AU Healthcare Economics Comparative Paper


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For your second writing assignment, you’ll be asked to compare and contrast the healthcare systems of two countries that offer different versions of these three types: 1) the consumer sovereignty model, 2) the social insurance model, or 3) the national health services model.

In this assignment, you’ll be expected to:

Choose two countries to compare and contrast.

Identify and describe which model of healthcare system that each country uses to deliver healthcare to its citizens.

  • Describe at least two main strengths from the particular type of system that each country offers. (You’ll need to back this up with data, so read all directions before choosing.)
  • Describe at least two main weaknesses from the particular type of system that each country offers. (You’ll need to back this up with data, so read all directions before choosing.)
  • Use at least one real-world data point that supports your discussion of each strength and each weakness. Maybe it’s a spending data point, or maybe it’s a quality of life data point.
  • The data may support the argument, or the data may contradict the argument. Neither outcome is necessarily wrong. Just discuss what reasons you think may explain the result.
  • Be sure to collect at least four different pieces of data for each country (one data point per country for each strength or weakness comparison that you make).

Use the data discussion in Module Seven as your guide on how to pick out the data to support your argument (no need for multiple years of data—just use data for a single year to make each comparison).

  • Online sources for easy access to country-specific health data are included following these instructions.
  • Be sure to cite all of your sources carefully.
  • Be concise in your discussions (that means be complete but not too wordy). Stay focused on fulfilling only these requirements.
  • You can use any reputable source for data on healthcare systems from countries around the world. Be sure to select countries that have available data. Here are some good sources for easily finding real-world data for your chosen countries:
  • For comparing healthcare spending data:

For comparing healthcare quality and accessibility data:

  • For general health related data:

Some Helpful Hints:

When comparing countries, be sure to use data that can be directly compared across societies to reveal useful information supporting your argument. For example, compare per-capita healthcare spending across countries instead of total healthcare spending. Use mortality rates per 100,000 people each year, rather than total deaths per year.

  • Think about what each type of data represents conceptually. For example, what does the number of doctors per 100,000 people in the country represent? Patient accessibility? Medical services quality? Or both? There’s often more than one correct answer to that question, so you’ll need to explain why you chose specific data to reflect your specific argument.

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