Cultural Anthropology Research Paper

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The Canadian and American Health Care Systems Not all Health Care Systems are the same. Some are free for their country and most are very expensive. Having compared the Health Care Systems in Canada and the United States, Canada has the best Health Care system. It is a government funded Health Care system. No matter who you are or where you live in Canada, superior quality health care is guaranteed.

Basically, if you want medical attention, a doctor or some other health care professional is only a phone call away. One doesn’t have to be an elite member of society or have millions of dollars to have quick access to a hospital. To begin with, I believe Canada has one of the best health care systems in the world. “In Canada today, all forms of health promotion and prevention and health maintenance is free. Whether it is a simple visit to the doctor for the common cold, giving birth or having a complex open heart surgery, it is free (Lumsden). Not like other nations such as where I live in the United States. Canadians don’t have to worry about high insurance premiums based on their level of wellness and health. They also don’t have to worry about expensive hospital visits and stays and they don’t have to ignore a sickness because they can’t afford to go to the hospital. Health care is free in Canada and that’s the way it should be all over the world. All people should have the right to good, quality, public funded healthcare in their own country, not just Canada.

No matter where someone lives, where they work or their status in society, nobody should be denied this basic right to a better healthier and longer life. All nations around the world should look up to Canadians health care system. There are other reasons why I believe Canada has a good health care system and that is because their hospitals, doctors or nurses are all quite accessible. “No matter where you live in Canada, whether it is in downtown Toronto or Northern Labrador, you can generally walk in to any hospital or clinic if you are sick (Lumsden). What’s more, if you are sick and live in a smaller area of Canada where medical services and supplies are limited, chances are that person will be referred to larger towns or cities. If they require more immediate medical attention, an ambulance and trained medical professional can be at that person’s house in a matter of seconds to bring them to the nearest hospital. If at that moment their condition is more than this hospital is equipped for, they will most likely be airlifted to a major city where specialized doctors and nurses are ready to perform life saving measures for them.

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In a 2007 review of all studies comparing health care outcomes in Canada and the U. S. , a Canadian peer-reviewed medical journal, found that “health outcomes may be superior in patients cared for in Canada versus the United States, but differences are not consistent (2000). ” The research that I had found also stated that the life expectancy is longer in Canada, and its infant mortality rate is lower than that of the United States, but there is debate about the underlying causes of these differences.

The World Health Organization’s ratings of health care system performance among 191 member nations, published in 2000, ranked Canada 30th and the U. S. 37th, and the overall health of Canadians 35th to the American 72nd. With that information that I gathered gave me reason to believe that having free health care will most likely give you a healthier and longer life span compared to the U. S. ‘s private insured health care system. The health care system in Canada is largely government-funded, with most services provided by private enterprises.

Waiting times for major non-emergency surgery have been longer in Canada, and Canada has been slightly slower to adopt expensive technology and medicines. Consequently, Canada has had higher mortality rates for some conditions, such as heart attacks (Heart Association). Canadian health administrators say that these problems are improving. Through all entities in its public-private system, the U. S. spends more per capita than any other nation in the world, but is one of the few industrialized countries that lacks some form of universal health care. Health insurance in the U.

S. is expensive, rapidly rising costs are affecting employers and consumers as well as the government, and a study in “Health Affairs (2004)” concluded that half of Americans bankruptcies involve medical bills. I would assume this debt does not help the patient or the doctor in any way. The doctor loses money from the patient who can’t afford to pay their outrages medical fees. Canada and the United States are considering making changes to their health care systems. But there is debate over whether resources should be added to the public or private sectors. Even though Canadians and Americans have each looked to the other for ways to improve their own health care systems, there still exists a considerable amount of conflicting information regarding the relative qualities of the two systems (Lasser). ” In Canada they use the United States as a model and as a warning against increasing private sector involvement in their health care system. In the U. S. , meanwhile, Canada’s health care system is seen by different sides of the ideological spectrum as either a model to be followed or avoided.

One of the major complaints about the Canadian health care system is their waiting times, whether for a specialist, major elective surgery, such as hip replacement, or specialized treatments, such as radiation for breast cancer. While research studies done by the Commonwealth Fund they found that Canadians waited 4 hours or more in the emergency room verses the United States citizens who wait in the emergency room. Canadians do admit that their waiting time is a problem and that it does comes from their country’s lower costs and free medical care. In a letter to the Wall Street Journal, Robert S.

