View Full Version : Canadian vs U.S. healthcare
02-10-2003, 02:04 PM
Does anyone know a good website that compares the two healthcare systems?
What are good websites for learning about the Canadian healthcare system in general?
02-10-2003, 09:22 PM
i got a Q like that last year at my U of T interview. We were talking about healthcare and one interviewer asked me if i thought canada or america had a better healthcare system, and why...I compared them in terms of the canada health act (accessibility, universality...), focused on current issues....but in the end, i think i did too much America bashing. :rolleyes
02-10-2003, 09:50 PM
The USA is pathetic when it comes taking care of ALL its people...its got the same life expectency as Cuba!
The problem is that your quality of healthcare is directly tied to your income/employment etc...this matters because the distribution of wealth and power is so skewed. So,...
Canada: good healthcare for everyone
USA: excellent healthcare for the rich
I would probably elaborate more though.
02-11-2003, 12:00 AM
Actually, my understanding is that the Canadian assumption that the poor in the US are dying in the streets is a little untrue. A great place to start a comparison would be to see what you can find on Medicaid, the American Public health insurance plan. I don't know all the details, but in theory it covers people who can't afford private insurance. My understanding is that the difference between the rich and the poor is not access to care, but that the poor get inferior service with longer waiting times, older equipment, less prestigious healthcare workers, etc.
And sadly for those of us who are going to be health professionals, the disparity in average life expectancy is probably NOT due to differences in the quality of our health care systems. My understanding is that the health care system doesn't have a much of an impact at all on life expectancies! At the least, things such as sanitation, diet, percentage of the population that smoke, lifestyle and other psychosocial factors have WAY more of an effect on life expectancy than quality of health care. But with some of the new therapies being designed (ie TPA for heart attack/stroke, better coronary care units, better survival statistics for many cancers) I think the medical field finally is starting to have an effect on the life expectancy. . . but I'm not sure how much.
02-11-2003, 01:45 AM
I'm not claiming that the situation is so bad that people are dying on the streets. But, when half your population has access to great medical care while the other half has mediocore care you are going to run into problems.
Although medicaid is designed to cover those who are not insured it still leaves many people without coverage of any kind. First you would have to qualify for Medicaid. This qualification is not based on whether or not you have coverage; rather, it is based on various factors such as income, age, children, etc. So, for example, you could be making a decent living which disqualifies you for mediciad. But, your company may not offer health insurance, or you may find that the premiums are too expensive to pay. If you do have insurance you may have deductables that you have to pay and just like car insurance not everyone has the same level of coverage.
Lifestyle does impact on life expectancy among other health parameters. You could even argue that Canadians and Americans have similar lifestyles. Yet, I would bet that any health indicator (taken at the national level) you look at would show that Americans are behind.
BTW, here is a great site on USA medical system:
02-11-2003, 01:50 AM
Thanks for the link! Sounds you do know what your talking about - at least well enough to answer this question well in an interview.
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