditure of UK on health care system was 8.3% of their GDP whereas, US expenditure was estimated at 15.3% of their GDP. This further states that US is incurring more expenditure on gross total and per capita on the health care. Health care industry of UK gets 85.5% funds from government funding. However, the ratio of private sector contribution is 14.5% only (Comparative analysis of UK and US health care system, 2007). Further, tax paid by public is mostly used by government for improving the health care of UK citizens. Contribution of public sectors in the health care system is more in UK. Therefore, government funding is more on health care rather than private bodies. NHS is a regulatory body of UK that is regulated by government to provide cost efficient health care services to target population. NHS is ranked among world’s best health care system. Therefore, it provides services at minimum cost and most of its services are free. Along with this,it provides access to use health care facilities and resources to all the residents of UK. Private sector contributes more on health care system in US rather than its public sector. There are many private bodies as well as organizations that provide health care facilities. However, cost of service provided by private sector organization is more as compared to public sector. Thereafter, insurance companies of US contributes a significant amount of funds to the development of health care sector. In this aspect, health care system of US is developed through funds generated from the insurance purchased by target population (Gerardi, 2008).

Similarities and differences between quality of health care services provided in US and UK

Since, it has been identified that contribution of government to health care sector is more in UK as compared to US. On the contrary, private sector contributes more in US. NHS provides cost efficient services to the residents of country. However, quality of service provided in US is less effective as most of the services are provided free (Dickinson, 2014). NHS involves trust and local organizations that provide primary health care facilities to poor and mediocre. Thereafter, most of health care services in UK are provided by the private bodies. In addition to this aspect, cost and quality of services in UK is more effective. While, government of US possesses innovative medical technology, highly qualified and experienced staff, and large number of health institutions that help in providing superior quality of services to patients. Thereafter, government of both the countries are trying to reduce the expenditure on health care system upto the sustainable level. Therefore, cost of expenditure on health care should not be more than the contribution in GDP (Flynn, 2013).

Similarity and difference between health care organization of UK and US

Health care in US is provided by different organizations such as private, public and charitable. Therefore, 58% services are provided by public bodies, 21% by trust and rest by the government. However in UK more than 75% services are provided by NHS and rest is provided by private bodies. In UK, proper monitoring of organization in health care system and resource allocation are done by the government bodies. There are different types of trusts that help government in attaining its objective of effective health care services such as primary care, acute trust, ambulance trust and care trust. Here, primary health care trust involves dentists, pharmacist etc that provide primary health services while, acute trust involves NHS and government hospitals etc. Further, ambulance trust includes local bodies that handle emergency situations while care trust involves the organization which provides services to those individuals whose treatment is complex (Burau and Blank, 2006). Hence, it can be said that organization structure of UK is more comprised of government bodies and US structure consist of private organizations.


From the above report, it can be concluded that health care is a growing sector of UK and US. Health care of UK is mostly depended on the funds generated by government from taxation while, US health care system relies more on funding through insurance companies and private bodies. Thereafter, US government provides better quality of services as compared to UK government. Therefore, satisfaction level regarding health care services is more in case of US citizens.


  • Burau, V. and Blank, R., 2006. Setting health priorities across nations: More convergence than divergence. Journal of Public Health. 27(3). pp.265-281.
  • Dickinson, H., 2014. Partnership Working in Health and Social Care. Policy Press.
  • Flynn, J., 2013. Reframing the Intercultural Dialogue on Human Rights: A Philosophical Approach. Routledge.
  • Gerardi, D., 2008. Working together: a corrections‐academic partnership that works. Equal Opportunities International. 27 (2). pp.148 – 160.
  • Rogers, C., 2011. Partnership working in the ‘Big Society’. Safer Communities. 10 (2). pp.26 – 31.