Essays, poems and Stories of an African-American

Monday, 28 December 2015

Comparison of USA and Republic of South Africa (RSA) Health Indicators

In Physical health status  is often interpreted  through morbidity ( disease and disability) and mortality (death) rates (Shi & Singh, 2015). The following indicators: population size; total expenditure on health as a % of GDP; infant mortality; and life expectancy are used for this short write up.

The total population (2013) of USA is 320,051,000; Life expectancy at birth m/f (2013) is 76/80; and total expenditure on health as % of GDP (2013) is 17.1 (WHO, 2013). The infant mortality rate per 1,000 live births for 2011 was 6.05 (Child Health USA, 2013).

Food is important as a good and a product.

The Republic of South Africa total expenditure on health as % of GDP (2013) is 8.9; life expectancy at birth m/f (2013) is 57/64; and total population (2013) is 52,776,000 ( WHO, 2013). The infant mortality rate per 1,000 live births (2013) is 32.8 (OECD)

The population size of USA is larger than that of RSA, this is because the United States is a larger country. A larger population engages in a variety of production modes. This brings in income and countries are able to get taxes to use to invest in services such as health.

Both countries, USA and RSA has mechanisms in place that promote good health, good healthy outcomes and migration of people. However, the USA has policies that tie the health of people to enjoyment of life.  A proxy of good health outcomes as far as population goes is longevity. Longevity in turn can be measured through life expectancy. Life expectancy is “prediction of how long a person will live” (Page 56).  The table shows that USA has higher life expectancy figures than RSA. The two common measures are life expectancy at birth and life at age 65. Life expectancy at birth is how long a newborn can expect to live and  life expectancy at age 65 is the expected remaining years of life for someone at age 65.

The number of females in USA are more than those in RSA. This means that the pool from which females aged 15-44 is larger in USA than RSA. Fertility or capacity of a population  to reproduce is higher in USA.

Equitable  distribution of healthcare in USA and RSA can be seen through how their populations live. from the table populations live longer in USA than in RSA.  USA has organized structures that produce health services in relation to all categories of population groups i.e., from prenatal, postnatal, infancy, adolescence, adulthood and seniors. USA produces and it also distributes more health care.

Both countries have mechanisms in place that promote health outcomes. The following can make different countries appear to be doing more; investment in health; population sizes; initiatives to promote health according to various populations that demand for the services; and balancing health vis-a-vis other priorities such as: politics; production of food; establishment of infrastructure; and other goods and services.


1. Child Health USA. 2013. Retrieved on December 27 2015.

3. Shi, L., & Singh, D. A. (2015). Delivering healthcare in America: A systems approach (6th ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett.

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