A Comparison of the U.S. Health and the Canadian Health System

A Comparison of the U.S. Health and the Canadian Health System

A Comparison of the U.S. Health and the Canadian Health System. Every country has tried much to improve its health care services in the last forty years. In Canada and U.S., health care has been made essential for everybody though accessing the services has not been fully achieved. In Canada, primary health care has been accomplished by providing coverage through a government-sponsored system where each province administers its plan. By doing this, the Canadian government has made health care universal for all citizens irrespective of age, race, gender, or occupation. No preexisting medical conditions can prevent an individual from accessing the services. Insurance coverage is for all, unlike in the U.S., where when an individual turns twenty-six, they are not legible for the insurance medical care for the family. In the U.S., every individual pays about 17.4% of the gross domestic product to insurance in a single-payer system compared to the relatively cheaper pay in Canada, where the individual income is just 11.4% of the GDP (Esmail & Walker, 2005). According to the last figures of 2009, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development shows that the U.S. healthcare expenditure per capita was $7,960 compared to $4,363 in Canada (Szick et al., 2009).

Why is Canada’s health care better than the U.S.’s?

A Comparison of the U.S. Health and the Canadian Health System

Is Canada healthcare cheaper than us?

In Canada, the health care system can be offered privately and financed by taxpayers’ money, and doctors can run their practices as private businesses. Physicians can bill patients separately for noncovered services like cosmetic dermatology and laboratory studies. However, in the U.S., such services cannot be offered freely in a private capacity. A patient would be charged an additional cost of $40 when attending personal health services (Szick et al., 2009).

The Canadian system is relatively simple to operate since every individual is issued a healthcare card that serves as a credit card to cover services. This has reduced the paperwork, saving time and promoting efficiency in the health sector. This has made the job of the Canadian physician simpler as they only need to submit the charges electronically, and most offices run on a skeleton support staff. Only one insurance plan in Canada covers and deals with insurance rules. The cover is universal compared to the U.S., where there are multiple insurance covers, and the charges are rarely done electronically. The data from Health Affairs, the per-physician cost of dealing with payers, was $82,975 in the U.S. compared to Canadian, where the price was relatively ranging at $22,205 a year (Esmail & Walker, 2005).

The U.S. has separate lists of Medicare, for example, Medicare Advantage, the indemnities, Medicare Advantage plans, the Blues, and others. In contrast, Canada has a single list of covered procedures and charges. In Canada, the submitted physician payment and costs are identical; they have a non-negotiable amount and are fixed for all providers (Szick et al., 2009).

The U.S. has a single-payer system that has elicited fierce reactions from Americans since the government is the sole source of financing for the whole healthcare system. The failure of the U.S. government to trim budgets during economic hardships has led to escalating healthcare costs in the country. It has affected the allocation of revenues to healthcare (Szick et al., 2009). However, the situation is different in Canada, which has well-developed health sector technology. The development of technology in Canada has eased the distribution of drugs and has modest the charges and hospitalization expenses. Nevertheless, over time the health cost has exploded in Canada and has led to inadequate access to timely and appropriate care.

A Comparison of the U.S. Health and the Canadian Health System: What is unique about Canada’s healthcare?

A Comparison of the U.S. Health and the Canadian Health System

In Canada, where the government control cost of health care, things are not better off and occasionally stagnate. There are tie-ups in the entire healthcare in Canada since the government control costs. As the scholars say, by limiting access, you limit costs; the Canadian government does limit health care costs. Most patients are referred to local emergency rooms during weekends when there is doctors’ inadequacy, where patients wait for days for inpatient beds (Esmail & Walker, 2005). Hospital budgets are centralized and are closely regulated by the provincial health care authority. On the contrary, the U.S. has a different system where the Diagnostic Related Group drives discharge.

Doctors are widely respected in Canada compared to the U.S. even though the internists and cognitivism in both countries earn relatively the same salaries; there is a wide salary gap between the interventionalist in the two countries (Szick et al., 2009). Those in Canada are paid a third of what their counterparts in the U.S. get leaving Canadian graduates with fewer incentives to choose from. The Canadian medical charts are not audited compared to the U.S., where thorough auditing is carried out regularly to ascertain their effectiveness and efficiency.











Esmail N, & Walker, M. (2005). How good is Canadian Healthcare?: 2005 Report. Fraser Institute, Vancouver, BC.

Szick, S, Angus, D.E, Nichol, G, Harrison, M.B, Page, J, & Moher, D. (2009). Health Care Delivery in Canada and the United States: Are There Relevant Differences in Health Care Outcomes? Toronto: Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences, (Publication no. 99-04-TR.)

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