A new book puts Canada’s Medicare system in context by describing the private healthcare sector in other countries with universal access.
The economic principles that shaped Medicare categorize healthcare as a good significantly different from others that operate successfully in a market.
Universal access healthcare programs take two forms, one that treats it as social insurance and one that considers it to be social welfare.
Although Britain’s National Health Service is based on the latter, it has veered quite sharply towards the creation of internal markets that mimic a competitive process.
The insurance-based systems in France, Germany and Belgium have multiple insurers and vibrant private sectors of healthcare providers.
Sweden and Australia adopted programs funded by general taxation, but neither country requires the strictly public provision of services.
One can fervently defend Medicare and still see the value of allowing the private sector a significant role in service delivery.
Read Pdf version (8 pages)