Canadian Health Care is not the best in the whole world anymore. Even many Canadians admit this fact. As well as their neighbors – U.S. citizens. There are still Canadian healthcare services that are much better and affordable than in the United States. But still more and more Americans refuse the services of Canadian doctors and hospitals.
According to the ColoradoPolitics research article, a single-payer healthcare system in Canada is not more effective as it used to be. It is definitely less effective that achieving the universal health insurance coverage for every Canadian citizen. Yes, healthcare seems to cost much less in Canada than the U.S. citizens got used to pay in their home country. But the quality and quantity of healthcare resources is drastically lower than in the United States, from the many points of view.
One of the recent studies proves that U.S. public-private healthcare system significantly outperforms the Canadian governmental healthcare system on practically all any major indicators.
Americans appreciate the public healthcare in Canada due to many reasons. Canadian healthcare is great because most services are free even for tourists in all provinces, the system of reduced costs for education in this sphere, fees are the same for all categories of population despite an income, elderly people and veterans get special bonuses for healthcare, excellent primary care, etc. However, there is a bunch of cons that are not accepted by American citizens:
Americans spend 55% more than Canadians do on healthcare as a percentage of their national economy. But consider what Americans get for the money they spend: compared to Canada, the United States has 327% more MRI units and 183% more CT scanners per 1 million of population. The United States also produces 100% more inpatient surgical procedures per 1 million of population, and it has 14% more physicians and 19 percent more nurses per million population. U.S. hospitals are newer and better equipped than Canadian hospitals, and Americans have access to more new medicines than Canadians.
The famous director Michael Moore in his documentary movie “SiCKO” talks about the problems of American healthcare and proposes to introduce a governmental system in this niche, built on the principle of “single payer”. Moore compares the American healthcare system with the Canadian, British and French systems and draws conclusions in favor of Canadian healthcare. New York Times economist and columnist Paul Krugman also believes that healthcare systems in France, Britain and Canada are better organized than in the USA.
These and other critics of the American healthcare system point out that in countries where this system is placed on government, the cost of medical care is much lower than in the United States. And the quality of services is higher from many points of view. The most disturbing question is large expenses for medical services that must be fully covered by a patient.
However, huge expenses on health care should not always be considered a negative phenomenon. The United States country spends money on medicine because it is a rich country and considers it necessary to do so. Economy experts consider medical services as a “normal commodity,” which means that spending on it has a positive correlation with the level of income of the population. When the average income grows, so does the demand of people for this “service”.
However, due to the nature of the distribution of these costs, they are an increasingly heavy burden on consumers and corporations. In general, annual medical insurance for one person today costs $4,479, and for a family – $12,106. Contributions to health insurance increased by 6% in 2007 — that is, they grew faster than the average salary.
Moreover, public health programs in the United States, especially Medicare and Medicaid, generate a huge debt placed on future generations. Medicare’s unfunded debt today exceeds $50 trillion. If the situation doesn’t chance in the next 100 years, the share of spending on Medicare from the U.S. federal budget will increase four times.
Finally, although the American health care system is capable of providing the highest quality of medical care in the world, in practice this indicator is uneven. According to the Institute of Medicine, from 44 to 90 thousand Americans die each year as a result of medical errors, and the authors of the article in the New England Journal of Medicine say that only slightly more than half of patients in American hospitals receive a professional help that meets clinical standards.
However, if you carefully examine the situation in countries where the public health system is already operating, it will become clear that there are serious problems in Canada and France as well, including the rising costs, use of medical services, a shortage of modern medical technologies and low efficiency. Countries whose public health systems manage to avoid serious problems of this kind succeed precisely because they reject the state control and adopt pharmaceutical market’s mechanisms. In other words, the nationalization of medicine is effective – when it does not lead to the nationalization of medicine.