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During the last decade the private sector in the UK has expanded rapidly due in part to the long waiting times for outpatient consultations and elective surgeries. In response, to improve health care delivery the National Health Services (NHS) has outlined the following several measures to focus on the patient's needs:

- Information for patients
- More hospitals and beds
- Shorter waiting times for hospital and doctor appointments
- Cleaner hospital wards
- Reward system for NHS organizations that provide quality care.

Analyze and discuss three issues that are creating challenges for the overall UK health care system.

Please cite references.

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Solution Summary

This solution explains some of the largest issues challenging health care systems in Western societies today.

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The UK healthcare system, both NHS and private sector, has been going through a large amount of transition recently. The adjustments will likely continue at least for the next five to ten years. These changes are a result of adaptation to a number of societal issues that is facing the medical system, three of which are discussed below:

1) The Ageing Population:
This is an issue facing most Western countries. As the Western world has developed, including education, food resources, and medical technology, life expectancy has risen. This means that, as a whole, the country is getting older. However, older people tend to be sicker. Moreover, elderly patients tend not to have conditions that can simply be treated and they can be discharged. Instead, elderly patients tend to have multiple overlapping conditions, many requiring constant care and support, such as dementia and Alzheimer's. About 2/3 of hospital beds are now occupied by patients over 65. Yet, hospitals have neither the time nor the money to ...

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