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Access is a critical component in the emancipation of equitable access potential of health care. The Canadian system ensures universal access to health care but there are disparities evident in ensuring equal utilization of health care (Greenwald, 2010). Hence, in as much as there is good access to health care this does not reach all the affected groups. The growth of the US healthcare industry led to the initiation of federal programs aimed at increasing size and number of hospitals, and similarly the size of the workforce (Sultz & Young, 2010). This was fundamentally aimed at restoring equitable access amid increasing healthcare needs. The access to health care in the US provides a better framework after the implementation of the proposed amendments.
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Health costs have been a major focus in the implementation of health care programs across both systems. For instance, under the Canadian Medicare program, there has been a less significant increase in the health care costs compared to the adopted Medicare program of the United States (Greenwald, 2010). The differences have especially been brought into the limelight after the recent recession period. Canadian system uses an upstream allocation system in which there is budgetary control by the central government limiting purchase of expensive medical equipment and limiting licensure of doctors from abroad (Greenwald, 2010). This has the effect of significantly decreasing the annual budgetary allocations given to health care provision. In the US context, the Medicare and Medicaid programs have proven to be expensive with cost spiraling to $469.2 billion, and $344.3 billion respectively (Sultz & Young, 2010). These costs have been among the highest going by the global health expenditure estimates.
Quality of health care depends upon the capability of healthcare programs to portray competency in terms of therapeutic and diagnostic variables. The US incorporated significant changes in its reimbursement program by focusing on diagnostic-related groups leading to more rapid discharge of acute/chronic/surgery patients from hospitals and incorporation of intensive therapeutic treatments, which rely on high technology services (Sultz & Young, 2010). On the other hand, the influence of the Canadian central government on the use of expensive medical equipment and licensure of doctors from abroad has led to less quality in therapeutic and diagnostic indices. This is primarily because specialized care becomes a significant challenge for some institutions, which necessitates numerous referrals.
Continuity of Care
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Continuity of health care depends on the availability of information as people's age's progress and consequently their shift of residence. The US health plan is characterized by cases of missing information which results in health care gaps, for instance, according to a recent assessment, 15.6% health errors were observed in ambulatory care; while in Canada 1 in 7 patient in the emergency departments had missing information (World Health Organization, 2010). This shows that in both health systems there are significant gaps existing in the transmission of information to the patient and along the referral system. Moreover, the Canadian system of health care is occasioned by long waits in the referral system as seen in the cataract surgery patients of 2007 who had to wait for 25 weeks (Greenwald, 2010). This can be attributed to the previously mentioned limitations brought about by the Canadian central government control on health care resource allocation.