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HCA 4303, Comparative Health Systems 1

HCA 4303, Comparative Health Systems 1

Course Learning Outcomes for Unit V Upon completion of this unit, students should be able to:

1. Examine how the healthcare systems in both a developed country and a developing country approach both prevention and resources.


Reading Assignment Chapter 7: The Healthcare System in the United Kingdom Chapter 14: The Healthcare System in Ghana

Unit Lesson In this unit, we continue comparing and contrasting two countries on two different elements of the eight factors determining true access to health care. We will examine the prevention and resourcing of the healthcare delivery systems in the developed United Kingdom (England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland) and the developing country of Ghana. We will focus most of our attention on the well-established and often imitated system in England. As we discussed in the last unit, a comparative analysis goes beyond just comparing and contrasting known facts about two groups. A true analysis finds several links or connections and examines them to gain a deeper understanding of the material. It goes beyond facts and assesses meaning to behavior. It looks at not only relationships but interrelationships. In this unit, we find such a connection between Ghana and England. Beyond the fact that Ghana was a British colony until 1957, they share many qualities. Much like sibling rivalry, there continues to be competition and even an occasional disagreement between the two sister countries. As the two countries have remained financially connected over the decades through ongoing trade, their medical communities are also intrinsically linked. Since we are talking about medical resources in this unit, and medical professionals are one of the most significant resources in any healthcare system, it is important to understand that there is an ongoing debate throughout the global healthcare system about affluent, developed countries poaching trained professionals from less developed countries by offering them better wages, better working conditions, and an overall higher quality of life. That exact situation has existed between England and Ghana since the 1970s. Although international professional migration in the health sector includes most occupations (physicians, dentists, optometrist, pharmacists, occupational and physical therapists, and mental health providers), one of the most common is within the field of nursing. We know from the literature that there is a global shortage of nursing that is predicted to reach epidemic proportions by the year 2025 (Spetz & Given, 2003). What has notoriously been a female-dominated profession throughout most of the world has consistently failed to reach recruitment, training, and retention goals. Women have many options today and no longer feel limited to the professions of teaching and nursing, secretarial work, or homemaking. The educational system for nurses has also lagged behind as have wages and working conditions. Since today’s nurses often enter the profession out of a sensed calling to help people, they can often be attracted to a better life being offered outside of their home country while continuing to serve mankind. This is the case with many nurses educated and trained in Ghana. A meta-analysis study conducted by Martineau, Decker, and Bundred (2004) reviewed the literature and tracked contemporary issues related to England recruiting trained nurses from Ghana over a 40-year span of

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