Importance Of Gatekeeping In Healthcare

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Gatekeeping in terms of the healthcare sector has been debated throughout the years on whether the process has resulted in the contribution to the improvement of healthcare of a population. The term, gatekeeping is defined as the general public having to go through ‘doors’ in the health care system. This means that referral is required from primary care sectors such as General Practitioners (GP) being the first point of contact, in order to have authorised access to receive secondary and/or tertiary care sector service, these services include specialists such as dermatologists, cardiologist and oncologist. The idea of gatekeeping was originally developed to control the amount of money that is spent on healthcare and as a response to the shortage…show more content…
It is quite clear that gatekeeping exists in the health sector for New Zealand as access to specialist is usually only available after referral from the primary sector (GP). Whereas the level of gatekeeping in USA is not as clear, although there is still some levels of gatekeeping, the option of being able to directly see a specialist is available by paying privately for specialist. Therefore skipping having to go through primary sector. (Forrest CB, Glade GB, Starfield B, Baker AE, Kang M, Reid RJ,1999). It has been found that Americans prefer being able to directly access specialists rather than the restricted gatekeeping option. (Christianson JB, Warrick LH, Wholey DR, 2005). In this essay, the issue of gatekeeping will be discussed, the paper will be structured around the following main discussion: Whether Amber and Bradley are subjected to gatekeeping and if so, in what way. What some of the advantages and disadvantages for Amber and Bradley as patients due to having to go through gatekeeping or not. On top of this, advantages and disadvantages of gatekeeping for the health systems that use and don’t use it will also be discussed in concepts of access, quality, efficiency and…show more content…
This includes what services are produced and the ways services are produced in the healthcare system. The healthcare system is considered efficient if there is a high number of satisfied patients. This is possible due to shorter waiting times and faster diagnosis and treatment. Therefore an efficiency advantage for the healthcare system due to gatekeeping is the reduction of both cost and unnecessary patients that are seeing specialist, resulting in longer waiting times are therefore later diagnosis and treatment. This reduction in patients will also ensure specialists are able to see more complex cases with more available time. Another efficient advantage is due to the fact that on average primary level health care are less expensive compared to secondary and tertiary health care such as specialists. This means that due to gatekeeping, patients that don’t require specialist (secondary health care) do not get to see them, reducing in cost majorly. For example, a study that was conducted in 2014 found that since Austria is not subjected to gatekeeping, patients in Austria tend to seek specialist 4 times more compared to countries that are subjected to gatekeeping (Laura, 2015). This means that cost is higher due to higher over-utilization of

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