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Although some view health care from an economic perspective as being no different from other products or services, others believe it has many characteristics that encourage government intervention or regulation:
- The provision of critical health care treatment is often regarded as a basic human right, regardless of whether the individual has the means to pay—some treatments cost more than a typical family's life savings.
- Health care professionals are bound by law and their oaths of service to provide lifesaving treatment.
- Health care professionals are monopolists in various respects: surgery, gynecology, prescribing, etc.
- Consumers often lack the information or understanding to be able to choose rationally between competing health care providers when they need treatment, particularly in the event of the need of urgent or emergency treatment.
Health care systems models Edit
- Purely private enterprise health care systems are comparatively rare. Where they exist, it is usually for a comparatively well-off subpopulation in a poorer country with a poorer standard of health care–for instance, private clinics for a small, wealthy expatriate population in an otherwise poor country. But there are countries with a majority-private health care system with residual public service (see Medicare, Medicaid).
- The other major models are public insurance systems:
- Social security health care model, where workers and their families are insured by the State.
- Publicly-funded health care model, where the residents of the country are insured by the State.
- Sickness insurance model, where the whole population or most of the population is a member of a sickness insurance company.
In almost every country with a government health care system a parallel private system is allowed to operate. This is sometimes referred to as two-tier health care. The scale, extent, and funding of these private systems is very variable.
- Accident compensation
- Canadian and American health care systems compared
- Emergency services (see also Lifeline)
- Health care delivery
- Health care professionals
- Health care reform
- Health insurance
- International aid organizations (e.g. World Health Organization)
- National Health Service (British system)
- Social security
- Universal health care
- Workplace insurance
- HRC/Eldis Health Systems Resource Guide provides access to free online research and other resources on health systems in developing countries
- About.com's Pros & Cons of Massachusetts' Mandatory Health Insurance Program
- Healthcare Research provides access to free online research on electronic health systems along with EHR vendor comparison.
- Health Decisions Comprehensive health insurance resource; with news, a learning center, and original content.
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