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Comparison of Health Care Systems: The United States and France

Comparison of Health Care Systems: The United States and France

Introduction

The United States is world-famous for the best quality of medical care. On the other hand, such economically developed country as France also has significant benefits provided by its government. This paper provides a comparison of health care systems in the United States and France as well as raises equity issues for different citizens.

Health Statistics and Costs

The discussion below provides statistical data of both countries collected by the official medical institutions and organizations. It touches such areas as an average life expectancy of  a French citizen, the world ranking of the United States and France in the medical sphere, and percentage of changes demanded by the local population. The statistical data is followed by the general conclusion on two systems based on the given numbers. Additionally, it raises such important topic as the comparison of a number of physicians with a number of nurses in both developed countries.

The United States. In the world ranking of 2000, the United States took the 37th place for its medical care among 191 other countries. Further statistics provides the evaluation of changes that Americans expect to receive in the nearest future: 60% of the population expressed dissatisfaction with some of its elements. As to the life expectancy, a woman born in the United States can live up to 79.1, according to the statistics of the year 2009 (Johnson & Stoskopf, 2010).

France. In 2000 France took the first place among 191 countries in the area of health care. Concerning changes, 42% of French population wanted to improve local medical treatment. The years of life expectancy are astonishing because the age of a French woman can reach 84,5. However, the authorities admit that the country is overflowing with physicians (Johnson & Stoskopf, 2010).

Comparison of the countries. In general, France provides better medical treatment for its citizens, because, compared to the United States, ot many people expect significant changes. However, rural areas in France experience difficulties with the access to medical treatment, while the United States intend to leverage such problems. On the other hand, French patients have more control over the medical process as well as they can influence the quality of service (Johnson & Stoskopf, 2010). In the United States, the quality of service depends mostly on the authorities.

Health Care Financing

The discussion below includes financial strategies that are being developed by the authorities for coverage of different minorities. Moreover, it describes the situation of immigrants in the United States. It also raises problems of poor people and provides the ways of the government to assist them. The discussion finishes with the comparative section where two systems are represented as the sum-total.

The United States. The government of the United States constantly thinks how to ensure medical treatment for those who experience financial difficulties. For example, in the nearest future, it is going to take care of 32 million uninsured Americans (Jackson & Nolen, 2010). Additionally, between 100 percent – 400 percent of poor people will gain a possibility to take credit to secure their health. However, the government also puts pressure regarding private insurance, because in 2014 everyone must have coverage. Otherwise they need to pay a fine of $695. At the same time, people who reside in the United States illegally will not be able to acquire any type of medical insurance (Jackson & Nolan, 2010).

France. France provides universal coverage of its population (Johnson & Stoskopf, 2010). Nevertheless, it is not going to improve the situation in the rural areas. The country’s authorities are more concentrated on decreasing the number of physicians, which currently accedes the general demand for them. At the same time, France has more public spending than private – the situation in the Unitedd States is absolutely opposite (OECD, 2009).

Comparison of the countries. Both countries have different medical systems. Each of them has its own advantages. The United States, in its turn, constantly expands the coverage of vulnerable population, while France has already ensured universal access. However, the French government does not create the environment for severe competition and technological development. At the same time, the United States spends on medical treatment more than any other developed country in Europe (OECD, 2009). Thus, inequality in access is compensated by the professional and quick advancement of the medical branch. Also, the United States invests in the nurse education, and, as a result, the system can economize on physicians. For example, the country has 9, 37 nurses per 1000 people (World Health Organization, 2007). Role of nurses is crucial for providing the quality of medical care as well as they create a friendly atmosphere for both customers and employees.

Conclusion: Access and Equity Issues

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In conclusion, the French system is adequate for minorities and people who have insufficient income. It works universally for the whole population. At the same time, the quality is the best only for those people who are rich. However, according to the survey, not many citizens want changes. On the other hand, the United States is concentrated on the quality of service and technological development. Nevertheless, the authority expects its citizens to pay for such privileges. For example, illegal immigrants cannot enjoy this system until their legalization.

Investments in nurses’ education also raise the quality of American medical treatment. Moreover, it helps to economize on physicians’ expenditures. France has other problem associated with a large quantity of physicians who are not in demand. However, both countries represent excellence in providing medical services and serve as an example of good medical care.

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