Health System







Health System






Health System

What is a health System?

There has been increasing concerns to improve the health systems in most countries especially among those developing due to the low health outcomes. Policies and research communities have been extensively involved in orchestrating for reforms in the health systems to facilitate improved population health. However, according to World Health Organization (2007), these attempts have been impeded by the lack of a common definition of a health system. The result has been increased challenges to the various interventions aiming at improving health care. The World Health Organization defines a health system as a combination of actions, people and organizations concerned with the promotion, restoration and maintenance of health. The achievement of this requirement requires influencing determinants of health and the various activities that improve health. This assertion implies that the system also involves other entities and people whose actions facilitate the attainment of good population health.

What are the Major Components of the U.S Health Care System?

The health care system comprises of different components depending on its structure that varies between different countries. Shi and Singh (2015) explained that the U.S health care system comprises of four components. The functions of these systems overlap while being indistinguishable in public health organizations. Shi and colleague explain that the U.S system has four basic components that include the delivery system, financing, Insurance and the payment components. The delivery system is concerned with the various health care providers such as the physicians, nursing homes, hospitals and community health centres. These are the different individuals and individuals providing or facilitating the delivery of health care services. The financing component is required for insurances for health care services. Such can be through employment-based insurances or by the government for public health care insurances.

Why is Change Needed in the U.S Health Care System?

The payment component is concerned with process and structure of the reimbursement to the health care service providers (Shi & Singh, 2015). It is concerned with how much is to be paid for a particular health care service. This payment involves an out-of-pocket amount and also from premiums paid to an insurance company or MCO. However, tax revenues are used to pay health care providers in case of government insurances plans. The insurance component involves insuring individuals against expensive health care services. This component determines the services that can be provided for particular insurance plans, how and where they are provided.

According to Shi and Singh (2015), the U.S health care system network lacks rationality and integration.  The various components of the system are loosely coordinated making it difficult to function as a system. Moreover, the definition of a health system implies that accessibility to health care services should be to all citizens. However, this is not the case for the U.S health care system. It is due to these factors that the country’s health care system has been extensively criticized and hence requires to be changed.

How is Public Policy Created? What is the Role of Data in Policy?

According to Birkland (2014), public policies are decision-making frameworks made on behalf of the public with the aim of solving problems. They are made after an issue or problem is identified after which formulation of the most efficient framework for decision making to address the problem occurs. The framework is adopted and then implemented after which its is evaluated. These stages form a cycle such that the process is repeated after evaluation. Data plays a crucial role in the process of policy-making. Data helps to guide discussions and in determining the various likely alternatives. Moreover, data is essential to aid the monitoring and management of the later stages of implementation and evaluation.




Birkland, T. A. (2014). An introduction to the policy process: Theories, concepts and models of public policy making. Routledge.

Shi, L., & Singh, D. A. (2015). Delivering health care in America: A Systems approach.

World Health Organization, (2007). Strengthening Health Systems to Improve Health Outcomes: WHOs Framework for Action. Ginebra: OMS.





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