A Few Examples Of Health Care In Different Countries

The French Social Insurance System

France also has a public health insurance system, similar to the UK, which is run from compulsory health insurance contributions taken from employees and also from employers. Obviously you have to be in employment in order to pay into this system, but even if you are out of work you are still eligible for care.The government run scheme usually is sufficient for the majority of care provided, however a lot of people supplement this with a paid policy that is for more incidental costs, such as a visit to their local doctor whereby the visit would not normally be covered by the government scheme.

They run their system a bit like how our private system is run here in the UK by having the patient pay for the services & treatment they receive up front. As you can imagine, if this is for major treatment then the bills can be horrendous. It is then up to the person to reclaim the money back from the government, again this can be time consuming and can leave the person out of pocket for some time.

Any public run system is open to questions about what level of funding should actually be provided by the public. In France, the government regularly review and regulate the rates that are paid. They also control the salaries of the health care professionals employed at the public hospitals.

The care of patients when admitted to a hospital can be covered both by the public funded system and also privately if required. This would normally be only implemented if there is an unforeseen or additional load on the public sector that in order to put the patient first, required that they be admitted to a private hospital.

Private patients can also be treated by public doctors in a public hospital with a suitable or appropriate fee being paid to the hospital from the private fee the doctor will receive.

Generally, after care is provided by doctors or nurses who are working in their own private practices.

They are one of the wealthiest nations, so how do the US do it.?

Mostly funded from the Private Sector as there is no such thing as a national health service. About 60% of the US have a private policy either through their employer, their partners employer or about 10% have their own individual policy.

The population of the US is approximately 46 million, which means that around 8 million people do not have any health insurance protection. They can receive Emergency treatment because of a government act that requires virtually all hospitals to provide medical care in an emergency, other than that it can be difficult.

The largest provider of Health Insurance is in fact the government themselves. They provide two basic systems, Medicare or Medicaid.

About Medicaid and Medicare:

Medicare is provided to the elder generation of 65 and over. You may also qualify for Medicare if you are under 65 and have some kind of disability or other special criteria.

Medicaid is for low income families, but is means tested. Its funded jointly by the local state of the person and the US Government itself.

There are very few low paid doctors in the US. They get paid mainly through the health insurance schemes themselves, but also receive money directly from patients.

Patient care costs will be paid by the whichever insurance the patient is covered by, If the person does not have sufficient cover or any cover for that matter, the shortfall or whole costs will need to be paid by them.

How We Do It In The UK.

The UK National Health Service (NHS) is funded effectively by taxation at source and also partly by National Insurance Payments. The NHS is now some 60+ years old and ensures the care of any patient who enters a hospital, even if it is not an emergency or they are an illegal immigrant. Having Said that, tourists or illegal immigrants are not entitled to 100% of the care offered by the NHS.

The Money to pay for the NHS roughly equates to £2000 for every person in the UK, and now receives more than 10 times the amount of funding in equivalent terms as when it was launched in 1948. About 60% of these annual costs are used to pay the staff (of which most of them are vastly underpaid for what they do) with the remaining 40% split between drugs/supplies and buildings/Equipment.

Another benefit of the NHS is that it also covers Dental treatment. In recent years though this has become harder and harder to obtain as most dentists do not have the capacity to take on new patients so more affluent people are opting to go private.

Due to the fact that the NHS exists and provides excellent care to anybody, then only a small proportion of UK residents have their own private health insurance plan.


The NHS is under constant strain with budget cuts and increased costs, but just by looking at the above examples it appears to be the best solution to a difficult problem and compares well against some other countries.

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