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Healthcare Assignment: A Comparative Analysis On Health Systems In Australia & Portugal

Question

Task:
Prepare a healthcare assignment analyzing the differences between Australia Health System and Portugal Health System.

Answer

Introduction
The current healthcare assignment sheds light on the health care systems which are specifically designed to meet the target populations' health care needs, and across the world, the health care system tremendously varies from country to country (Berry, 2019). The objective of this report is to compare the health care systems of Australia and Portugal based on contrast and comparison of governance structures and financial arrangements along with a critical discussion of the factors that influence the outcomes of both the systems.

The health care system of Australia is one of the world's best healthcare systems as it provides affordable, safe, and quality healthcare for its citizens. There are two types of health care system in Australia the private health system and the Medicare or public health system. The health care system in Portugal, on the other hand, consists of three co-existing systems, which are voluntary private health insurance, special social health insurance schemes, and the National Health Service (SNS).

Contrast and comparison of the structural and governance arrangements of Australia and Portugal's health care system
The Australian heath care system is primarily governed by Medicare, which is the country's national health insurance scheme. The AHPRA (Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency), in collaboration with 15 National Boards, protects the population of Australia through the regulation of the country's registered health professionals (APHRA, 2020). In Portugal, the Ministry of Health is responsible for developing a policy related to the country's health care along with the management of the SNS (HealthManagement, 2017). In addition to that, five regional level administrations of health are responsible for the implementation of the policy related to objectives of national health. The healthcare legislation in both Australia and Portugal underpins the arrangements of healthcare by establishing policies that can ensure affordable and safe health care for every individual.

In Australia, the national, state, and territory level governments, along with the local governments, are accountable for managing and monitoring the performance of the country's healthcare system. In addition to that, since the year of 1984, Medicare has been the universal healthcare scheme in Australia. In Portugal, the Ministry of Health monitors and manages the protocols related to the country's healthcare system. Overall, it is evident that the health care system of both Australia and Portugal ate managed and monitored by the governments and health bodies of the respective countries. However, the private health care system in Australia is owned and managed by private hospitals, pharmacies, and specialist allied health. In Portugal, the private health care system is managed and owned by private hospitals, private insurance schemes, etc.

The major strength of the Australian healthcare system is that it provides affordable and safe healthcare to the country's citizens. However, the major weakness of the Australian heath care system is that it suffers from inadequacies in the system along with poor coordination of delivery and service (Medical Clinic, 2020). On the other hand, the major strength of Portugal’s healthcare system is that it gets financed by taxes along with occupation-based health insurance that includes both the private and public sectors. The major weakness of Portugal's health care system is that there exist large sections of the population who do not have easy access to primary health care (Sakellarides et al., 2015). Overall, the Australian and Portugal's healthcare system compares on the basis of its governance, structure, financing, and service.

The designing and structure of both Australia and Portugal’s health care system involves primary healthcare, health promotion, hospitals and specialist services. In addition to that, the designing of both the health care systems is specifically based upon different types of tiers of services that can help their citizen by offering a wide range of healthcare services.

Comparison and Contrast of the Financing Arrangement
The health system of Australia is given financial assistance jointly by the commonwealth, state government, local government, and private sector. In the Australian health system, the revenue is generated through various sources so the healthcare services can be provided. The major source of revenue is government funding and patient fees. Similarly, the health system is also funded by the government, contributing a significant amount of revenue. However, the difference is that the revenue from the government is funded through the tax money paid by the residents of the country. The comparison in the two health system is that, in both the countries, the health care system is funded by the government.

Reimbursement in the health system is the payments given to the healthcare worker as fees or capitation. In Australia, the payments and reimbursement are made through Medicare, and along with that, the government of Australia has established a Medicare Benefits Schedule that provides subsidies to health care services (Glover, 2020). On the other hand, the payment and reimbursement arrangements are covered under government legislation. Payment and reimbursement arrangements in Portugal are covered by the National Health Services. Along with that, the global budget is also used by the Ministry of Health for payment and reimbursement arrangements.

The strength of the financing arrangement of the Australian health system is that it ensures the delivery of quality healthcare facilities and innovation in the health system. However, the disadvantage of the financing arrangement is that there are technological costs, equity, and demographic changes in Australia (Macri, 2015). On the other hand, the advantage of the financing arrangement of Portugal is that they can provide free healthcare services to citizens who are below the age of 18 years. The possible disadvantage of the financing arrangement of Portugal's health system is that the government's financial assistance does not allow advanced innovation research and development in the health system.

