HealthCare Sample Homework


Compare healthcare in the United State and Spain. Major components of the paper are cost, efficiency, access, and equity. You must have subheadings for each of these four factors. Provide facts that reflect detailed comparative analysis of healthcare in these two countries. Similarly, provide figures and statistics, backed with citations that show how cost and equity levels compare for the two countries. All sources need to be dated between 2012 and 2017.

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Comparing HealthCare in the US and Spain


Introduction. 2

Cost and Access. 2

Efficiency and Equity. 4

Summary. 5

References. 6


Both America and Spain have some of the most advanced healthcare systems in the world. For decades, the two countries have developed highly efficient methods of promoting healthcare cost, efficiency, access, and equity. These gains have been achieved mostly through social security, taxes, and good governance. While the two countries are majorly at the same level in terms of quality, their healthcare systems are different in terms of the administrative structures in place. This analysis will compare the healthcare system in both countries in terms of cost, access, efficiency and equity. This comparison zero in on the strengths, weaknesses and opportunities manifested by different players in the health care sectors of the two countries. Ultimately, the main goal is to determine how healthcare access and outcomes can be improved in both countries.


Cost and Access

Spain is ranked seventh in the world in terms of affordability and accessibility of the healthcare system. The country’s government spends close 15% of its GDP on healthcare and has a ratio of around four doctors for every 1000 patients (Davidson, 2013). World Health Organization statistics show that that Spanish women majorly do better than their European counterparts in terms of healthcare access (Davidson, 2013). Healthcare in Spain encompasses a universal coverage that does not require any additional out-of-pocket charges. On the other hand, the US healthcare system has improved and diversified its health covers to include all age groups and categories. Without a doubt, healthcare has in the last ten years become a priority with the enactment of the Affordable Care Act. It has been made it compulsory for health insurance coverage to be extended to every American (Davidson, 2013). With options such as Medicare and Medicaid in place, the old and young alike are able to get health insurance. However, the US healthcare system still includes a lot of out-of-pocket expenses especially when a patient gets referrals or wants to see different specialists.

While the Spanish system has no additional or out-of-pocket expenses, many may will complain about the long lines and time it takes to get attended to. In the US, the opposite is true; while individuals end up paying extra costs, healthcare is easily accessible with shorter lines and les time required to get treatment. Moreover, heath care in the US has been widely devolved into Federal and Statutory legislation (Fauget, 2013). Furthermore, there are mobile and retail clinics that are common and accessible in most areas. In Spain, healthcare is widely regulated by the national government in terms of provision and funding. So, mobile and retail clinics are therefore not as many as in America.

Although the Spanish healthcare sector is dominated by public hospitals, the country’s private hospitals are strongly being supported by the government. While most people have access to public health insurance plans; those without them are required to organize for their private covers. Even so, both covers are acceptable at the country’s hospitals, though some differences may occur depending on the region and applicable laws.In the US, the health care system is mostly privatized, with the government playing a regulatory role (Fauget, 2013). More than half the hospitals are primarily nonprofit with the remaining ones manifest the characteristics of both public and for-profit centers.

Efficiency and Equity

In terms of efficiency and equity, the Spanish healthcare system is extremely efficient but rather slow. In America, the level of efficiency is also high, but it comes at an extra cost. A typical Spanish health insurance cover allows one to see a general family doctor who can then recommend a specialist if necessary (Fauget, 2013). Notably, private insurance there allows faster access to a specialist. In the US, general insurance allows one access to a general practitioner who can also recommends a specialist on a need basis. Specialists there are extremely expensive and the resulting costs are often offset through out-of-pocket charges. In the long term, specialized treatment becomes extremely expensive in the US for most age groups. In addition, the American health sector has been greatly compromised in terms of quality particularly during the last decade. While it has become more readily accessible and cheaper, its quality has been negatively affected, and this has become a point of constant debate in US health reform.


In Spain, prescription services have also been widely standardized. Patients have to pay a certain percentageof the total prescription cost, which is determined by the income of the individual and the age of the person (working one is working or is a pensioner (White and Krause, 2012). This has ensured that prescription drugs are easily accessible and treatment is followed through effectively. In the US, prescriptions are covered in the health insurance plans with most of the remaining costs being covered by the individual. This is especially true in the country’s retail and mobile clinics.

Finally, major milestones have been achieved in terms of healthcare equity in Spain. Public health coverage plans have been made accessible to more categories than in America, to the point of addressing the needs of non-citizensin some cases.Most areas of health are covered, and one major exception is dental health. Maternal healthcare is being greatly emphasized both during antenatal and prenatal periods. In the US, healthcare equity has been the core point of debate particularly during Obama care (Holsinger, 2013). Even though regulating quality has become extremely difficult, under the Affordable Care Act, most people are now protected by social security including the homeless and those with disabilities.


Undoubtedly, healthcare access has received a lot of attention during the last decade in both Spain and the US. This trend is part of an unfolding global movement towards health reform. The US and Spain are both actively involved in research on ways of modifying their respective healthcare systems with the aim of improving cost, efficiency, access, and equity. By comparing and analyzing these fundamental elements from a comparative perspective, it is evident that continued improvements in a balanced and productive manner in both countries are a nascent possibility. Both countries have a lot to learn from each other’s healthcare systems as part of this improvement process.


Davidson, S. (2013). A NewEra in US Health Care; Critical Next Steps under the Affordable Care Act. Stanford: Stanford University Press.

Fauget, G. (2013). The Affordable Care Act: A Missed Opportunity, A Better Way Forward. New York: Algora.

Holsinger, J. (2013). Contemporary Public Health: Principles, Practice and Policy. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky.

White, M. and Krause, J. (2012). Why Can’t America Deliver on Reform? Medical Economics, 89(5), 7-45.

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