UK Zimbabwe Healthcare Comparison

633 words | 3 page(s)

In comparing the healthcare systems in Zimbabwe and the UK, it is clear that the UK achieves superior outcomes because of superior dedication to funding. The National Health System is a robustly funded system that seeks to provide full health insurance for every person in the UK by leveraging tax dollars and keeping costs low. It is nationalised healthcare to the max, ensuring that people get preventative care because this tends to be both cheaper and more effective.

In Zimbabwe, on the other hand, the system is filled with problems, and the health outcomes for people suffer as a direct result. Zimbabwe provides a bit of a cautionary tale on what might happen if the UK does not properly fund its healthcare system. Of course, some of the challenges in Zimbabwe are unique to that country, and it would be sensationalist to suggest that the UK would begin to look like that country without a boost in its funding. Still, it is important to demonstrate a link between such funding and positive health outcomes. Zimbabwe’s example is instructive in that quest.

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The NHS is based upon the idea that things can be done more efficiently if the government is able to provide healthcare at compelling rates. It is also based on the idea that access to healthcare is more than just a privilege for the wealthy. Rather, it is a right that people should have at all times. If they do not have that right, then people will be unable to live happy lives, and this is unacceptable in a free society. With this in mind, there is a lack of fundamental founding values with the healthcare system in Zimbabwe. Mostly handled by the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare, the health system in the country has lacked the sort of consistent plan and defining body that the UK health system has possessed over time. This has plagued the system in Zimbabwe in many ways and led to several problems in the system.

One of the upsides to the UK system is that its human resources and retention rates have been high. Medical careers are still popular in the UK, with people knowing that they can both earn a good living and help people if they are able to get through school and into one of the better jobs. In Zimbabwe, there are significant problems both in the public and private sectors. While the NHS is against privatisation as a core value, around 65% of the healthcare provisions in Zimbabwe come from the private sector. These are mostly going to wealthy people who can afford the few doctors there. It is not so much that the government wants to hand off this duty to the private care providers. Rather, it is just that there does not seem to be much of a choice at this point. Around 70% of the positions posted as open in healthcare by the government have not been filled. There is little support for training and procurement, which has left the country’s healthcare system a mess.

Of course, Zimbabwe has a problem with its tax base. As one of the poorest countries in the world, Zimbabwe has to make hard choices. The UK does not have that problem. Though it would always be best for the UK to have more wealth, it is one of the wealthiest countries in the West and can afford funding. Funding in the UK would go to better train doctors and to hire more medical personnel so that operations could be expanded. In Zimbabwe, roughly 14% of the adult population has HIV and almost one in three children are malnourished. The average age of death is 49. These problems are exacerbated by a starved government health program that has no functional ability to help the people.

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