The United States healthcare system has been a subject of public debate for a long time. US hospitals possess some of the most technologically advanced instruments in the world, but due to the extremely expensive cost, only a limited number of patients can afford to use them. The experience of other countries shows that it is possible to provide equal access to healthcare for everyone regardless of their household income. The United States can learn a lot from Israel, Canada, and most European countries and teach other regions some lessons regarding the organization of the health care system.
What Can the United States Learn from the Health Care Systems in Other Countries?
Some of the biggest lessons to be learned for the United States are linked with the availability of healthcare for all citizens since the US healthcare system is overly expensive. The Affordable Care Act has increased government involvement in the industry and improved access to medical services (Niles, 2017). However, many patients still cannot afford adequate treatment. As opposed, most European countries, Canada, and Israel have universal health care, meaning that the basic level of medical service is available to all citizens regardless of their income, availability of insurance, and any other factors.
Whereas it can be argued that the high cost of medical services in the US is justified by the availability of cutting-edge technology, the experience of Israel proves that it is not necessarily the case. According to Mossialos et al., “Israel is one of the most successful high-income countries in containing costs, with health expenditures remaining below 8 percent of GDP” (2016, p. 93). Most medical services in Israel are funded by the government, which is a massive advantage for low-income citizens. Numerous examples of other developed countries show that the universal coverage health care system can be extremely beneficial. Therefore, the US health care system could potentially benefit from implementing universal coverage.
What Can Other Countries Learn from the United States?
Despite frequent complaints and dissatisfaction of American citizens with the US health care system, no country’s approach is perfect. There is still a lot of lessons other countries could learn from the experience of the United States. Whereas the medical services in the US are more expensive than in other developed countries, the compensation for medical workers in the US is much higher as well. In the analysis of compensation for general practitioners, it has been found that the average earnings of US medical workers are 40 percent higher than for other countries (Baker, 2016).
Given that the US hospitals provide more highly technical and specialized services, the high cost of US health care can arguably be justified, and other countries might benefit from increased investment in medical research and higher compensations for medical professionals.
To conclude, each health care system in the world has its advantages and drawbacks. Although the US medical services are generally costly, the level of treatment available in this region is the most advanced in the world. Likewise, universal healthcare in many other countries is easily accessible to most citizens, but it is less effective than in the United States. On the whole, no existing health care system is perfect, and all the countries in the world should strive to ensure broader access to medical services at a lower cost and with better outcomes.
Baker, D. (2016). Working paper: The compensation of highly paid professionals: How much is rent? CEPR Reports and Issue Briefs 2016(13). Web.
Mossialos, E., Wenzl, M., Osborn, R., & Sarnak, D. (2016). International profiles of health care systems, 2015. The Commonwealth Fund. Web.
Niles, N. J. (2017). Navigating the U.S. Health Care System. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.