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U.S. and Canada Healthcare Systems

U.S. and Canada Healthcare Systems

The Canadian Healthcare System

The system of healthcare in Canada is a collection of health insurance policies that offers coverage to every citizen of Canada. The Canadian healthcare scheme is publicly financed and managed on a regional basis. This public funding and administration is conducted within the guiding codes and rules set out by the federal administration. Under the Canadian healthcare system, citizens are, separately, offered medical treatments and cautionary care. Such management and care is expected from general practitioners who deliver basic care. Citizens are also allowed the right to use healthcare institutions with the inclusion of services such as dental surgery and supplemental curative amenities. The Canadian health care plan offers every Canadian citizen coverage on their health notwithstanding their individual income, standards of living, or medical history.

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Nevertheless, the Canadian healthcare system has not put private assurance organizations out of trade. These companies are allowed to offer only those services that are not covered by the Canadian health care policy (Fierlbeck, 2011).

In Canada, every province is assigned only a single public insurance body. This public insurance body is in charge of physicians and hospitals reimbursement. Among the most positively and highly praised characteristics of the Canadian health care system is that every patient is allowed the freedom to decide on their physicians. Patients, however, do not recompense physicians and hospitals for health care amenities that have been insured by patients. Despite the public nature of the countrys health care, a majority of physicians practice privately. In this way, these physicians receive their payments on a pay-for- service basis (Boychuk, 2008). A large number of hospitals in Canada are also privately owned, not by profit institutions that are funded by the general budgeting of the provincial administration. In the public administration of the provincial health insurance in Canada such management ought to be conducted by a non-profit public authority. This public agent is answerable to the provincial government. It is the provincial administration which determines the general escalations in the budgets of hospitals and the fees that ought to be offered to physicians. The provincial regime also controls the obtaining of major apparatus and amenities (Marchildon, 2013).

Since every provincial resident in Canada has the right to the insured health amenities offered by the cover policy of the public health, they are all offered these services on equal conditions. In this way, any health care amenities given to the residents of a certain province who are on a temporary visit in a different province are recompensed by the assurance cover of the residents original province. This rule of reimbursement by the residents home provinces still remains in force. For citizens moving to new provinces this rule, however, applies only for a waiting period, which does not go beyond three months. After three months the residents are considered to be assured under the health care policy of their new province (Fierlbeck, 2011).

In Canada, the life expectancy rate is high, approximately 80 years, and its infant mortality rates are considered among the lowest in industrialized nations. These exemplary rates have been linked and credited to the countrys system of health care. The health care scheme has been regarded by many as a better and inexpensive scheme as compared to the health care systems in other nations. In this way, it has been considered the most efficient public health care system by various scholars. Most of these researchers argue for the positivity of the Canadian health care system through the application of the countrys economic and social ratings and positions. They have also appraised the health care system stating that it has maintained a more relevant and steady position despite its politicization. It has put much of its energy and funds into relevant matters that are of more concern to its insured population, the citizens of Canada.

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With the numerous debates surrounding the health care system of Canada, the health care system has been transformed into quite a political field. The political debate over the Canadian health care scheme has been revolving around the efficiency of the existing system in the delivery of well-timed treatments and other services. There has also been a serious debate with several agencies and parties arguing for the adoption of a arrangement of private health care. This, as many have argued, should be the same as the healthcare scheme in the United States. The supporters of the privatization of the Canadian health care system have argued that such denationalization would encourage the arrangements effectiveness. It would also make sure that the health care facilities offered are of proper quality. Those opposing the privatization suggestions have strongly emphasized that the privatization would result in a number of imbalances in the health care scheme. They insist that only the rich may afford particular treatments (Marchildon, 2013).

Canada devotes a high percentage of its national resources on health care. The country spends approximately $60 billion dollars on health care. Its health care system is also distinguished by strong government involvement. A total of 72% of the funding is through the local, provincial, and federal governments. The Canadian citizens pay on their own for the services that the provincial national insurance does not cover. Canada treats its health care as a public service, which its citizens think should not be subjected to the rules of the marketplace and the costs and price mechanisms (Boychuk, 2008).

The Canadian administrations participation in health care is usually explained in regard to some market disappointments. The law of demand and supply is applied to the apportionment of resources in the private segment. The resulting price ranges ensure optimum resource allocation, subject to the meeting of some conditions that relate to demand and supply. These conditions are, however, not always prevalent in the field of health care. This happens because it is hard for the market system to make sure that there is a sufficient supply of health care services, due to the implication of costs and benefits that is not put into consideration by the market system. Also, the consumers may not be in a position of making informed decisions as there is always the doubt on illness and a persons future health state. They, therefore, need the advice of health services providers to help them determine the type of service they require. The participation of the Canadian government in health care is also justifiable on the grounds of social justice and economic disparity. In a free market system, people who earn less and have health issues have to pay a similar amount of money as those who earn more. The government of Canada, therefore, has chosen a public scheme of provision of health insurance to all its citizens, regardless of their ability to pay (Fierlbeck, 2011; Marchildon, 2013).

