A Comparison of the U.S. Health and the Canadian Health System

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A Comparison of the U.S. Health and the Canadian Health System




Every country has tried much to improve their health care services in the last forty years. In Canada and U.S. health care have been made a basic for everybody though accessing the services has not been fully achieved to date. In Canada, basic health care has been accomplished through provision of coverage through a government- sponsored system where each province administers her own system. By doing this, the Canadian government has made the health care a universal for all her citizens irrespective of the age, race, gender or occupation. There are no preexisting medical conditions that can prevent an individual from accessing the services. Insurance cover is for all unlike in U.S. where when an individual turn twenty six, the he or she is not legible for the insurance medical care for the family. In U.S. every individual pay about 17.4% of the gross domestic product to insurance in a single pay system compared to the relative cheaper pay in Canada where the individual pay just 11.4% of the GDP (Esmail & Walker, 2005). According to the last figures of 2009, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development shows that the U.S. health care expenditure per capita was $7,960 compared to $4,363 of the Canada (Szick, et al., 2009).

In Canada, the health care system can be offered privately and still be financed by the tax payers’ money and doctors are allowed to run their practices as private business. Physicians are allowed to bill patients separately for non covered services like cosmetic dermatology and laboratory studies. However, in U.S. such services cannot be offered freely in private capacity. A patient would be charged an additional cost of $40 when attending private health services (Szick, et al., 2009).

The Canadian system is fairly simple to operate since every individual is issued with a healthcare card that serves as the credit card to cover services and this has reduce the paper work hence saving time and promoting efficiency in the health sector. This has made the work of the Canadian physician simpler as they only need to submit the charges electronically and most of the offices run on a skeleton support staff. There is only one insurance plan in Canada that covers and deals with insurance rules and the cover is universal as compared to U.S where there are multiple insurance covers and the charges are rarely done electronically. The data from Health Affairs, the per-physician cost of dealing with payers was $82,975 in U.S. compared Canadian where the cost was relatively ranging at $22,205 a year (Esmail & Walker, 2005).

U.S. has separate lists of Medicare for example, Medicare advantage, the indemnities, Medicare advantage plans, the Blues and others while Canada has a single list of covered procedures and charges. In Canad.............

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