In many countries, bereaved families get condolence cards and flowers. In the U.S., the survivors are also deluged with hospital bills and insurance paperwork. That paperwork isn’t merely an insult. It costs U.S. society a fortune.
The Liberal government of New Brunswick appears to be stepping back from the brink of mandatory prescription drug insurance. And so they should.
Two court cases with strong implications for the future of the Canadian health care system have been frequently mentioned in the news. Understanding the Chaoulli and Cambie Surgeries cases involves clarifying the difference between public and private health care in Canada.
When counseling patients on health, physicians often focus on lifestyle changes such as diet, exercise or smoking. This kind of advice can be important for the individual, but does little to change underlying drivers of health like income, education and employment. These factors are the ones that have the greatest impact on whether patients will be able to eat well, move around or butt out.
The Dutch health care system is often cited as an example of an efficient, universally-accessible system that has successfully integrated a strong competitive market component into it. In a June 2014 report by the Commonwealth Fund, the Dutch system was ranked in the middle of the pack of the 11 countries under study.
The most basic way of categorizing healthcare financing is to separate public and private healthcare costs. Public financing includes expenditures from any level of government (financed through taxation) as well as social insurance funds (these are much more widespread in European health care systems, although Workers’ Compensation Boards would be included here).