I have just returned from holiday in the United States and I had a wonderful time! The tip system seems to produce wonderful service. Does it mean those serving are paid less and therefore have to rely on the tips? I don’t know is the honest answer, but still wish we had the same level of service over here.
Whilst in the States I did have to bite my tongue when listening to an American telling me how their current health care system was the only way to go. This was a view expounded by someone who was lucky enough not to have to worry about how much the bills were. There seem to be little consideration for those that would have to.
I would like to point you towards this article which mentions among other things that the US has the worst mortality amongst developed nations when it comes to pregnant mothers or new born child. It is home to the third worst mortality rate by nutritional deficiencies, the second worst rate of death through respiratory disease and the highest absolute age adjusted mortality rate amongst all developed nations.
According to WHO the average cost of a hospital stay in OECD countries is $6,200 whilst in the US it is $18,000. Someone is either spending too much or too little!
700,000 Americans are forced into bankruptcy because of medical bills every year. The US spends almost four times as much on administrative costs as other industrialized nations.
It got me thinking about some of the other Health care systems and their merits and faults.
In 2000 WHO rated the French healthcare system as first in its survey of health care systems.
French citizens have universal health coverage that’s provided by the government. Funds come from required contributions from citizens based on income. In return, the country reimburses about 70 percent of most medical bills. The French people are allowed to see any health provider they choose, and about 42 percent can get a same-day appointment.
There is a high level of government spending, about $3,300 per person, however the US spends twice that amount. France had the lowest rate of deaths that could have been prevented with adequate healthcare, the US had the highest. Per capita health expenditure in France is $4,168 and in the US $8,233.
To cover the balance of what the government does not provide most citizens have supplemental insurance with either a public or private plan.
Germans pay 8% of their salary into a sickness fund which their employers match. Those who can’t are eligible for public assistance. Health insurance is then purchased using these funds.
Some German doctors feel that they are underpaid with this system as they do not get paid per test or appointment but rather on a quarterly basis that’s determined by the number of patients they see.
Citizens report short waiting times for tests or surgeries.
All Canadian citizens have health care that is funded by income taxes and sales tax. The national government has oversight for members of the military and native people on reserves, but the 10 provincial and three territorial governments take care of the rest. The doctors and hospitals are private entities, which distinguishes the Canadian system from the British socialized medicine system, in which doctors are employees of the government. Canadian health care providers bill the government, so that citizens never see a bill or fork over a copayment for anything other than dentistry, optometry and prescription drugs. While health care costs are rising in Canada, the country currently spends less than the United States. Life expectancy in Canada is 82, in the US it is 79 (less than the UK).
I have worked for the Health Service in the UK for most of my working life. I know it has its faults and sometimes leaves something to be desired, but if the alternative is an American system then I may have to find another country to live in!
Let me know your thoughts. Am I being completely biased? Can you put me right and convince me that I am wrong. Would love to hear from you if you can.
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