Private health care definition

Written by brenda priddy
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Private health care definition
Private versus public is often the centre of debate on health care reform. (Hospital image by Raulmahón from Fotolia.com)

Private health care offers alternatives to government-run public health care system. Private health care systems are most popular in the United States, with most hospitals operating much like private businesses. Private health care by definition operates outside the bounds of government control and receives funding only from patients and their insurance policies. Public health care systems are popular around the world, with debates constantly raging on the pros and cons of each system.

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History

Nearly all health care systems in America operate on a private basis. This is not to say that the government is not involved in their operation at all. With inspections and policy policing, government intervention takes place on operational levels. However, finances are left in the control of hospital organisation and the directing officials. Private health care systems trace their roots back to village doctors who treated small groups of individuals in an area. As towns grew, so did their need for health care; doctors collected into organisations in order to operate with more efficiency.

Advantages

Private health care offers many benefits to patients and operates around providing a service to a paying customer. Amenities are common, with wait times for service at a minimum and a large amount of attention paid to patients. Trauma centres are well-outfitted with a large network of care groups that cover the city network, along with many clinics and small family health centres. Private health centres offer a larger variety of treatments and health programs that are often unavailable in public health networks.

Disadvantages

Private health care is often available only to patents who have a good insurance policy that will foot the bill. The cost of health care in a private system is very high, and hospital organisations control price regulations. Uninsured patients do not have access to certain treatments because of the cost, and emergency treatment will often lead to a large amount of debt owed to the hospital system.

Effects

Private health care systems affect the types of treatment that are available to a population. Many treatments that are considered unnecessary will not be covered by a public health care system. A private health care system, meanwhile, offers a higher level of treatment to those who can afford it.

Types

Private health care systems range from traditional hospitals to family paediatric clinics. The types of health care found in private networks include primary care, nursing care, speciality care and drug therapy.

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