Historically, Libyan hospitals supplied both medical care and medicines. Through the 1980s, hospitals relied on government funds and operational revenue to finance these services. The governments generally set diagnostic and nonpharmaceutical services' prices far below costs and reimbursed hospitals on fee-for-service bases. Only pharmaceutical services could produce a profit, typically 15% of total sales. Hospitals used government funds and pharmaceutical revenues to offset the losses incurred from nonpharmaceutical services (Ruiter, 1994, 319).
Different societies suffer from different health problems and these societies can become drain in both social and economic terms. This paper compares the situation in the United Kingdom with Libya, suggesting reasons and / or consequences of the similarities or differences and evaluating the information. Among major health hazards endemic in the country in the 1970s were typhoid and paratyphoid, infectious hepatitis, leishmaniasis, rabies, meningitis, schistosomiasis, venereal diseases, and the principal childhood ailments. As of 2002, the crude birth rate and overall mortality rate were estimated at, respectively, 27.6 and 3.5 per 1,000 people. The infant mortality rate was 26 per 1,000 live births in 2000. The fertility rate in 2000 was 3.5 children per woman during her childbearing years. The maternal mortality rate was estimated at 75 per 100,000 live births in 1998. The average life expectancy was 71 years in 2000. In 1997, immunization rates for children up to one year old were: diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus, 96%, and measles, 92%. Diarrheal diseases took the lives of 4,683 Libyan children under five years of age in 1995 (Taylor, 2004, 241).
Discussion and Analysis
The Libyan diet can be described as being both Mediterranean and North African, although these are very broad terms and regional variations are seen from country to country, and within different regions of a single country. Climatic differences and administrative boundaries have historically segregated Libya into three distinct regions with major culinary differences, simply known today as the Eastern (Cyrenaica: influenced by the Middle East), Western (Tripolitania, with strong ties to the Maghreb) and Southern (Fezzan, nomadic desert existence) regions. The fourth recently added Central (Gulf of Sirt) region acts as a transition zone between East and West in terms of dietary makeup. An FAO analysis of yearly production, import and consumption, shows that the major staple of the Libyan diet is wheat, mainly in the form of bread, couscous and pasta, but also as porridges (aseeda, zamita and bazeen). Rice is another major staple in the Eastern region and has become very popular in Western Libya in the past few centuries (Siegle, 2002, 73).
The governments use three major forms of payment to hospitals: (a) Average payment, where they reimburse hospitals according to average daily-patient charges, regardless of costs. (b) Capitation, where they provide hospitals with fixed payments for patients' care for specific periods. If the hospitals spend less than the payments, they may retain the rest as profits. (c) Global budgeting, where they determine the maximum growth rate in hospitals' revenues, confiscate revenues over the limits, and may even ...