Furthermore, Utresky points out that “the cost of care is the greatest patient concern, particularly for the elderly. Medicare (the program for patients over 65 and those on disability) has limitations and does not, in its basic form, cover prescription drugs.
The United States along with South Africa is one of the few industrialized nations without universal coverage. There is currently an ongoing debate on the need to achieve universal coverage as well as the best methods for improving the U.S. health care system”.
Healthcare in Japan
In the Japanese health care system, according to Ward & Piccolo, healthcare services, including free screening examinations for particular diseases, prenatal care, and infectious disease control, are provided by national and local governments.
Unlike the US, payment for personal medical services is offered through a universal health care insurance system that provides relative equality of access, with fees set by a government committee. People without insurance through employers can participate in a national health insurance program administered by local governments.
Since 1973, all elderly persons have been covered by government-sponsored insurance. Costs covered in part or in full by health insurance include in- and out-patient care, home care, and dental care; prescription drugs; long-term care expenses; home nursing expenses for the elderly; prosthetics; and cash benefits for childbirth.
Ward & Piccolo believes that like most industrialized countries, Japan is planning for fundamental reforms in their current healthcare system, including a review of the current drug pricing system, the system for covering medical fees, methods of evaluating medical technologies, and the ideal combination of fee-for-service and fixed-fee payment systems.
Works Cited :
Ward, J., & Piccolo, C., Healthcare in Japan. August 11, 2007 from http://www.medhunters.com/articles/healthcareInJapan.html
Uretsky, S., Healthcare in the United States. August11, 2007 from http://www.medhunters.com/articles/healthcareInTheUsa.html]]>