Universal Health Care: Do Time And Place Matter?

1079 words - 5 pages

Universal health care models are currently adopted by many countries worldwide. Although a superficial look at these systems may show many similarities, a detailed analysis shows differences in their philosophies, standards of care, delivery models, and recipients’ expectations. This paper takes a closer look at the universal health care models in Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, Germany, and Japan in comparison to the American system.
Gold standards of health care services
Gold standards of health care services are paramount in advanced countries but yet its concept differ among different countries and cultures. In the United States, it is critical to foster a new health care model because of the rising cost and limited access to health care services for millions of the population (Johnson & Stoskopf, 2010). Accordingly, to demonstrate how other systems meet gold standards, the comparison should include cost, access, and quality of provided health services under these models.
In England, for example, there is a marked increase in emergency room visits due to the growing limited access to primary care physicians (Cowling et al., 2013). Moreover, a warning rise of liver diseases and low survivals in cancer patients indicate delayed diagnoses and low overall health outcome (Cowling et al., 2013). Also, in Japan, many elderly patients postpone or stop seeking medical care because of the rising cost relative to their socioeconomic status (Murata et al., 2010).
In Canada, health care providers comprise a mix of non-profit and for-profit organizations. According to Johnson and Stoskopf (2010), there are notable differences among these organizations at many levels. For example, for-profit organizations tend to assign less number of staff per patient than other organizations which affects the both cost and quality of care they deliver. In summary, although universal systems cover all the population, apparent disparities exist and no system could claim advantageous in meeting the gold standards of health care.
Rationale of different policies
The rationale of different health policies is a fundamental relative concept tightly relevant to their success or failure. For example, in Japan, the system is built on both employment-based and community-based health insurance (Shibuya et al., 2011). Under this system, everyone is insured and all providers equally receive fixed fee for service under all different plans (Shibuya et al., 2011). This payment system, like the American one, does not set providers budgets (McLaughlin & McLaughlin, 2008), but it maintains low cost by controlling the fee per service.
Uniquely, the Canadian public health system focuses on the population’s overall health via disease surveillance, community health assessment, injury prevention, and health promotion (Johnson & Stoskopf, 2010). That rationale reflects on many aspects of the health system; for example, the Canadian system is under equipped with many technologies like MRI...

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