Bell, M. D. , President and CEO of University Health Network, Toronto, said that Michael Moore’s film Sicko “exaggerated the performance of the Canadian health system — there is no doubt that too many patients still stay in our emergency departments waiting for admission to scarce hospital beds. ” However, “Canadians spend about half of what Americans spend on health care and have a longer life expectancy, and lower infant mortality rates. Many Americans have access to quality health care. All Canadians have access to similar care at a considerably lower cost. There is “no question” that the lower cost has come at the cost of “restriction of supply with sub-optimal access to services,” said Bell. But in the United States, patients on Medicaid, the low-income government programs, can wait up to three months or more to see specialists. Because Medicaid payments are so low, doctors don’t want to see Medicaid patients if they don’t have to. So if you are poor in America you will have the same kind of wait time that you would receive in Canada. Canada’s health care system has been the subject of much political controversy and debate in their country.

Some question the effectiveness of the current system to provide treatment in a timely manner and to advocate a private health care system similar to the United States private health care system. On the other hand, they worry that having privately own health care would lead to discrimination in the health system, with only the wealthy being able to afford certain treatments like those in the United States does. While the health care system in Canada covers basic services, including primary care physicians and hospitals, there are many services that are not covered.

These include things like dental services, optometrists, and prescription medications according to the Canadian Health Care. Nonetheless, I consider the thousands of dollars that is saved by having free medical care in Canada makes up for this difference. A twenty dollar prescription is way more affordable then a twenty thousand dollar doctors bill that you would receive in the United States. Despite that dental and prescription care can still be affordable in Canada with their private health coverage that is provided by many companies in Canada to employees for a package rate.

These incentives usually include vision and dental care. The main reason many Canadians choose to purchase private insurance, is to supplement primary health care coverage. For the people who require services that may not be covered under provincial health care insurance such as corrective lenses, medications, or home care, a private insurance plan offsets such medical expenses. In spite of the fact that private insurance can benefit those with certain needs, many Canadians choose to rely exclusively on the public health care system that is provided to them free of charge.

With Canadians receiving free medical and being able to also purchase private insurance to cover other costs that results with then having a healthier and longer life expectancy compared to many United States citizens. With longer life expectancy in Canada from having free medical health care it can cause future economical issues. “This new dynamic of aging and retirement has very significant implications for employers and employees – from workforce composition to compensation and benefits, to lifestyle issues. But the focus here will be on health-related matters associated with the aging of the Canadian population (Michaels, D. . ” While Canadians are living healthier and longer lives than ever before, there will be health related consequences associated with aging that can have significant financial implications to their country in the future. With my research I discovered that with having Canada’s free medical care to all people in their country, there will be a group of boomers turning 65 beginning in 2011. This group should not be looked at in isolation from the current population that is now age 65 and older. According to Benifits Canada, between 2005 and 2036, the seniors’ population is projected to increase from 4. million to 9. 8 million. The 65 to 74 age group will grow from about 2. 2 million and in 2005 to 4. 8 million by 2031. For the 75 to 84 age cohort, between 2005 and 2021, this share of the population is projected to stay constant at roughly 5%. However, the total numbers of this group will increase from 1. 5 million in 2005 to two million. The largest increase will be between 2026 and 2041, when this share of the population goes from 6. 9% to 9. 7% and its total number reaches 3. 9 million. This is due for the most part to the continued aging of boomers.

Much of the care the Canadian people will need as they get older will come from more formal support such as home care, assistive devices, home modifications and a host of other services not mandated under the Canada Health Act or covered much, if at all, by the provinces. This in turn leaves the family members to care for or provide financial assistants to the growing elderly population. This will cause much stress to the family members who will be liable to care for their aging family members in the future. Even with the consequences the Canadians will have to one day deal ith having to be liable for aging groups of people because of their free medical care. It still would be the best choice for any country to have. References Lumsden, Lori Stagg. http://www. cdli. ca/courses/writ2203/unit02_org05_ilo01/b_activity. html, retrieved on April 15, 2010 The World Health Report (2000), http://www. who. int/whr/2000/en/annex01_en. pdf , retrieved on April 15, 2010 American Heart Association, Inc. Circulation (2004); 110:1754-1760. http://circ. ahajournals. org/cgi/content/full/110/13/1754 , Retrieved on April 15, 2010 Lasser, Karen E. MD, MPH, Himmelstein, David U.

MD, and Woolhandler, Steffie MD, MPH, American Journal of Public Health | July 2006, Vol. 96, No. 7 Ministry of Health and Long Term Care, Last Modified on: 06/16/2009 http://www. health. gov. on. ca/transformation/wait_times/wait_mn. html , retrieved April 16, 2010 Bell, Robert S. M. D, The Wall Street Journal, July 9, 2007, retrieved from http://online. wsj. com/article/SB118394504633260585. html on April 16, 2010 Canadian Health Care, http://canadian-healthcare. org/ Retrieved on April 16, 2010 Michaels, D. (2008, December). TIME WILL TELL. Benefits Canada, 32(12), 62-63, 65. Retrieved April 16, 2010, from ABI/INFORM Global.