Vox Explores Other Countries' Health Care Systems

Babba

Former Staff
Jul 2007
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72,415
So. Md.
This is a series they're running in which they sent reporters all over the world to see other health care systems in action. So far only the report on Taiwan's single payer system is available. It is very informative and talks about the fact that it has improved the overall health of their citizens.



But there are problems that have to be addressed like the funding which has covered everything so far but that's not going to last forever and they'll need to raise premiums and/or out of pocket expenses which isn't going to go over that well for many people. The cost to the average person has been so low that they're over-using the system. There are some abuses.

Also, as would happen here if we implemented single payer, medical professionals are worked to death. Some have gone into things like plastic surgery that is only paid by the well to do with private insurance. Approval of the single payer system is at about 43% for health care professionals and 80% for the general public.

Taiwanese hospitals and clinics are understaffed compared to the rest of the world: There are about 1.7 doctors in Taiwan for every 1,000 patients, which is well below the average of 3.3 in other developed countries. There are especially shortages of specialists in less urbanized parts of the country.
Anyway, tomorrow is a report on Australia's public-private hybrid.

 
Mar 2012
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Interesting they are so understaffed. Seems many countries also are reporting similar things. I have to wonder why that is? Are fewer people getting into medicine? Too expensive? US certainly has reasons for a lack of doctors but its surprising other countries do too. I saw in Canada, that fewer are going to medical school because it takes too long to make money and get out on their own. Its quite fascinating really.
 
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Babba

Former Staff
Jul 2007
79,586
72,415
So. Md.
Interesting they are so understaffed. Seems many countries also are reporting similar things. I have to wonder why that is? Are fewer people getting into medicine? Too expensive? US certainly has reasons for a lack of doctors but its surprising other countries do too. I saw in Canada, that fewer are going to medical school because it takes too long to make money and get out on their own. Its quite fascinating really.
There must be some sort of incentives that could be offered to lure people into medicine. Here, of course, paying for potential doctors' education in exchange for a set period of time working somewhere with a shortage of access to doctors would be one. That's not really a problem in Canada so I don't know what would be an incentive for them. I think just the general increase in population in most countries is the problem.
 
Mar 2012
61,496
42,707
New Hampshire
There must be some sort of incentives that could be offered to lure people into medicine. Here, of course, paying for potential doctors' education in exchange for a set period of time working somewhere with a shortage of access to doctors would be one. That's not really a problem in Canada so I don't know what would be an incentive for them. I think just the general increase in population in most countries is the problem.
Yes I assume the population increase has a lot to do with it. Also, I think people nowadays are more likely to be willing to see a doctor and they do. I remember older people when I was a kid and they never went to the doctor. Like it was a badge of honor or something, (I havent been in 20 years etc.). Today people seem to go all the time. But that also has its pros and cons. While its great for preventative medicine, I also wonder if some doctors dont become pill pushers? I know some elderly friends go at least monthly to doctors. They dont tend to gripe since they have Medicare, but they also sometimes admit they dont think they need to go. I also think in the future, that we will see more high tech advances for medicine, like videochatting, having devices on phones or computers that help with personal data etc.
 
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Babba

Former Staff
Jul 2007
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So. Md.
Yes I assume the population increase has a lot to do with it. Also, I think people nowadays are more likely to be willing to see a doctor and they do. I remember older people when I was a kid and they never went to the doctor. Like it was a badge of honor or something, (I havent been in 20 years etc.). Today people seem to go all the time. But that also has its pros and cons. While its great for preventative medicine, I also wonder if some doctors dont become pill pushers? I know some elderly friends go at least monthly to doctors. They dont tend to gripe since they have Medicare, but they also sometimes admit they dont think they need to go. I also think in the future, that we will see more high tech advances for medicine, like videochatting, having devices on phones or computers that help with personal data etc.
I can't believe people are so willing to see a doctor for no real good reason. My husband and I have always kind of had an aversion to them and only see them when necessary. In my husband's case, he's had to see them more often because he's older now and has chronic conditions but he still hates going. I hope video chatting and the like start being used much more often especially for someone like my husband who most of the time is okay. I keep track of his BP and oxygen absorption. (He had a heart attack several years ago and quad bypass surgery and has pretty severe COPD.) But it could also be used for many conditions. They do have machines that can be hooked up to transmit things like BP and oxygen absorption and weight, etc. to a doctor as often as they deem necessary.
 
