Health Care Systems Management Dissertation

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Health Care Systems Management

As the society grew and evolved, its focus on healthcare increased and it has eventually come to a situation in which the life expectancy at birth doubled or even tripled. Macau is for instance the country with the highest life expectancy at birth with 84.36 years. It is followed by Andorra with 82.51 years, Japan with 82.12 years and Singapore with 81.98 years. At the other end sit Angola with 38.20 years, Zambia with 38.63 years, Lesotho with 40.38 years and Mozambique with 41.18 years (Central Intelligence Agency, 2010).

The past few decades have witnessed numerous processes of global change, one of the most important of them being the liberalization of markets and the globalization of not just economies, but cultures, technologies and societies. These values commenced to transcend boundaries and impacted the corresponding values in order global regions. But despite this process of globalization, differences remain obvious is various fields. One of the most relevant examples is offered by the healthcare sector. While the globally observable trend has been that of improving the living conditions for the populations and increasing the life expectancy, the means in which countries approached this goal vary.

A most relevant significance is noticeable -- like many other elements -- in terms of the western hemisphere vs. The eastern hemisphere. While the West has strived to improve the health of its citizens through technological innovations, the East has focused on making medical services more easily accessible for the entire population. Unfortunately enough however, the two alternatives proved rather exclusive and a notable example in this sense is offered by the case of Kuwait, where medical reform was conducted to increase the population's access to medical services, but in the process, innovation and advancements were neglected.

The current research endeavor strives to assess the status of the Kuwaiti health care system and retrieve a relevant image of the situation. In order to accomplish this, it will construct a twofold approach. On the one hand, the basis of the research endeavor would be constituted by the analysis of the available literature in order to identify the situation as presented in secondary sources. On the other hand, an attempt will be made at assessing the situation through primary sources of information. Specifically, the analysis would be conducted through the lenses of the patient perceptions, as well as the medical staff perceptions over the status of the Kuwaiti health care system.

The assessment of the primary sources of information -- patients and medical staffs -- would be completed through a survey of the two categories of individuals. The selection of the research tools and techniques has been completed with the aid of the onion ring research methodology which revolves around the gradual answering of several questions, referring to elements such as the research philosophy, the research strategy, the research choice and so on.

Relative to the findings of the research process, these indicate elements such as technological limitations, training necessities or the required emphasis on prevention as well as treatment. In light of these findings, recommendations have been forwarded. They for instance include the offering of training to the staff members; the offering of better support for the educational system; the focus on disease prevention or the development and implementation of several strategic courses of action, originated from the private sector but with enhanced abilities to support managerial advancement in the public sector.

2. Research aims and objectives

The scope of the current research endeavor is that of objectively assessing the status of the Kuwaiti health care system and, in order to attain relevant findings, the research would consider the stand points of both patients as well as medical staffs. As the condition of the Kuwaiti health care system is overviewed, specific recommendations would be made. The very set of recommendations to be offered represents the practical significance of the current research endeavor, whereas the actual study represents the theoretical significance of the project.

At a more specific level, there are five sub-themes associated with the research project. They also represent the key questions of the study, and they are presented below:

Question 1: How can medical reporting errors be improved?

Question 2: How can performance management practices be improved?

Question 3: What is the patient perception over the provided services?

Question 4: What is the staff perception over the provided services?

Question 5: How does the media's portrayal of the provision of healthcare in Kuwait impact the perception of staff and patients over the healthcare system?

In order to answer the above posed research questions, several smaller objectives are set. In this order of ideas, it is initially necessary to review the specialized literature in order to place the research questions in context. The literature review would constitute the starting point not only in the analysis, but also in the creation of the survey as it would create the background and would identify the issues to which attention should be paid. As the literature review is completed, the next sub-objective of the research endeavor is that of identifying the most adequate research methodology. As with most research elements, the researcher cannot simply adopt a specific technique, but this has to be selected in specific accordance with the research particularities.

The third objective is then that of combing the three research components -- the information in the specialized literature, the sample and the research tools and techniques -- in order to generate findings. This scope would be obtained through the processes generically called data analysis. The final objective of the paper is then the integration of all findings into a single, unified section restating the most important findings. In the aftermath of this process, a series of recommendations would be constructed and presented.

3. Literature review

3.1. The general context in Kuwait

Kuwait gained its independence in 1961, up until which point it had been ruled by the United Kingdom. In 1990, the country was invaded by Iraq and a resolution of the conflict was only possible the following year, after the intervention of the United Nations (promoted by the United States of America). The 1990s decade witnessed a deeply challenged Kuwait, struggling to rebuild the country as its infrastructure had been severely impacted by the armed conflicts.

The country's location in the Middle East, bordered by the Persian Gulf, Iraq and Saudi Arabia means that the country is generally characterized by the problems of the region, such as relative high resistance to globalization as it is understood as Americanization or westernization, regional conflicts or high income inequalities. The geographic conditions in Kuwait are rather tough, with only 0.84 per cent of the entire land being arable. The weather is generally dry due to the dessert, with intense and hot summers and short and cool winters. The country's main natural resources are petroleum, fish, shrimp and natural gas. Kuwait is facing several environmental issues due to both natural hazards as well as problems within the environment. In terms of natural hazards, these include sudden cloudbursts, heavy rains, sandstorms and dust storms. Relative to environmental concerns, these include "limited natural fresh water resources; some of world's largest and most sophisticated desalination facilities provide much of the water; air and water pollution [and] desertification" (Central Intelligence Agency, 2010).

Officially entitled the State of Kuwait, the country is a constitutional emirate with its capital in the Kuwait City. The country is territorially divided into 6 administrative regions and the legal system is based on civil law, with strong Islamic influences. Kuwait has yet to adopt the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice. The state representatives are elected by popular vote and the suffrage age is of 21; men in the limitary are not allowed to vote and the women's right to vote has only been granted in 2005.

The Kuwaiti population totals up to 2,692,526 individuals, being as such the 140th largest population on the globe (the top was constructed by the Central Intelligence Agency and it integrates 238 countries). In terms of ethnicity, the majority (45 per cent) are Kuwaitis, followed by other Arabs with 35 per cent, South Asian with 9 per cent, Iranians with 4 per cent and other ethnicities with 7 per cent. The predominant religion is Muslim (85 per cent of the entire population) and it is followed by Christianity and Hinduism. The official language is Kuwaiti, but English is highly common. The literacy rate is of 93.3 per cent, with the average Kuwaiti expected to spend 13 years in school. The proportion of the national income spent on education if of 3.8 per cent.

The largest proportion of the individuals (70 per cent) is of ages between 15 and 64 and the total median age of the population is of 26.4 years. The life expectancy at birth is of 77.71 years, with 76.51 years for males and 78.96 years for females. The Kuwaiti population grows at an annual rate of 3.549 per cent; the net migration rate is of 16.01 migrants… [END OF PREVIEW]

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