In comparison to the United States (U.S.) and Canada’s health care delivery system, U.S. spends much more on health care than Canada. The
Canadian system is predominantly publicly financed, whereas the American one
is funded primarily through a private system. To have a better understanding of
both systems, there are four standards to follow:
One of those standards is: ACCESS, “freedom or ability to obtain or make use of something” (Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary, 2003). Despite higher U.S. levels of spending on health care, residents in the two countries have similar health status and access to care, although there are higher levels of inequality in the United States (Health Affairs, 2006). In Canada every citizen has coverage, but approximately 1.2 million Canadians do not have access. Few of the reason for this is because they can’t find a regular doctor or because they haven’t looked for one. In U.S., 60% have health insurance either because the government provided, some because private corporations offered and some because they pay for their own directly.
Second standard is: COST, value of money that has been used up to produce something, and hence is not available for use anymore ((Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia-2008). Yet infant mortality in the United States is higher and life expectancy at birth is less than in Canada. It is also noteworthy that despite Canada's much lower expenditures on health care, Canadians consult with physicians far more often than do Americans. The average number of physician consultations per capita was 6.0 in Canada, versus 3.8 in the United States (Economic Snapshot-Ross Eisenbrey, 2007).
In Canada since the government is the insurer, Canadian’s pay higher taxes for health care. In the U.S., 44 million of citizens are uninsured, the government pay for elderly and poor population and private physicians set their own fees.
Third standard is: QUALITY, peculiar and essential...
References: 1. Canadian and American health care systems compared (Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, 2006) [On-line]. Available:
2. Contrasting Inequalities: Comparing Correlates of Health in Canada and the United States (SEDAP, Research Paper No. 167, 2006) [On-line]. Available: http://socserv.mcmaster.ca/sedap
3. Economic Snapshot, (Ross Eisenbrey, 2007) Download the following OECD document for source data on physician consultations: http://dx.doi.org/10.1787.114051107728
4. Health Affairs, 25, no. 4 (2006): 1133-1142
© 2006 by Project HOPE. [On-line]. Available:
5. Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 11th Edition, 2003 (Pages 7, 1017)
6. Quality of Health Care in the United States: A Chartbook, Sheila Leatherman, Ph.D. and Douglas McCarthy, The Commonwealth Fund, April 2002
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