Health Care Systems of Taiwan and the United States Health care is one of the most essential foundations for any citizenship in any country since whether it is effective or not, it definitely affects the standard of living and the life expectancy of a country. According to Johnson and Stoskopf (2009), “A health system as described by the World Health Organization (WHO) is the sum total of all the organizations, institutions, and resources whose primary purpose is to improve health,” (p. 3). Therefore, to positively improve a nation, having an effective ealth care system is crucial.
Being recognized as one of the powerful countries in the world, the United States has a great shape of health care programs; however, sometimes it is inaccessible to some of the citizens. On the contrary, as a small country, Taiwan is famous for its health care system although there are still defective parts existing in the current system. To compare the differences of health care systems in Taiwan and the United States, we can observe the three major aspects: ownership, cost, and quality. First of all, Taiwan and the United States have different types of ownership in the health care systems.
Thus, Taiwan owns a single-payer system, which is run by the government, forcing everyone to Join it and pay. Because of this policy, the coverage of health care is close to 99 percent (Underwood, 2009). In this country, the government-run system covers prevention, primary care, hospitalization, Chinese massage, acupuncture, traditional herbal medicine, mental health care, dental, vision, and long-term care. Unlike Taiwan, the United States possesses several types of ublic and private funding systems: Medicare and Medicaid are the two main public funded plans for Americans.
There is also abundance of private insurance companies for people to choose, but they usually have a long list of pre-existing conditions, which restricts many patients since they are unable to receive health care insurance. Although the United States contains public and private programs, nearly 15. 6 percent of Americans had no health insurance in 2003, (Samuel D. , 2010). Secondly, the cost of health care for Taiwanese and Americans is divergent. Thus, Taiwan spends approximately 6 percent of G. D. P. on health care while the United State spends about 16 percent of G.
D. P. (Seth B. , 2009, p. 1). Moreover, in Taiwan, people merely have to pay small amount of money set by the Bureau of National Health Insurance (BNHI) for each medical service received, and the BNHI will cover the rest of the payment (Taiwan Health Care Reform Foundation, 2010). As a result, no one in Taiwan goes bankrupt due to the medical bill. Unlike Taiwanese, a lot of Americans undergo bankruptcy since they cannot afford their medical bills. Finally, the quality of health care in Taiwan is not the same as that in the United to turn to.
Moreover, there is no waiting time for patients which highly enhances the effectiveness of health care. The competition between public and private hospitals improves the quality. Furthermore, every Taiwanese who is under the coverage has a Smart Card: an electronic health record, which is required for patient to bring along when seeing a doctor. The nurses would scan the card and all the medical record of that patient would appear clearly. It is a paperless system that improves treatment nd reduces redundant process of paperwork.
Different from Taiwan, the insurance companies in the United States limit the patients in what doctors and hospitals they can go to, and it is necessary to set up an appointment in advance. In conclusion, it should be underscored that the ownership of health care systems plays an important role for a country because it might affect the entire system. The cost determines whether or not the citizens of the country are able to pay for the bills. The overall quality is a critical aspect of health care system since it ight either directly or indirectly influence a patient’s well-being.
It is quite difficult for me to conclude which one of the health care systems is more effective due to the fact that Taiwan and the United States are distinctive in many ways, such as population and country size. Nevertheless, there are still several aspects that the United States can learn from Taiwan: for instance, studying other nations’ health care system. Before deciding on a health care system, the experts in Taiwan carried out research on several successful countries’ programs and eventually established its wn in 1995.
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