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This is an IELTS writing task 2 sample answer essay on the topic of private or public healthcare and medical services from the real IELTS exam.

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Dave

IELTS Essay: Private or Public Healthcare

Some feel governments, rather than private companies, should be in charge of medical services.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

There has been widespread debate in recent years concerning whether healthcare should be private or public. In my opinion, despite the importance of government regulation in the healthcare industry, a freer system will naturally encourage greater innovation.

The best support for government controlled healthcare comes from the exorbitant costs of private care. The United States is the best known example of this phenomenon. There are countless stories of vulnerable individuals requiring medical attention who face the prospect of years of nearly insurmountable medical bills. If the government runs the hospitals, as is the case in more progressive nations including Canada and England, the average person does not have to worry about prohibitively expensive medical emergencies. Citizens living in these countries now consider free medical treatment for the injured or ill as a foundational human right that governments have a responsibility to safeguard.

However, governments are notorious for stiffling innovation. This applies to a range of sectors and can best be evidenced by the failure of communism as an economic model. The less extreme forms of socialism that guide many European nations guarantee basic care but hospitals are not motivated to compete and excel. Despite the many drawbacks of the U.S. healthcare system, hospitals there routinely fund and are driven to uncover new treatments and procedures in order to attract more patients. While surging costs may leave behind vulnerable segments of the population, hospitals have a powerful motivation to produce the best possible results for those who can afford treatment.

In conclusion, medicine should be available for all citizens but this cannot be at the expense of the quality of healthcare. Governments should regulate the medical industry and provide welfare schemes yet still allow for a competitive environment.

Analysis

1. There has been widespread debate in recent years concerning whether healthcare should be private or public. 2. In my opinion, despite the importance of government regulation in the healthcare industry, a freer system will naturally encourage greater innovation.

  1. Paraphrase the overall essay topic.
  2. Write a clear opinion. Read more about introductions here.

1. The best support for government controlled healthcare comes from the exorbitant costs of private care. 2. The United States is the best known example of this phenomenon. 3. There are countless stories of vulnerable individuals requiring medical attention who face the prospect of years of nearly insurmountable medical bills. 4. If the government runs the hospitals, as is the case in more progressive nations including Canada and England, the average person does not have to worry about prohibitively expensive medical emergencies. 5. Citizens living in these countries now consider free medical treatment for the injured or ill as a foundational human right that governments have a responsibility to safeguard.

  1. Write a topic sentence with a clear main idea at the end.
  2. Explain your main idea.
  3. Develop it with specific examples.
  4. Keep developing it fully.
  5. Relate it back to the overall topic.

1. However, governments are notorious for stiffling innovation. 2. This applies to a range of sectors and can best be evidenced by the failure of communism as an economic model. 3. The less extreme forms of socialism that guide many European nations guarantee basic care but hospitals are not motivated to compete and excel. 4. Despite the many drawbacks of the U.S. healthcare system, hospitals there routinely fund and are driven to uncover new treatments and procedures in order to attract more patients. 5. While surging costs may leave behind vulnerable segments of the population, hospitals have a powerful motivation to produce the best possible results for those who can afford treatment.

  1. Write a new topic sentence with a new main idea at the end.
  2. Explain your new main idea.
  3. Include specific details and examples.
  4. Continue developing it fully!
  5. Vary short and long sentences.

1. In conclusion, medicine should be available for all citizens but this cannot be at the expense of the quality of healthcare. 2. Governments should regulate the medical industry and provide welfare schemes yet still allow for a competitive environment.

  1. Summarise your main ideas.
  2. Include a final thought. Read more about conclusions here.

Vocabulary

What do the words in bold below mean? Make some notes on paper to aid memory and then check below.

There has been widespread debate in recent years concerning whether healthcare should be private or public. In my opinion, despite the importance of government regulation in the healthcare industry, a freer system will naturally encourage greater innovation.

The best support for government controlled healthcare comes from the exorbitant costs of private care. The United States is the best known example of this phenomenon. There are countless stories of vulnerable individuals requiring medical attention who face the prospect of years of nearly insurmountable medical bills. If the government runs the hospitals, as is the case in more progressive nations including Canada and England, the average person does not have to worry about prohibitively expensive medical emergencies. Citizens living in these countries now consider free medical treatment for the injured or ill as a foundational human right that governments have a responsibility to safeguard.

