This paper attempts to enumerate the strengths and weaknesses of the healthcare systems in the two countries and also present a comparison between the two. (Moore & Spiegel 2004 p188)
Literature Review: There is a considerable amount of literature which deals with the healthcare systems of USA and Canada. This paper has taken the help of the following sources. Niles (2010) in her book gives a description of the basic features of the US Healthcare system. The author also presents a brief historical account of each of the components of the healthcare network of the country. In their book, Moore and Spiegel (2004) discuss the characteristics of the healthcare systems of different developed countries and how they have developed to suit the specific requirements of the nations. Atlas and Epstein (2010) gives a present account of how the American health care system is often compared to its Canadian counterpart.
The authors examine the arguments behind the USA following the principles of Canada’s health care system and applying it to its own system. The IMF in its report of 2008 reviews the Canadian economy and presents important facts about the country’s health care facilities. Canada’s health care system is compared with those of the other OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries. Finally Lemco (1994) compares and contrasts the healthcare systems in USA and Canada using results of a survey conducted among the countries’ citizens. Analysis and Discussion The US Healthcare System- strengths and weaknesses The USA usually spends the maximum amount of money on its healthcare facilities among all the countries in the world. In 2006, the country’s spending on healthcare totalled $ 2 trillion, which was the highest in the world. The US Health care system is a complicated network which mainly comprises of the Medical Education System, the Hospital System, the Public Health System and the Health Insurance System. There are both public and private resources operating in the system. The country provides healthcare facilities to its citizens who are covered under a health insurance program or are entitled to such facilities through a public program. (Niles 2010 p1) The US consumers and the healthcare service providers are the most important components of the country’s healthcare system. The consumers are provided quality healthcare services by the Government programs, pharmaceutical companies, health insurance companies and laboratories engaged in medical science research. All these institutions also support the healthcare service providers so that they are able to provide the adequate services to the consumers. Apart from this, there are professional associations, organizations engaged in research and institutions which impart medical training facilities which are also associated with the US healthcare system although they do not always influence the network directly. The healthcare system in USA provides the latest facilities to the citizens and uses updated medical technology to treat its patients. The country has designed public programs especially for its elderly and disabled population: the Medicare and Medicaid Programs. The US Healthcare System is the world’s most expensive system of healthcare and the cost related to US healthcare is expected to increase in the future. This is the major weakness of the system. Although the USA has a huge expenditure on its healthcare, its Healthcare Insurance system