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Canada & USA Health Care Systems

Compare and contrast the benefits and liabilities of another country's healthcare system (I picked Canada). Note the differences and similarities to the United State's approach and the strengths and weaknesses of this approach to healthcare delivery. Determine which country's approach is the most effective

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Canada and the United States of America (US) have two completely different health care systems. In the US, health care access is limited to those who carry insurance. In 2004, 58.9% had insurance through their employers, around 24% qualified for specific government health care programs (Medicare and Medicaid), 9% bought individual health insurances and a very small number pay directly for health care services (US Department of Health and Human Services, 2005). Health care in the US is not centralized, does not offered universal access, and have multiple providers and payers.

Canada has a national program for publicly funded health care insurance implemented in 1966 under The Canada Health Act (the Act) in all provinces and territories (Shi & Singh, 2001). The goal of this policy was established as "to protect, promote and restore the physical and mental well-being of residents of Canada and to facilitate reasonable access to health services without financial or other barriers" (Health Canada, 2009a, para. 2). The Act is not in itself a national health plan but rather establishes the criteria related to which insured health services and extended health care to ensure that "all eligible residents of Canada have reasonable access to insured health services on a prepaid basis, without direct charges at the point of service for such services" (Health Canada, 2009a, para. 4) and is always evolving according to the Canadian's needs. This health insurance plan is commonly referred as Medicare and covers medically necessary hospital and physician services, on a prepaid basis.

In the US, Medicare refers to a government health program offered to the people age 65 or older, people under age 65 with certain disabilities, and people of all ages with end-stage renal disease (permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or a kidney transplant). This program is not totally free as premiums and co-pays may apply to the different type of ...

Solution Summary

The solution involves a discussion on the similarities and/or differences between the Unites States of America and Canada health care systems including liabilities and benefities provided to their constituents.

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