Describe the health care system of Canada

Healthcare systems in some countries have the challenge of aging populations, increasing medical costs, and transitions that include pricey high-tech solutions and procedures. These nations are confronted with ways to balance cost, access, and quality. Different approaches have been chosen and are implemented as the healthcare needs of the citizens are met. This is seen in the health systems of the U.S. and Canada. Although these two countries border each other, they have different healthcare systems with health acts that are shaped by legislation, because the U.S and Canadian governments strongly influence the healthcare systems.

The Canadian Health Act of 1984 was passed to merge and update the federal acts of 1957 and 1966. There were requirements that each province must meet through their public health care insurance plan to qualify for the full federal cash contribution under the Canadian Health Transfer (CHT) (Clemens & Esmail, 2012). The Act added additional limitations that prevent direct patient charges so all citizens in every province will have access to health care even when the ability to pay may be an issue. As a result, Canadian government plays the central role in the insurance market because it is the main source of funding for health care. A health care provider cannot charge more than the fee the government has approved, even if the patient is not covered by the public system in place, or from another country. (Austin and Wetle, pg. 242).

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Though, with all its success, some Canadians will till come to the United States for elective surgeries such as hip and heart that their system does not cover. Likewise, American citizens continue to travel to Canada to purchase prescriptions drugs and be treated for illnesses that their insurances will not cover. The United States is a leader if specialized procedures, which probably why those from other countries are drawn the to country to get their health care needs met. 

There are some likenesses and differences in the healthcare systems of Canada and the U.S. Canada’s system is largely government funded and most services are provided by private enterprises The United States spends more per capita than any other country, though with the Healthcare Reform Act of 2010 it is set to get rid of the burdens that most American citizens face. The Affordable Care Act is supposed to put consumers back in charge of their health care. Hopefully with this act, the United States will have a health care system that is as effective and available as the Canadian health care system.

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