How Can We Assess Health Care System?

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How can we assess health care system? Can any system be efficient and equitable?

Before a healthcare system can be assessed, a clear and universally accepted definition must be established of what exactly healthcare means. The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines its understanding of the healthcare system through a concept of a ‘health action’, meaning any activity whose primary intent is to improve and maintain health. This definition allows the establishment of broad operational borders for the healthcare system that not only involves all the personnel and institutions involved in healthcare (both primary and secondary care) but also actions and policies (such as the seat-belt laws) that can contribute to the health directly.

The assessment of any social system, and in particular healthcare, can be carried out through a two-step process.

Initially, the overall quality of a healthcare system can be established by looking at the attainment of goals of the said system. Healthcare has an obvious defining goal– the improvement and maintenance of health, however, it can also be said that the level of responsiveness and the level of equity in the whole system are similarly important goals and vital to examine. As such, WHO recommends the assessment be carried out under 5 headings: Level of Health, Distribution of Health, Level of Responsiveness, Distribution of Responsiveness and additionally – Fairness in Financial Contribution.

The first goal – the improvement and
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