Critical discussion of the factors that influences the outcomes and design of healthcare systems in Portugal and Australia
Medicare, which is Australia's universal healthcare system, understood the importance of every Australian contributing to the health care cost according to their financial ability (NMA, 2015). In Portugal, after the year 2002, the country's government understood the necessity of structural reforms that can help the country's healthcare system in terms of complying with intermediate administration levels. The similarities in the outcomes of both Australia's and Portugal's healthcare systems are that both the systems have successfully integrated rural and urban health care, so that majority of the country's population have easy access to affordable and safe healthcare. However, the main difference in the outcomes lies in the fact that the Australian heath care system has been accessible to every section of the population, but the healthcare system of Portugal is not easily accessible to every person. In addition to that, the geography of both Australia and Portugal is primarily involved urban lifestyles and areas, so the health care system of both countries primary structures around urban lifestyle.

Both Australia and Portugal have set healthy international benchmarks, and they can be measured by analyzing the health care outcomes of both countries. The healthcare outcomes in Australia indicate that the country has been providing affordable and safe healthcare to all the sections of the population, and Medicare, which is the foundation of the country's healthcare system, have been providing medical services by covering the cost of public hospital services. On the other hand, the healthcare outcomes of Portugal have been extremely effective in terms of patient information and rights, which is a crucial aspect of the overall health outcomes (Nunes and Ferreira, 2018).

Conclusion
In conclusion, it can be said that the report clearly states the comparisons and contrasts between the health system of Australia and Portugal. It can be seen that the health system of Australia and Portugal can be compared and contrasted on the ground of governance and structural arrangements. The health system of Australia has multiple components, whereas the structure of the health system of Portugal constitutes national health services and other parties in healthcare. The financing arrangements of both countries are similar as the health system of both countries is funded by the government. The factors that influence the health system of both countries are effectiveness, risk factors, and accessibility. Therefore, through all these analyses and evaluations, it is evident that despite being two separate countries and having two separate legislations. There are few similarities between the health system of Australia and Portugal despite having several differences.

References
APHRA (2020). A unique and substantial achievement: Ten years of national health practitioner regulation in Australia. [online] . Available at: https://www.ahpra.gov.au/documents/default.aspx?record=WD20%2F29566&dbid=AP&chksum=aUY1%2FC9wy%2FpZfwZMnolBdA%3D%3D [Accessed 10 Aug. 2021].

Berry, L. (2019). Reclaiming Health Care’s Fundamental Purpose. [online] Ihi.org. Available at: http://www.ihi.org/communities/blogs/reclaiming-health-care-s-fundamental-purpose [Accessed 10 Aug. 2021].

Glover, L. (2020). Australia | Commonwealth Fund. [online] www.commonwealthfund.org. Available at: https://www.commonwealthfund.org/international-health-policy-center/countries/australia [Accessed 10 Aug. 2021].

HealthManagement (2017). Radiology Management, ICU Management, Healthcare IT, Cardiology Management, Executive Management. [online] HealthManagement. Available at: https://healthmanagement.org/c/hospital/issuearticle/the-portuguese-healthcare-system-1 [Accessed 10 Aug. 2021].

Macri, J. (2015). Australia’s Health System: Some Issues and Challenges. Journal of Health & Medical Economics, [online] 2(2). Available at: https://health-medical-economics.imedpub.com/australias-health-system-some-issuesand-challenges.php?aid=8344 [Accessed 10 Aug. 2021].

Medical Clinic (2020). Australian Healthcare System: Strengths & Weaknesses | Life Medical Clinic. [online] lifemedicalclinic.com.au. Available at: http://lifemedicalclinic.com.au/australian-healthcare-system-strengths-weaknesses/ [Accessed 10 Aug. 2021].

NMA (2015). Medicare | National Museum of Australia. Nma.gov.au, [online] 1(1). Available at: https://www.nma.gov.au/defining-moments/resources/medicare [Accessed 10 Aug. 2021].

Nunes, A.M. and Ferreira, D.C. (2018). The health care reform in Portugal: Outcomes from both the New Public Management and the economic crisis. [online] researchgate. Available at: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/326961151_The_health_care_reform_in_Portugal_Outcomes_from_both_the_New_Public_Management_and_the_economic_crisis [Accessed 10 Aug. 2021].

Sakellarides, C., Castelo-Branco, L., Barbosa, P. and Azevedo, H. (2015). The impact of the crisis on the health system and health in Portugal. [online] www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK447846/ [Accessed 10 Aug. 2021].

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