Essay on Managing Financial Resource

2393 Words Apr 25th, 2012 10 Pages
There are financial implications for individuals accessing and using services in health care services, Evaluate the impact of these financial implication on service users. (AC 4.3)

The pursuit of equity of access to health care is a central objective of many health care systems. Yet, financial incentives can influence patients because, although the UK system is essentially ‘free at the point of use’, there are charges for specific services including eye tests, dental check-ups, and dispensing of prescription medicines. Charges can act as a deterrent to patients and as a barrier to access. The impact of user charges affects different socio-economic groups in different ways. For some groups, access may not be compromised by a co-payment,
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The shift in the balance of NHS and private dental care reflects the interests and preferences of dentists rather than of the public. It suggests, however, that a continued shift towards private practice is a trend that the public will not find acceptable, which might limit the extent of expansion of private practice.

Hughes and McGuire (1995) estimated the impact of charges for drug prescriptions in the NHS and found evidence to suggest that user charges reduced the number of prescriptions cashed in the UK. However, the impact of user charges is likely to affect different socioeconomic groups differently. Lundberg et al. (1998) found that price sensitivity decreased with age, income, education and self-rated health status. Furthermore, they found that sensitivity to user charges for drugs varied greatly between different types of drugs; for example, they found that if user charges doubled 40% of antitussive users would reduce their consumption, whereas only 11% of users of drugs for menopausal problems would reduce their consumption. It should be recognised that in the UK user charges are means-tested; low-income families and people over 65 years are exempt, as are individuals with certain chronic conditions, such as diabetes.

Some commentators suggested that user charges could (and should) be
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