If you are preparing for a medical school interview then you should also expect a few questions related to the health policies and health care system’s current state in the country. You may have to assess the health care system, share your views on reforms or changes you want to see in the healthcare system. If you are working with a medical school admissions consulting expert, you already know what kind of question you may have to face in the medical school admission interview. You can answer these questions if you understand the challenges the current healthcare system has to address. In this article, we will cover the following four challenges. 

  1. Healthcare Cost 
  2. Higher prices not translating to better health     
  3. Wide disparities 
  4. Less robust primary care 

Healthcare Cost 

The following table illustrates the healthcare spendings of four high-income countries in 2017. These stats are by the World Bank Country Health Expenditure. 

Country Percentage of GDP 
US 17% 
France 11.3%
United Kingdom 9.6% 
Italy 8.8%

This shows that the US spends more than other high-income countries. One of the reasons behind high healthcare costs is that Americans have to spend more to purchase medicines. Healthcare administrative costs are also high. In addition to these, the number of CT scans, MRI and other tests is also high. The “defensive medicine” practice is another factor. 

Higher Prices not Translating to Better Health     

Despite spending more on healthcare, healthcare outcomes are not satisfactory in many areas. According to 2017 stats by OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development), among 11 high-income countries, life expectancy was the lowest in the US. Life expectancy in Switzerland was 83.6 years and 78.6 years in the U.S. 

There are other health metrics that favor other high-income countries spending less. In the US, there is an additional burden of chronic diseases. In Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland, France and the United Kingdom, only 18% of adults report high blood pressure, diabetes and other chronic diseases. On the other hand, in the US, it is 30%. 

Wide Disparities 

Not all segments of the population can access the same level and quality of healthcare services. This is the reason why life expectancy in some communities is low. Disabilities and prevalence of some diseases are high among these communities. The following are the key factors that influence health: 

  • Gender 
  • Ethnicity 
  • Race 
  • Socioeconomic status  
  • Sexual orientation.

However, there have been significant improvements in recent years. According to the Affordable Care Act, now more people are eligible for Medicaid. However, there are still some disparities that require some attention. The rate of diabetes is higher in Hispanic, Native American and Black populations.

Less Robust Primary Care  

Many Americans don’t have primary care providers. According to a report by JAMA Internal Medicine, the percentage of people who see primary care providers is declining. Primary care providers play a key role in disease prevention and promoting health. Regularly visiting a primary care provider helps in disease screening. This also helps in the diagnosis of high blood pressure, diabetes and other chronic diseases. To know more about the medical school admission process, look for a medical school admission consulting expert who can help you through the admission process.

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