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Free «Canada Health Care System» Essay Sample


The Canadian health care system is considered among the best in the entire world. The whole structure is been discussed in the paper, compared to U.S. health care structure. To start with, Canada spends less in health care system compared to U.S, both on as a percentage of GDP and per-capita bases. In the year 2006, per-capita expenditure for the health care plan in Canada was US$3, 678, whereas the U.S was US$6, 714, moreover, the percentage spent by Canada on health care was 10.0%, whereas the U.S spent 15.3% of GDP in the same year. In 2006, the Canadian government financed 70% of the health care spending, verses 46% in the United States. The total government expenditure per capita in the U.S. on health care was 23% more than Canadian government expenditure, and U.S. government spending on health care was under 83% of the total Canadian expenditure (private and public). (Axelrod, Toby, 2002). Below is a graph of Canada and U.S. health care spending;

As noted from different studies comparing Canadian verses U.S. health care, it shows that the life expectancy in longer in Canada and its preschooler mortality rate is lower than that of the United States. The life expectancy in Canada is 80.34 years, whereas in U.S. is 78.6 years. Moreover, the health care system in Canada is been sponsored by a mix of private (30%) and public (70%) sponsoring (Baker, 2008). Below is Basic statistics:



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 However, the health care costs in both countries (Canada and U.S) are increasing faster than inflation. Below is a graph showing the difference in life expectancy verses health care per person in various countries, including Canada and U.S.

Government Involvement

In early 1960s, the Canadian and United States government had an equivalent health care system. However, at present, they both have a different funding mechanism. The Canada’s entire single-payer health care structure wraps about 70% of expenditures, and according to Canada Health Act, it necessitates that all insured peoples be fully insured without co-payments, for all medically obligatory hospital and physician care. More than 91% of hospital expenses and 99% of the total services from physicians are funded by the public sector. Dental and ophthalmology services account for much of the private spending in Canada. Compared to U.S, which has a mixed public-private system, about 45 million or 16% of Americans are uninsured at whichever one time. The Canadian hospitals are been controlled by regional health authorities and/or private boards, relatively than being part of government. In the United States, the direct government funding of health care is restricted to Medicaid, Medicare, and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), that wraps up eligible senior citizens, disabled peoples, very poor, and children. The federal government is also accountable for running Veterans Administration and Military Health System. In Fiscal year 2007, the total budget of MHS authority was $39.4 billion and served just about 9.1 million beneficiaries. The Canadian structure is been 69-75% publicly funded, although majority of the services are been delivered by private suppliers, including physicians.

However, the Canada’s entire health plan doesn’t cover some services, for example, non-cosmetic dental care is been covered for children who are 14 age in some provinces. Also, outpatient instruction drugs aren’t required to be covered, however several provinces cover drug prescriptions regarding the conditions of a family’s. In addition, the Canadian government regulates drugs which make it cheaper compared to U.S. (Plater, 2000)  

Coverage and Access

To access heath care in both of the two countries (Canada and U.S.) can be a problem, as noted from various studies; it shows that 40% of U.S. citizens don’t have sufficient health insurance, and more than 5% of Canadian citizens haven’t able to get a regular doctor, and to make it worse, 9% have never looked for one. In the U.S., the federal government doesn’t guarantee entire health care to the whole citizens, however, the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA) ensures public access to emergency treatments. Whereas, the Canadian emergency services for legal Canadian citizens isn’t charged to the patient during the period of the service but is met by the government.

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From below, we can see that Canada has a lower disease incident rate; however treatment rates are likely higher in the U.S:

Price of Health Care

Health care is considered as the most costly items in the two country’s budgets. In U.S, there are more levels of government spending per capita on health care, while the levels of Canadian government which are less. In 2004, the Canadian government expenditure was US$2,120 per person on health care, whereas the United States government expenditure was US$2,724. The United States government expenditure covers fewer than half of all health care expenses. Also, the private expenditure for health care in Canada is lesser than in U.S., there’s an annual average of US$917 expenditure in Canada, while in U.S is US$3,372. In 2006, health care consumed only 10% of annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and in the U.S. it was 15.3% of annual GDP. In addition, the administrative costs for health in the United States are also higher than in Canada. This dissimilarity is a comparatively due to present development.

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Preventive Services

In preventive services, the Canadians partake less than United States.

Mammograms: 88.6% of United States females 40-69 haven’t had a mammogram contrasted to 72.3% of Canadians.

PAP smear: 86.3% of United States females 20-69 got a PAP smear within the last three years contrasted to 75.1% of Canadians

Prostate screening: 54.2% of United States men 40-69 haven’t had a PSA test contrasted to 16.4% of Canadians.

According to economist, the reason why Canadian’s don’t get preventive is because they understand when they become ill; the government will pay the health care bill. This is why they are less motivated to inquire for preventive services.


The Canadian government spends less than United States government on health care technology. In 2004, Canada had 4.6 MRI scanner per million population whereas the United States had 19.5 per million.


In Canada, the rising demands for health care, as a result of the aging population, have to be met by either rising the taxes or decreasing other programs of the government. When comes to the United States, under the present structure, much of the health care burn are being taken by private sectors and individuals. (Leo Kuper, 1998)

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Politics of Health

In Canada, the right-wing and nowadays defunct Reform Party and its affiliates, the Conservative Party of Canada reflected on increasing the responsibility of the private sector in the Canadian health care structure. However, the public repercussion caused these plans to be thrown away, and the present marginal Conservative government has re-affirmed its obligation to universal public medicine. It’s a bylaw that the Quebec government can’t prevent citizens from insuring for healthcare in private insurances.

According to Marcus (2007), In United States, Bill Clinton tried a vital restructuring of health care; however, the effort didn’t pass due to public pressure against it. In 2006, Massachusetts implemented a plan which intended to vastly decrease the number of uninsured. It necessitated every person to buy insurance and low cost subsidizes, but in 2009, Massachusetts scheme was near bankruptcy and regarded as terminating coverage for definite people. In July 2009, Connecticut approved a law plan known as SustiNet, with the aim of achieving coverage of 98% of its citizens by 2014.

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Canadians are healthier than Americans. What this paper finds, but this is because that the United States has a higher incidence of illness. Even though, the Americans might have a faintly higher access of treatment than Canadians. Moreover, there’s a lot of difference betwixt Canada and U.S. health care. The Canadian government is accountable for paying treatment bills for its citizens, and that’s why Canadians don’t take preventive medicine, however in U.S. is vice versa. Up to present, the U.S. hasn’t found a long term solution for their health care structure.


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