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Pharmacy Product - Health Topics - Health System

Health System

Health care systems are designed to meet the health care needs of target populations. There are a wide variety of health care systems around the world. In some countries, the health care system has evolved and has not been planned, whereas in others a concerted effort has been made by governments, trade unions, charities, religious, or other co-ordinated bodies to deliver planned health care services targeted to the populations they serve.

In capitation payment systems, GPs are paid for each patient on their "list", usually with adjustments for factors such as age and gender. According to OECD, "these systems are used in Italy (with some fees), the United Kingdom (with some fees and allowances for specific services), Austria (with fees for specific services), Denmark (one third of income with remainder fee for service), Ireland (since 1989), the Netherlands (fee-for-service for privately insured patients and public employees) and Sweden (from 1994). Capitation payments have become more frequent in “managed care” environments in the United States."

According to OECD, "Capitation systems allow funders to control the overall level of primary health expenditures, and the allocation of funding among GPs is determined by patient registrations. However, under this approach, of GPs may register too many patients and under-serve them, select the better risks and refer on patients who could have been treated by the GP directly. Freedom of consumer choice over doctors, coupled with the principle of "money following the patient" may moderate some of these risks. Aside from selection, these problems are likely to be less marked than under salary-type arrangements."[5]

In several OECD countries, general practitioners (GPs) are employed on salaries for the government.[5] According to OECD, "Salary arrangements allow funders to control primary care costs directly; however, they may lead to under-provision of services (to ease workloads), excessive referrals to secondary providers and lack of attention to the preferences of patients." There has been movement away from this system.

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