In Canada, there exists no financial obstacle to care. All of Canadas citizens have direct access to medically crucial hospital and general practitioner services under Canadas provincial health assurance plan. Under its Health Act, the provinces are not allowed to charge user charges for services that are publicly covered by insurance. This is in exemption of those services provided to chronic ill patients who live in hospitals and nursing institutions. In case they allow such charges, provinces are conditioned to deductions from the central cash contributions given to them under central cash transfer such as Established Programs Financing (EFP). This makes sure that persons do not have to forgo required care due to expense. The only medical expense at Canadians spend out of their own pocket include buying private insurance, dental care, extra hospital room amenities not insured by the government plan, and also cosmetic surgery (Johnson & Stoskopf, 2010).

Under the rule of comprehensiveness that underlies the Health Act in Canada, provincial health insurance policies have to cover all the medical necessities in hospital services, the doctors services, and some dental procedures. Regional governments also have significant flexibility when it comes to the types of services they may offer. They include benefits such as prescription medicine for the elderly and per persons that are not needed in the central guidelines. There is no dollar limitation to the amount of essential medical care that a person may receive. Services that are not insured are covered by private health covers (Fierlbeck, 2011).

Limitations of Canadas Healthcare System

Despite Canadas health care system being critically appraised by both the countrys citizens and experts, the system has its limitations. Among the greatest limitations of the Canadian system of health care is rationing of health care. Canada has done almost excellently in its healthcare system. It has been able to provide relative medical requirements to all citizens in a standard and uniform manner. The Canadian health care plan has, on the other hand, been critiqued for its not- price regulating. This price-unrelated regulation by the health care systems administration has led to the existence of waiting lists for particular diagnostic and surgical processes. In this way, some Canadian citizens suffering from terminal illnesses are forced to be in wait for their required treatments. Moreover, some of these patients face the risk of watching their status worsen. In the worst of cases, some of the patients kept in waiting in Canada are forced to move across the border into the United States just to seek the required specialized health care amenities (Marchildon, 2013).

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The rationing of the Canadian health care facilities has been linked to the limits enforced on the budgets of health amenities and the capacity of facilities applied for special services that are highly technological.

Comparison between the Canadian and American Health Care System

Discussing the health care improvement, the Canadian system is usually portrayed as a likely model for the U. S. The two nations health systems are very different. To begin with, Canada has a single-payer, mainly a system that is publicly financed. The U. S system, on the other hand, has a multi-payer, highly privately funded. The nations, however, seem to be culturally the same, inferring that it is probable for the U. S to adopt the Canadian health system (Johnson & Stoskopf, 2010).

Canadian systems most appeal is that it appears to provide more for less. Canada offers universal access to health services to its citizens, while almost one in five not elderly Americans is not insured. Canada uses far less of its Gross Domestic Product on health care yet does better than the U. S. The percentage spent is 10.4% against the U. Ss 16%. The two mainly cited performances on health outcome measure are the life expectancy and the rate of infant mortality (Boychuk, 2008).

Considering the availability of health care resources, the application of cancer screening in both countries may be examined. The screening services include womens mammogram and PAP smears, mens PSA and colonoscopies. The U.S is presented as having these tests done more regularly. For instance, 86% of the women in the United States aged 40 to 69 are said to have had a mammogram in comparison with Canadian womens 73%. The United States is also endowed with a lot more MRI machines and CT scanners per capita. There is, thus, evidence of the probable efficiency of larger levels of screening and equipment through the examination of rates of mortality for 5 kinds of cancer that may be influenced by early discovery and treatment in the two countries. Since the incidence of cancer may be different for other explanations apart from health care system, the ratio of the rate of mortality to the level of incidence. A lower proportion is in line with a lower rate of death for those with cancer. The ratio is less in the United States for all kinds of cancer apart from cervical cancer. This implies that the health care system in the United States may be said to be commonly more successful in cancers discovery and treatment (Johnson & Stoskopf, 2010).


The Canadian health care system offers the citizens of Canada a uniform insurance plan. This plan covers the whole country and has no major restrictions on its qualifications. One is simply required to be a Canadian citizen. The health care system in Canada is inexpensive and better for everyone. The system as compared to the United States health care system, however, is considered to be less effective. This is mainly due to its public nature, thereby, not allowing complete and quality access to specialized treatment procedures. The Canadian health care system is more manageable due to its characteristic single-payer nature. This makes it easier to access the health care facilities in the country and gives more options to the patient. The Canadian heath care system is, ultimately, more favorable due to its lower prices.

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