Health Care Quality

Unlike in the US where financial barriers are a major source of inaccessibility to health care the Canadian system sees all people access the publicly funded health care services. The US spends more on health care than she spends on defense and 2008 statistics have it that she spent approximately $2. 4 trillion dollars on health care. (National Coalition on Health Care, 2009). The high costs of health care in the US are attributed to the bureaucratic processes in the submission as well as the approval of medical claims in both the government as well as in the private health care insurance.

The cost of health care in Canada where the role of the third party (private insurance) is minimal is consequently lower. High costs of health care in the US are also blamed on the increasing age population. Using important health care indicators like infant mortality rates and life expectancy rates one can deduce that the US health care in terms of quality is lower than the Canadian system. 2002 statistics have it that in US the population of the aged stood at 12. 5% while that of Canada was 12. 7%. In the same year US spent 14. 6% of the total GDP while Canada spent a lower rate at 9. 6%.

In terms of the per capita income spent on health care the US spent $5. 267 while Canada spent $2. 931. The life expectancy rate for males was 74. 4 in US while it was 77. 1 in Canada. The infant mortality rates mortality rates were also higher in the US at 6. 8 while Canada recorded a lower rate at 5. 2 per 1000 live births. (Jonas S, Kovner A and Knickman J, 2005). In the US continuity of health care is highly compromised by the lack of a nationalized program to coordinate health care provision at the national level thus triggering ineffective communication between the health care providers and the patients.

Medication errors are subject to occur when there lacks effective communication between the health care providers across the varying states. The lack of proper coordination among the health care providers is also to blame for the cost escalation as it leads to duplication of tests and it could also lead to medication errors which compromises on the quality of care offered. (Jonas S, Kovner A and Knickman J, 2005). This is different in Canada where one’s accessibility to care is constant across the varying provinces.

Again, the Canadian health care system allows easy job mobility as one does not risk losing the employer coverage by changing jobs. High health care coats may see some people stay in the same jobs in the US as without the employer based coverage their accessibility to health care would be reduced.


Jonas Steven, Kovner Anthony and Knickman James. 2005. Jonas & Kovner’s health care delivery in the United States. Springer Publishing Company, Karen Collins, Dora Hughes et al 2002.

Diverse Communities, Common Concerns: Assessing Health Care Quality for Minority Americans. Retrieved on 10th May 2009 from http://www. commonwealthfund. org/usr_doc/collins_diversecommun_523. pdf? section=4039 National Coalition on Health Care. Health Insurance Costs. 2009. Retrieved on 10th May 2009 from http://www. nchc. org/facts/cost. shtml The Canadian and American health care systems. Retrieved on 14th April 2009 from http://dsp-psd. communication. gc. ca/Collection-R/LoPBdP/BP/bp300-e. htm

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