Comparing The Japanese And American Health Care Systems

1758 words - 7 pages

Introduction
With all the focus our country has recently put on Healthcare I thought is necessary to look at a country which has used a Universal Health care model to understand where we as a country are heading and why so many people are opposed to it. For years I have heard that Japanese healthcare was one of the best in the world and known of people who would travel to Japan to receive treatment. Japan has been at the forefront of technology and it seems that the use of that technology has helped them advance in Health Care as well. In comparing both Japanese and American Health Care Systems I am hoping to find if Japanese Health Care is better than our American Health Care System.
Population and Health Status
Japan's 2008 total population was 127.69 million though its younger population has decreased as the older population has increased. Japans older population is living longer than earlier generations (Wakamatsu-cho, 2008). Diet has a great deal to do with Health and traditionally Japanese meals were higher in carbohydrates due to lower economic status and rarely used beef or pork. With economic growth came changes to the traditional Japanese diet adding more fats and proteins, causing a recent decline in Japanese health and increase in obesity (Saigusa, 2006).
The population in the United States as of 2009 was 307,006,550 the younger population is projected to slightly increase and eventually plateau though the older population has been steadily increasing and projected to continue on an upward trend (Vincent & Velkoff, 2010). The lack of a healthier diet is something that has been highlighted in the media for the past decade and more often than not we are seeing the effects of overindulging and the consumption of highly processed foods. Obesity is a major problem in the US and many around the world have deemed our country as the fattest in the world.
Mortality, Infant mortality, Causes of Death
Economic growth has much improved the infant mortality rate though better healthcare facilities and living conditions. Japan has fallen to one of the world’s lowest infant mortality levels at 3.6 per 1,000 live births in 2006 (Saigusa, 2006). Infant mortality is largely affected by the health of the mother, which makes pre-natal health imperative in keeping infant mortality rates low. Since Japan offers health care to all, access to prenatal care is easier to get therefore making mothers healthier and help in finding complications earlier in the pregnancy.
Oddly enough, even with all the medical technological brought forth by the US we are still ranked with a higher infant death rate than Japan. In a study published by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and titled "America's Health Starts with Healthy Children: How do States Compare?” the report found that the high infant death rate is correlated with the lack of education of the mother. Access to healthcare is another correlation to the problem since about 45 million Americans, or 15...

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