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United States of America is under intense siege from both its citizens and healthcare providers to adopt a new medical system that is affordable and acceptable by all. In order to achieve this goal, United States of America government is considering other medical systems elsewhere.
One of those countries under consideration is of course Canada. Medics and politicians are at loggerheads in trying to accommodate Canadian medical system, which looks cheaper and better as compared to that of United States. On the other hand, Canadian government is studying United States medical system as a way of improving theirs.
Canada has a medical system based on public while private insurance companies mainly run America’s healthcare system. Depending on one’s view, each system has its own advantages and disadvantages. The paper will examine critically, how these systems operate and whether each on of them fits its citizenry without complains.
In order to make better comparisons, the paper scrutinizes why governments involves themselves in healthcare. Whether these medical systems are accessible to all citizens, its reimbursement, management and availability of finances is of great concern in adopting one of these systems. All Americans and Canadians need quality healthcare services no matter which medical system their country adopts. (Robert, et.al, 2001, Para. 2-6).
Private and Government Roles in Healthcare
Both the government and private sector have the capacity to offer medical services. Whoever is the provider of medical service, its quality must not be deniable.
Therefore, countries and states will pump millions of dollars into the system for better service easily accessible and affordable to all. For example, in Canada, the government is the biggest player in healthcare provision. The government of Canada spends about 10 percent of its GDP on healthcare. This is about US$65 billion dollars. (Center for Consumer Medics, 2003, Para. 1-9).
About 70 percent of Canadian funding is through local, provincial and federal governments and the rest fitted in through pocket spend out. Contrary, private insurance firms predominantly run the healthcare system of United States. Under this system, Americans pay more in fact, over half of the total expenditure on healthcare. Only 40 percent of the expenditure comes from federal, local and state revenues.
The intervention of governments in healthcare has raised skepticism. Canadians believe that healthcare is not market commodity for creating profits and price control opportunities. As for Americans, prefer private system because, to them, it creates markets that create competence, competition and price control.
In private systems, finances allocate according to demand and supply. In this type, consumers fail to make good judgments. Therefore, the Canadian government intervened to bring equality and accessibility to those underprivileged. Everyone can now access and afford healthcare services regardless of status. (Odette, 1992, Para 1-30).
Medical Systems Side View
In Canada, universal insurance treatment through provincial insurance procedure and federal administration take place. Each province has only one company entitled to provide funds to hospitals. In most cases, the physicians receive payment on service basis. Like in Canada, most hospitals and medics in United States are private. Patients pay for services in United States. Nonetheless, in United States, both public and private provide insurance funds for healthcare thus an entity market. (Pfaff, 1990, pp.13-47).
Employers in United States provide employers with insurance premiums in conjunction with other insurers. Employers are the managers of their own health plan. Those who do not have access to employer-based plan, there are commercial insurers who sell these premiums. Nevertheless, there are other funds like Medicaid provided by federal government to the old, children, expectant mothers and Native Americans.
In Canada, there is universal access to healthcare services. Depending where you stay-province, every Canadian has right to insurance plan without disparity. Moreover, if one is visiting another province, there is a plan to cover healthcare though within a time limit. (Christina, 2007, Para. 3-7).
In America to the contrary, only private insurance healthcare providers exist. There is no uniformity on the service t receive as this depends on the insurance cover one posses. Some Americans have cover from insurance companies, others from Medicare or Medicaid while some receive no coverage at all.
Financial, Benefits and Administration
In Canada, there is no financial barrier in accessing healthcare as all Canadians access equal and quality services from hospitals. Only those who opt to have private insurance cover can receive extra service like dental, cosmetic surgery and other complicated treatments.
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However, in United States, there are financial barriers as there is only individual insurance cover that is private. This depends on the financial capability of an individual. Though federal government provides assistive programs like Medicaid and Medicare, millions of Americans remain uncovered up to today, a situation termed as uncompensated care. (Naylor, 1991, pp.29-33).
On administration matters, in Canada, each province is responsible for insurance programs through non-profit schemes. Provincial administrators are responsible for hospital construction and hiring of physicians. Hospitals get revenue through a budgeting system under concession from provincial control.
The government is the overall leader of healthcare under single system provider. On the other hand, administration of healthcare in United States ranges from employers, private insurers, federal and state governments. Thus, the amount of money paid to insurance brokers varies. None of these insurance providers commands the operation of the system.
Based on the assumption that medical care a need rather than a pay, both systems have limitations and problems. The involvement of governments only worsens the situation. Overall, the system used in Canada seems to be nice as the quality, access and costs balances to yield demand of the people.
United States has a challenge to make sure that all Americans receive easily accessible and quality medical services. Perhaps, to solve the problem, further government involvement will be a gateway and a channel of more finances, which will control greedy insurers from further manipulation.
Center for Medical Consumers. (2003). Health Care Administrative Costs: Canada vs. USA. Bnet. Web.
Naylor, D. (1991). The Canadian Health Care System: an Overview and Some Comparisons with America. University of Toronto, Department of Medicine.
Odette, M. (1992). The Canadian and American healthcare Systems. Web.
Pfaff, M. (1990).Differences in Health Care Spending Across Countries: Statistical Evidence. Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law, 15(1).
Robert, E., Philippe, M., David, G., Belien, P., Johan, H., and Friedrich, B. (2001).
Perspectives on the European Health Care Systems: Some Lessons for America. The Health Foundation. Web.