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Which Country Has The Best Health Care System?

by: Stefan Simonovic

A country’s health care system greatly reflects the quality of life its residents can hope to have. This is one of the main reasons why the question of health care is in every political campaign around the world, why it's evaluated, analyzed and dissected by experts, and why every single resident of any country has an opinion on it.

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Although the US health care system is too complex and it has failed its users on more than one occasion, in a global health care showdown it doesn't do as bad as many people would think. Does that mean other countries don't have such good health care systems either or does it mean that we should appreciate what we have at home a bit more? Whether you’re healthy, active, overweight, suffering from hypertension or dating someone with HIV and would like to stay safe, in all likelihood, you have a strong opinion about the health care system in the country you live. Below, you'll find how Canada, the UK, and France have tackled the issues related to running an efficient health care system available to as many of their residents as possible.

Canada – Government-Funded Health Insurance

In Canada, the provincial government finances health insurance and it is available to all. On the other hand, the private sector delivers most of the care, but the patients don’t have to deal with any messy insurance claims because the payments don’t go through them. Many Canadians have supplemental insurance through employment that covers most of the costs of prescription drugs, dentists, orthopedic aids, and optometry. This is all nice and dandy, but it’s tainted by long wait times and lack of General Practitioners (GPs) in large cities.

The UK – Socialized Health Care

In the UK, not only does the government foot the bill for health insurance, the actual health care is also provided by the National Health Service. The public system provides broad coverage with most services being free, while the UK also has a private health care system as well, and about 10 percent of the people purchase private health insurance. The downside, as explained by some experts, is that the health care system in the UK is more complex than it should be, and when compared to its Canadian counterpart, it’s less equitable.

France - Truly Extensive Coverage

France has a list of services more extensive than any health care system in the world. In France, every person must buy health insurance, which is sold by non-profit funds mostly financed through taxes. As for the public insurance, it covers between 70 percent and 80 percent of the cost. About 95 percent of the people also have voluntary health insurance through employers or means-tested vouchers. The government decides on the budgets and technicalities, such as the number of hospital beds, which equipment is purchased, and how many medical students are trained. The drawback is that this health care system is expensive at close to 12 percent of the GDP, compared to Canada and the UK, which spend just over 10 percent.

About the author:

Stefan is a writer and a blogger in his spare time. He also works for First Beat Media, a company that mainly focuses on the online dating niche and similar services.

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