However, governments are notorious for stiffling innovation. This applies to a range of sectors and can best be evidenced by the failure of communism as an economic model. The less extreme forms of socialism that guide many European nations guarantee basic care but hospitals are not motivated to compete and excel. Despite the many drawbacks of the U.S. healthcare system, hospitals there routinely fund and are driven to uncover new treatments and procedures in order to attract more patients. While surging costs may leave behind vulnerable segments of the population, hospitals have a powerful motivation to produce the best possible results for those who can afford treatment.

In conclusion, medicine should be available for all citizens but this cannot be at the expense of the quality of healthcare. Governments should regulate the medical industry and provide welfare schemes yet still allow for a competitive environment.

Answers

For extra practice, write an antonym (opposite word) on a piece of paper to help you remember the new vocabulary:

widespread debate lots of controversy

in recent years in the last several years

concerning having to do with

whether if

healthcare hospital and medicine

private not public, open to companies and profit making

public owned by the government

In my opinion I think

despite regardless of

regulation rules

healthcare industry hospitals

freer system more open industry

naturally of course

encourage foster

greater innovation more new ideas

best support superior help

government controlled healthcare nations running hospitals

exorbitant costs very expensive

private care not public hospitals

best known example most famous instance

phenomenon development

countless stories many instances

vulnerable weak

requiring medical attention need help from doctors

face the prospect potentially must deal with

nearly insurmountable almost unbeatable

medical bills money to be paid to hospitals

runs in charge of

as is the case in more progressive nations which is true in more modern countries

including such as

average person normal person

prohibitively expensive costs too much

emergencies have to deal with right away

consider free medical treatment think of free hospitals

injured hurt

ill sick

foundational human right basic human privilege

responsibility duty

safeguard keep safe

notorious infamous

stiffling innovation slowing new ideas

range of sectors many industries

best be evidenced clearest support

failure didn’t work

communism system of government with state-owned enterprises

economic model way of running a country

less extreme forms of socialism not as a severe as communism

guide way forward

guarantee basic care safeguard a degree of help

compete fight agains each other

excel do well

drawbacks tradeoffs

U.S. healthcare system United States hospitals

routinely fund typically give money to

driven pushed by

uncover discover

treatments new techniques

procedures ways of treating a sickness

attract bring people in

surging increasing

leave behind can’t catch up

vulnerable segments of the population poorer people

powerful motivation big incentives

produce make

best possible results ideal outcomes

afford can pay for

available on offer

at the expense of to the detriment of

quality how good something is

regulate keep in check, supervise

medical industry hospitals

provide welfare schemes support poor people

allow for gives the opportunity

competitive environment capitalist economy

Pronunciation

Practice saying the vocabulary below and use this tip about Google voice search:

