Compare and Contrast Essay on the U.S. and Canadian Health Care Delivery Systems
The modern medicine provide unparalleled opportunities to deliver health care services to patients, cure diseases which used to be incurable in the past, and increase the quality of health care services considerably. However, the current situation, especially in the US, proves the fact that the potential of the modern medicine is not fully realized. At any rate, the US health care system could apparently function significantly more effectively and, in this regard, it is possible to refer to the example of Canadian health care system, which is considered to be more effective though, from purely economic point of view this system has lower opportunity compared to American one.
On analyzing the current situation in American and Canadian health care systems, it is necessary to point out that one of the major indicators of the effectiveness of a health care system is its accessibility. In this respect, it should be said that Canadian health care system is more accessible than American one. In fact, American health care system is based on the system of insurance and the lack of insurance practically deprives an individual of an opportunity to receive normal health care services that, naturally, threatens to the life and health of the patient dramatically. To put it more precisely, about 18% of American residents have no health insurance, i.e. about 42 million of Americans are uninsured (Costello, 1997) . In contrast to the US system Canadian health care system covers the entire population of Canada and there are no citizens left aside and even though there are some problems with health insurance health care services will be delivered to a patient due to the state funding and assistance of public and charitable organizations.
At the same time, the problem of accessibility of health care is deteriorated in the US because the cost of health care services is very high that is determined by the high standards of life that leads to the high cost of labor of health care professionals and the ineffectiveness of the use of the existing funds. The latter means that the US spends more on health care system than any other country but the effectiveness of such expenditures is low because American health care system is still not accessible to a considerable part of American society, while the quality is still not as high as in Canada, for instance.
As for Canadian health care system, it should be said that it is basically less expansive but the management and the use of funds is more effective. In fact, in Canada, health care is administered by each provincial government (Costello, 1997) . Moreover, the principle of social equity and, therefore, accessibility of health care is dominant in Canada, while more effective use of funds contribute to the higher quality of health care services.
Finally, it should be said that there are actually no age limits, i.e. heath care services are available to Canadians since the day of birth till the last day in the life of a patient, while the US health care system is not so progressive in this regard, especially in relation to end-of-life issues when people are simply abandoned and end their life without sufficient medical care, while in Canada these issues are among the major concerns.
Thus, it is possible to conclude that in spite of the larger financial opportunities the US health care is still less effective and accessible than Canadian one, which functions on the principle of social equity and delivers health care services to all people regardless age or social status, while in the US a considerable part of population, especially uninsured people, is deprived of normal heath care services.
- Center to Improve Care of the Dying (n.d.). Continuity of Care. Retrieved August 29, 2007 from http://www.gwu.edu/~cicd/toolkit/contin.htm.
- Costello, K. (1997). U.S. healthcare corporations vs. the world: Global reach or global leech? Retrieved November 1, 2007, from http://lpa.igc.org/lpv25/lp05.htm
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- Lasser, K. E., Himmelstein, D. U. and Woodlander, S. (2006). “Access to Care, Health Status, and Health Disparities in the United States and Canada: Results of a Cross-National Population-Based Survey.” American Journal of Public Health 96 (7); 1300.
- Spiegel, M. et. al. (2003). “Quality of health care delivered to adults in the United States.” The New England Journal of Medicine 349 (19); pg. 1866.
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