Mar 2012
61,496
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New Hampshire
I can't believe people are so willing to see a doctor for no real good reason. My husband and I have always kind of had an aversion to them and only see them when necessary. In my husband's case, he's had to see them more often because he's older now and has chronic conditions but he still hates going. I hope video chatting and the like start being used much more often especially for someone like my husband who most of the time is okay. I keep track of his BP and oxygen absorption. (He had a heart attack several years ago and quad bypass surgery and has pretty severe COPD.) But it could also be used for many conditions. They do have machines that can be hooked up to transmit things like BP and oxygen absorption and weight, etc. to a doctor as often as they deem necessary.
I have read in several different places that there are quite a few people who "abuse doctor visits" and likewise the doctors go along with it. I do know someone who goes to their doctor constantly for everything just to get antibiotics. A sniffle, a small cut etc, you name it, she wants antibiotics. She is a germophobe and unfortunately her doctor doesnt seem to care and gives them to her. She is very abusive and also unsafe since I would venture a guess she is becoming immune to the drugs and thats really bad. I think he just wants the money or something, I dont know. Most doctors see the patients if they ask to be seen but prescribing is another thing.
 
Mar 2012
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New Hampshire
Finished reading the other VOX articles on other countries healthcare. Some are amazing and would be hard to work here. But others are fascinating and would be worth looking at. Somethings that struck me was how the Dutch utilize house calls for after hours care. They go around in a medical type van and visit with people after hours.
"Primary care doctors, the gatekeepers through which the whole system flows, sometimes feel strained. Doctors in the Netherlands are more likely than those in most other developed countries to say their patients struggle to cover their share of the bill and their administrative workload is a drag on their productivity."


In Australia, they have an option to use either public or private care. Some of it is staggering, like several women delivering babies in the same room!
"It wasn’t glamorous. For her second baby, Shepherd remembers being in a hospital room with three other women, only curtains between their beds. She could hear one of her roommates Skyping with her family through the night. She describes the food as “slop in a trough.”

"There can be long wait times for elective surgeries at public hospitals. The private care experience, as Campbell found, is smoother. You choose your doctor and you get more time with them. You can pick the day and time for your knee surgery. You have choices — but it will cost you."

 
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Babba

Former Staff
Jul 2007
79,586
72,415
So. Md.
Finished reading the other VOX articles on other countries healthcare. Some are amazing and would be hard to work here. But others are fascinating and would be worth looking at. Somethings that struck me was how the Dutch utilize house calls for after hours care. They go around in a medical type van and visit with people after hours.
"Primary care doctors, the gatekeepers through which the whole system flows, sometimes feel strained. Doctors in the Netherlands are more likely than those in most other developed countries to say their patients struggle to cover their share of the bill and their administrative workload is a drag on their productivity."


In Australia, they have an option to use either public or private care. Some of it is staggering, like several women delivering babies in the same room!
"It wasn’t glamorous. For her second baby, Shepherd remembers being in a hospital room with three other women, only curtains between their beds. She could hear one of her roommates Skyping with her family through the night. She describes the food as “slop in a trough.”

"There can be long wait times for elective surgeries at public hospitals. The private care experience, as Campbell found, is smoother. You choose your doctor and you get more time with them. You can pick the day and time for your knee surgery. You have choices — but it will cost you."

I haven't gotten back to those pieces yet. I will start reading them tomorrow.
 
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Mar 2012
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I haven't gotten back to those pieces yet. I will start reading them tomorrow.
My biggest takeaway is that almost no country has a single healthcare system. They offer choices. Which kind of goes against Sanders and Warren saying "we are going to put private insurers out of business." It doesnt work that way anywhere. They all offer choices but the common bond is that everyone is covered.
 
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Apr 2018
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Interesting they are so understaffed. Seems many countries also are reporting similar things. I have to wonder why that is? Are fewer people getting into medicine? Too expensive? US certainly has reasons for a lack of doctors but its surprising other countries do too. I saw in Canada, that fewer are going to medical school because it takes too long to make money and get out on their own. Its quite fascinating really.
This is the biggest reason why we should go back to fee for service before any government meddling got in the way. Medicine is not being lucrative and if all doctors are being forced into GP, there is no money to be made there.