Task 2 Essay: Healthcare Systems
Question: Many countries offer a free health care system to their citizens rather than relying on private health care. What are the advantages and disadvantages of such a development?
Band 8+ Sample Answer:
(Intro) The question of whether a government-funded or private health care system should be used is an important decision for all countries. Personally I feel that the benefits of a free public system outweigh the drawbacks.
(Body 1) To begin with, the clear downsides of government-subsidised medical treatment for the entire population of a country is a low quality service. The primary reason lies in that the government already has a large number of sectors to allocate budgets to such as education, transport and utility infrastructures, environment and development of new technology. Such excessive demands might lead to not enough money to provide a premium service. In addition, because this service is provided by national authorities solely, healthy competition between service providers, which has been proved as a motive for quality advance, would not come into existence, therefore a substandard service might result. A clear example of this is the UK, where government hospital budgets have decreased annually for more than 10 years and as a result waiting times have dramatically risen.
(Body 2) On the other hand a state-funded service can better ensure a healthy population. This is because all citizens will be able to access regular health checks, cheaper medicine and essential treatment when required. This will have knock on effects for the country as a whole as it will mean that workers are healthier and do not need to take as many sick days, therefore improving productivity and economic growth. It will also mean that people’s mental health will be improved as they will not be stressed by debts incurred from paying sky-high medical bills. A good example of this is Canada which has a state-funded system and has much higher levels of physical and mental health than its neighbour the US.
(Conclusion) To sum up, I would opine that the advantages of subsidised provision of healthcare, which are a healthier and happier workforce, are more significant than the risk of a poor service resulting from monetary burdens on the government and the lack of competition. Ultimately people may be required to pay more tax for such a system but it would be a price worth paying. (354 words)
Essay: Student Essay, fully corrected and upgraded by Nick Kemp, former IELTS Examiner.
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