Health care provision in the US unlike in many other developed countries is not universal. There are three major avenues for health care coverage and they range from government cover through the Medicaid and Medicare programs, the employer based coverage as well as the largely applied private cover. The government only covers less than 30% of the entire population while employer based cover is not comprehensive or compulsory and most employers do not offer it to their employees a factor that worsens the inaccessibility problem to health care.
(Jonas S, Kovner A and Knickman J, 2005). In contrast, the Canadian government plays a significant role in as far as financing the health care services is concerned. Private coverage health care in Canada is only limited to those health care services that are not offered in the nationalized system. Americans have some lessons to learn from Canada’s health care system and Canada can also learn something from the highly capitalized health care system in the US.
Americans may favor their system on the grounds that it encourages competition which precipitates innovation and thus better quality while the Canadians may favor their system due to the fact that it ensures a high accessibility level to health care services. (dsp-psd. communication. gc. ca). In comparing the quality of health care in the US and Canada important aspects like how timely health care services are offered in each system is as well as the source of motivation for the health care providers are important. According to the National Coalition on Health Care there are about 46 million uninsured Americans.
This is quite unfortunate given that the US health care system is the most expensive at both the individual as well as at the national level. (National Coalition on Health Care, 2009). Most uninsured Americans seek health care services as a last resort due to the fact that they can hardly afford the necessities of life leave alone the very expensive health care. They also opt for ‘over the counter’ services an approach that may compromise on their health as it does not ensure a comprehensive examination on the patients through rigorous laboratory tests.
Seeking medical health care services as a last resort sees some medical conditions that could have otherwise been controlled progress to unmanageable and very expensive levels. Quality of health care in the US according to a Commonwealth Commission Fund may be compromised by the fact that the health care professionals treat the patients based on their economic background or their ability to pay rather than their medical needs. Consequently, they may prescribe treatment that may not necessarily be the best as it would be based on the patient’s level of affordability.
(Karen et al, 2002). On the contrary, the Canadian health care providers will offer health care based on the patient’s medical or health care needs and thus offer better quality care when compared to the US. The quality of health care in both systems may be compromised due to the delays experienced. Delays in the Canadian system may be attributed to the fact that being universal many people will seek health care services leading to long queues or waiting lists.
In the process, patient’s conditions may deteriorate to unmanageable levels which also tend to be expensive. Delays in the US health care system are more evident among the poor people whose lack of affordability sees them wait for subsidized services. The rates of immunization will be lower among the poor American families and so will the accessibility to health care by pregnant women who are deemed as a special group in the nation. (dsp-psd. communication. gc. ca).