The purpose of this paper is to examine health care system efforts to prevent and treat HIV/AIDS in the United States and the United Kingdom. To this end, the paper first presents a brief description of the health care system in both countries. These descriptions are followed by discussions of HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment programs provided by each country's health care system. The final section of the paper presents an evaluation of whether the United States or the United Kingdom is better able to deal with HIV/AIDS patients.
The United States Health Care System
The United States medical-care system is a complex mix of public and private payments. Raffel and Raffel (1994) report that the system is costly, and often characterized by an inadequate distribution of resources and serious inequities of access.
The authors further state that, at present, private medical practice in America's health care system is eroding due to several variables. These include:
(1) a movement from solo practice into clinic conglomerates, which physicians usually do not control;
(3) an undersupply of primary-care physicians providing primary care at specialist rates;
(4) the replacement of fee-for-service by salaried and capitated payments;
(5) the addition to traditional medical practices of an array of expensive, often redundant, technological diagnostic and surgical procedures; and
(6) the merger of hospitals into investor-owned institutions that have produced huge aggregates that treat medical care more like a "product" than a service.
The health-care system in the United States, funded primarily by employer-sponsored insurance networks and supplemented by government entitlement programs for retired or unemployed individuals. However, private insurers report that the system is currently being threatened by the astronomical costs for providing care to persons with acquired immune deficiency syndrome (...