I often hear comments about how good the American Healthcare is and how it compares to Canada, the UK and the rest of Europe. It seems that many people are willing to make authoritative claims that the healthcare system in Canada and the UK are examples of poor systems. I am really getting tired of the misinformation.
I am a healthcare professional, (a physicist) who has worked in healthcare so for many years. Not only have I known many people working in healthcare in Europe and Canada but I also lived in the UK for 3 years where my family was covered by the National Health Service and I also worked for the NHS. Yes, the NHS systems is different from American system. The NHS is a single payer, universal healthcare system. It is socialized medicine in a country where socialism is not slander. The system is efficient, cost effective and provides high quality healthcare for all. We cannot say that about our American system.
It is always possible to select anecdotes about the failures of a system. I have many such stories myself. However most of the worst stories I know come from the American system and involve misdiagnosis, inappropriate treatment of just plain failure to diagnose or treat someone. A few examples of misinformation about UK healthcare are:
(1) There are waiting lists in the NHS system however, they are not generally very long and not for life threatening situations. For example, I have heard the claim that one has to wait forever for knee or hip replacement. Not true in the cases I was aware of. We are talking about a 1 to 2 week wait.
(2) The most advanced technology is just as available in northern Scotland just as it is in Southern California. In fact many of the procedures and diagnostic modalities done there are not readily available in the healthcare system that I have now in the States.
(3) The number and quality of healthcare professionals is very good in the UK. Because of cost cutting measures here in America the number of care givers and medical professionals.
I could go on...
In America, if you have healthcare you may find yourself getting diagnostic procedures and even therapy that may not be necessary. That costs money. Or you may not have healthcare and yourself using emergency rooms. That is also expensive.
Gotta go back to work.