Today, in Canada there are two types of health care systems. The current and most predominant system is the public health care system, which offers health care to everyone who needs it with little or no costs. The other form of health care that is making a recent wave in health care is called a two-tier health care system. This type of health care offers both a current public system as well as a for-profit parallel private system. Each one of these health care options can be beneficiary in many of the same or different ways.
The following research essay will describe the advantages of each a public system and a two-tier system involving accessibility, finance, and physician ability. Accessibility In the public health care system citizens have full access to all health care that is medically necessary or unnecessary. Having health insurance throughout Canada provides patients with around-the-clock hospital care and scheduled doctor visits everywhere. With this service offered Canadians do not have a burden on their back when they get injured because they will never be denied the proper care.
Another benefit to a public health care system involving accessibility is that there are many facilities around this country to provide care for the community. David Gratzer (2005) said that Chaoulli worked a case where an elderly man was forced to wait approximately a year for a hip replacement. A two-tier system would allow for waiting lists to be cut drastically and patients taken care of before their situation progressed further. It was stated in Shimo`s (2006) argument that The Cambie Surgery Centre allows Canadian citizens from anywhere to book an appointment within a few days of calling.
This type of service provides much accessibility to those in need, anything from a hip replacement to a cataract surgery. Finances Definitely a main benefit of a public health care system is that it is 100% publicly funded for citizens. Angell (2008) stated that health care costs are twice as high now in the United States then they are in Canada. Also, considering death rates are higher in the United States then in Canada backs up that a publicly funded system may in fact be better (Angell, 2008).
This way with a public system patients do not have to choose whether they want surgery or not, based on the required price. The only health care costs that Canadians have to worry about right now are needed prescription drugs and at home doctor visits. A two-tier system provides patients with a choice, there are fees involved in this sort of system but only if the people choose to go to a private facility. With a two-tier system you are still able to go to a public hospital or doctor’s office if you do not have the finances for a private option.
Shimo (2006) presented information saying that if the treatment is necessary to the patient they have the possibility to get reimbursed by the government. This makes a two-tier even more favoured for patients if they are in an immediate condition and need to go to a private facility they have that option as well as a possibility to get their money back. Physician Availability In a public health care system, patients are always going to be able to get help and there will always be available doctors. A public system offers equality among patients and the doctors will treat all the patients equally.
Bhatia and Natsheh (2005) presented an editorial from Toronto Star newspaper that states Canadian physicians vote for private health care in their own self-interest. Meaning with a public system doctors are not working for more money but they are working to help the patients in need. In a two-tier system the physicians are likely to give the people more quality care and take their time treating them. Shimo (2006) stated that in Montreal people have the ability to get vaccines, blood work, etc. at home or in the office. This gives patients more time with their physicians and more care.
Another point made in relation to physician availability is that doctors are constantly switching over from a public health care system to a two-tier system. Shimo (2006) noted that Copeman’s clinic (private) said they would have four times as many doctors per patient vs. a public system. This way there is much more option, especially if in need of immediate care. In conclusion, both a public health care system and a two-tier health care system can benefit Canada in the same as well as separate ways. The main reasons that they benefit in the same way are; accessibility, finances and physician availability.
The debate between a public and two-tier system is ongoing, as well as the many different perspectives people have of each. The statistics are getting higher in favour of a two-tier system and possibly one day Canada, as a whole, will have both public and private options. According to Alexandra Shimo this may just be the case. Shimo (2006) stated that since The Copeman Healthcare Centre opened in Vancouver they have future plans to open healthcare centres in a few major cities in Ontario, such as Toronto and London. All in all, both a public and two-tier health system have the ability to benefit this country.