ˈwaɪdsprɛd dɪˈbeɪt 
ɪn ˈriːsnt jɪəz 
kənˈsɜːnɪŋ 
ˈwɛðə 
ˈhɛlθkeə 
ˈpraɪvɪt 
ˈpʌblɪk
ɪn maɪ əˈpɪnjən
dɪsˈpaɪt 
ˌrɛgjʊˈleɪʃən 
ˈhɛlθkeər ˈɪndəstri
ˈfriːə ˈsɪstɪm 
ˈnæʧrəli 
ɪnˈkʌrɪʤ 
ˈgreɪtər ˌɪnəʊˈveɪʃən
bɛst səˈpɔːt 
ˈgʌvnmənt kənˈtrəʊld ˈhɛlθkeə 
ɪgˈzɔːbɪtənt kɒsts 
ˈpraɪvɪt keə
bɛst nəʊn ɪgˈzɑːmpl 
fɪˈnɒmɪnən
ˈkaʊntlɪs ˈstɔːriz 
ˈvʌlnərəbl 
rɪˈkwaɪərɪŋ ˈmɛdɪkəl əˈtɛnʃ(ə)n 
feɪs ðə ˈprɒspɛkt 
ˈnɪəli ˌɪnsə(ː)ˈmaʊntəbl 
ˈmɛdɪkəl bɪlz
rʌnz 
æz ɪz ðə keɪs ɪn mɔː prəʊˈgrɛsɪv ˈneɪʃənz 
ɪnˈkluːdɪŋ 
ˈævərɪʤ ˈpɜːsn 
prəˈhɪbɪtɪvli ɪksˈpɛnsɪv 
ɪˈmɜːʤənsiz
kənˈsɪdə friː ˈmɛdɪkəl ˈtriːtmənt 
ˈɪnʤəd 
ɪl 
faʊnˈdeɪʃən(ə)l ˈhjuːmən raɪt 
rɪsˌpɒnsəˈbɪlɪti 
ˈseɪfgɑːd
nəʊˈtɔːrɪəs 
ˈstaflɪɪŋ ˌɪnəʊˈveɪʃən
reɪnʤ ɒv ˈsɛktəz 
bɛst biː ˈɛvɪdənst 
ˈfeɪljə 
ˈkɒmjʊnɪzm 
ˌiːkəˈnɒmɪk ˈmɒdl
lɛs ɪksˈtriːm fɔːmz ɒv ˈsəʊʃəlɪzm 
gaɪd 
ˌgærənˈtiː ˈbeɪsɪk keə 
kəmˈpiːt 
ɪkˈsɛl
ˈdrɔːbæks 
juː.ɛsˈhɛlθkeə ˈsɪstɪm
ruːˈtiːnli fʌnd 
ˈdrɪvn 
ʌnˈkʌvə 
ˈtriːtmənts 
prəˈsiːʤəz 
əˈtrækt 
ˈsɜːʤɪŋ 
liːv bɪˈhaɪnd 
ˈvʌlnərəbl ˈsɛgmənts ɒv ðə ˌpɒpjʊˈleɪʃən
ˈpaʊəfʊl ˌməʊtɪˈveɪʃən 
ˈprɒdjuːs 
bɛst ˈpɒsəbl rɪˈzʌlts 
əˈfɔːd 
əˈveɪləbl 
æt ði ɪksˈpɛns ɒv 
ˈkwɒlɪti 
ˈrɛgjʊleɪt 
ˈmɛdɪkəl ˈɪndəstri 
prəˈvaɪd ˈwɛlfeə skiːmz 
əˈlaʊ fɔː 
kəmˈpɛtɪtɪv ɪnˈvaɪərənmənt

Vocabulary Practice

I recommend getting a pencil and piece of paper because that aids memory. Then write down the missing vocabulary from my sample answer in your notebook:

There has been w____________________e i________________s c_____________g w____________r h______________e should be p__________e or p_______c. I_____________n, d_________e the importance of government r___________n in the h___________________y, a f_______________m will n___________y e_____________e g___________________n.

The b_______________t for g______________________________e comes from the e_________________s of p_____________e. The United States is the b________________e of this p________________n. There are c__________________s of v______________e individuals r____________________________n who f_____________________t of years of n_________________________e m______________s. If the government r______s the hospitals, a________________n m_____________________s i______________g Canada and England, the a_________________n does not have to worry about p_________________________e medical e________________s. Citizens living in these countries now c____________________________t for the i_________d or i__l as a f____________________________t that governments have a r_______________y to s__________d.

However, governments are n___________s for s________________n. This applies to a r_________________s and can b________________d by the f__________e of c_______________m as an e_________________l. The l__________________________m that g_________e many European nations g___________________e but hospitals are not motivated to c_________e and e_______l. Despite the many d______________s of the U___________________m, hospitals there r________________d and are d________n to u_________r new t_____________s and p_____________s in order to a__________t more patients. While s_________g costs may l_______________d v_________________________n, hospitals have a p_____________________n to p____________e the b_________________________s for those who can a_________d treatment.

In conclusion, medicine should be a______________e for all citizens but this cannot be a___________________f the q__________y of healthcare. Governments should r_____________e the m________________y and p______________________s yet still a_____________r a c_____________________________t.

Listening Practice

Learn more about this topic in the video below and practice with these activities:

Reading Practice

Read more about this topic and use these ideas to practice:

Speaking Practice

Practice with the following speaking questions from the real IELTS speaking exam:

Health

  1. How can people improve their physical health?
  2. What about their mental health?
  3. In what ways can teachers encourage students to do sports?
  4. What is the role of doctors in raising health awareness?
  5. Can social media also play a role?

Writing Practice

Practice with the related IELTS essay topic below:

Some think that governments should tax unhealthy foods to encourage people to eat healthier.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?


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