Reforms in any industry are meant to revamp and restructurizer for an advanced and highly effective system. As the health sector is progressing at different paces in different countries, let’s have an integrated look at how these reforms were implemented in 5 different countries of Europe. Health is a priority sector for the reforms to take place and every professional would agree to it. Little bit of negligence can lead to wrong and unexpected outcomes which may not turn in our favor. Although, most countries have somewhat similar healthcare objectives for the policy, which again brings unity in action.
Now, what really happens when a country reforms its healthcare sector? Apparently, they conduct a proper analysis of health care objectives, existing healthcare institutions, the probable ordeals and the solutions to it. Here, we will cover the recent health care reforms in 5 countries of Western Europe- Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland and the Netherlands.
In the Belgium healthcare system, it is mandatorily focused on the social health insurance system that happens to cover major risks of the whole population along with any minor risks for the self-employed. It forms two major models i.e. the public reimbursement model and the public contract model meant for the ambulatory care. In these models, the patients make payment to their respective doctor and it gets reimbursed for part of the cost. The amount of fees is fixed by settlement between insurer and provider. Direct payment is made to the public and private hospitals in the form of diem payment. The government of Belgium is indulged into setting contributions, negotiation of contracts and planning up hospital investment.
the structure of French healthcare system is quite complicated, so to say. As in Belgium, here also the whole population is insured under the compulsion of the social health care system. There is again a mix of the public reimbursement model as well as the public contract model for ambulatory care. The fees of the patients are fixed with contracts between an insurer and a provider. The specialist doctors that account to almost 25%, charge extra fees from patients. As far as public hospitals are concerned, they are organized as per the integrated model with salaried physicians and a global budget. The whole system supplements the voluntary insurance as per the model of reimbursement. The government of France is indulged into fee setting and planning or budgeting mainly for the public hospitals.
two major elements of insurance applied in Germany are: social insurance which accounts for 75% of the population and voluntary insurance which accounts for 23% of the population. More than half of what comes under voluntary insurance is enrolled within the sickness funds, the remaining is insured on private basis. The federal government has a chief role in the regulation of the healthcare system. What it does is that it makes arrangements for the balance of countervailing power between statutory insurers and providers that permits for considerable self- government. Private insurance is regulated heavily in the system.
The Iriish healthcare system comprises two main eligibility criteria, out of which one third of the population has the privilege of relishing full eligibility for the free medical services that is funded out of general tax and the rest may enjoy eligibility upto partial level. The general practitioners get their payment by capitation for those who are the fully eligible patients coming under the contract model and they get their fees from the partially eligible population. The main focus area for the government of Ireland is providing the public services and private insurance.
The dutch system is highly advanced as a health care system. It provides compulsory social health insurance for the population if it is for chronic care while for acute care, it accounts to 70% of the population. The rest of the population depends on voluntary insurance for acute care. Moreover, the sickness funds make the payment to GPs by capitation, the specialists by service fee and the private hospitals by per diem payments, that lies under the global budget as per contract model. Those who are private insurers, they reimburse patients.