Health Care US vs. Canada vs. Mexico

680 words | 3 page(s)

In all countries, the quality of healthcare is dependent on the government policies and the affordability of medical insurance for all people. In addition, the income of a country, the GDP and variations in personal incomes affect the quality if provision of healthcare in any country. However, despite the indications of better care where more money is spent, the general quality of provision of healthcare is not completely dependent on the money spent.

Financing by the government is different in the US and Canada. On average, the Canadian government supports about 70% of the total healthcare expenditure while in the US; the government only supported 46% of the expenditure on healthcare. The differences between the two countries is a function of the differences in government policies in the two countries and the ability of these policies to benefit all citizens. In Mexico, the figures are compatible to the expenditure in the American healthcare system. The government supports about 45% of the total expenditure on healthcare.

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The total cost expenditure of healthcare per person is also varied between the US and Canada. For example, on average, the cost of healthcare of a person living in the US is more than six thousand dollars and year. On the other hand, the costs of healthcare in Canada is slightly less than three thausand American dollars per person. In other words, though the Canadian government covers a big percentage of the medical bills incurred by the Canadian citizens, it spends less per person than the US. In Mexico, the total expenditure on healthcare is about six hundred dollars per person. The differences are a function of the difference in inflation between Mexico, Canada and the US.

There are also significant differences in the percentage of healthcare expenditure as a function of the GDP. In the US, healthcare expenditure is about 15% of the GDP while in Canada, the figure stands at 10%. Therefore, all figures indicate that healthcare in the US is significantly more expensive than in Canada. The expenditure on healthcare as a function of the GDP in Mexico is about 3%.

In terms of actual indicators of healthcare delivery, there are studies that propose that the outcome of healthcare in Canada are better than for patients treated in US hospitals. Though the studies are inconsistent and use different metrics to evaluate the outcomes of healthcare delivery, they showed that on average, the results are better in Canada. For example, the infant mortality rates are lower in Canada compared to the US and the life expectancy is higher for Canadians than Americans. Due to the role of healthcare in prolonging life expectancy, these metrics are used to deduce the conclusion that healthcare in Canada is better and cheaper than the same in the US is. The quality if healthcare in Mexico is similar to the quality of healthcare in the US due to training of US physicians in Mexico and vice versa.

Historically, the US and Canada had similar healthcare systems until the changes to the Canadian system in the 1960’s. These changes entailed total insurance coverage for the insured person and payment of all hospital expenditures and salaries of healthcare workers from the public funds. These differences are reflective on the divergence between the US and Canadian systems. For example, the insurance policies are dependent on the insurance providers in the US. Therefore, despite the big subsidies provided by the US government compared to the Canadian government in terms of actual capital, the costs are still higher for the general population. On the other hand, the private healthcare provision in Mexico is not regulated. In addition, Mexicans do not need medical insurance because there is provision of universal healthcare in the public institutions. Insurance is only relevant in the private sections.

The quality of healthcare provision in a country is not dependent on the total expenditure on the healthcare systems as demonstrated by the differences between the US, Canada and Mexico. The quality of healthcare in the Canada is better than the US despite significantly lower expenditures on healthcare. The Mexican figures also demonstrate this to be true.

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