Healthcare in France Compared to the United States

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Abstract
My paper is comparing the healthcare system in France to the healthcare system we have in the United States. We need to look at France’s healthcare and other countries with universal healthcare and ask ourselves “Is it sustainable?” Is it feasible?” “Will it provide for those who don’t have insurance and help those that do?” The results show universal healthcare is usable, but there have to be guidelines, who it covers, what it covers, and what improvements need to be made to make it work. When other countries have been using universal healthcare for 60 + years, it shows there is hope for it in this country too. Healthcare is a growing problem, but it might become more of one if taxes are raised to cover the cost. France’s NHS system is not costly compared to the United States. The U.S. thinks when universal healthcare goes into effect; we will give up our choice in doctors, hospitals, and care facilities. The French agree with the United States in their distaste for restrictions on patient choice and insist on autonomous private practitioners. In France, there are no waiting lists for elective procedures and no need for pre-authorization. There are no uninsured in France. No one goes broke for health costs. The system is designed where the 3% to 5% of the sickest are exempt from co-payments and have no deductibles. Out of the people with one of the 30 long term and expensive illnesses (diabetes, mental illness, cancer…), the government covers 100% of health costs including surgeries, therapies, and drugs. They have a very unusual guarantee from the government. All cancer patients are able to get any drug, from experimental and still being tested to the most expensive, for free. The French healthcare service is costly, but is the best in the world and offers the greatest choice in general practitioners and specialists.

In the movie SICKO, Moore describes healthcare in other countries as the way to go. He gives several fine points on the way France’s NHS is utilized. There, everyone is covered. They have a choice in physicians; there are no waiting lists for elective procedures and no need for pre-authorizations. The sicker a person is the better covered they are. In France, a pharmacist has the right to give you medical advice when a person is not seriously ill, and can consult you about the right medications to take. Just as medical emergency personnel include an MD in the ambulance, that person’s job is to do as much as possible for you before being taken to the hospital, where in the U.S., it consists of a person driving as fast as they can to take you to the hospital. France has a universal healthcare that is outta this world! The largest study ever done of its kind was by the World Health Organization in 2001, it rated France number one out of 191 countries because of access to universal coverage, responsive healthcare providers, patient and provider freedoms, and health and longevity of its country’s population. The United States was ranked 37th. Researchers thought the study was flawed so the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine redid the rating based on the measured “amenable mortality” rate. They basically believed the measure of deaths could have been prevented with good health care. They looked at 19 industrialized nations and France still came in first and the United States came in last this time. The United States didn’t rank well because of the high cost of healthcare, health disparities, and problems with those that had no insurance. Right now there are 47 million Americans with no health care coverage and the number keeps going up. Almost 84% of the working population in the United States needs some type of extra health coverage. The U.S. wants to have mandates on employers to provide health insurance. The link between employment and health security is a disadvantage and far outweighs the advantages right now. Economists estimate there are between 25% and 45% employees in the U.S....
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