tommie gorman Posted April 20, 2008 CID Report Share Posted April 20, 2008 ...ical care with government help. T.R. Reid is a veteran foreign correspondent for The Washington Post, a commentator for National Public Radio and the author of nine books, including three in Japanese. He is currently working on his 10th book, titled We're Number 37!, in which he compares America's health care system to others around the world. It is scheduled to be published by Penguin Press in early 2009. How did you choose the five countries featured in this report? Two of our choices, Britain and Japan, were pretty obvious. I had lived in both countries, I had doctors there and knew the systems. I could speak the language, sort of, in both places. Beyond that, we were looking for examples of each of the established models of health care systems. The U.K. uses the Beveridge model; Taiwan has chosen the Canadian-style National Health Insurance [NHI] model; Germany, Japan and Switzerland use the Bismarck model. We went to three Bismarck countries on the theory that these private-sector systems are more relevant to America than a British-style National Health Service. I got interested in Taiwan because Taiwan's Health Ministry did what our film does; it traveled the world studying health care systems. In the end, Taiwan chose the Canadian model. We went to Switzerland because it is a ferociously free-market economy with politically powerful insurance and drug companies. But still, the Swiss managed to revamp their system, making it cheaper and fairer. We thought that might inspire Americans to believe that change is possible here, too. You and your family lived in London and Tokyo; what was your experience with the health care systems there? Our American family used the health care systems in Japan and Britain with considerable satisfaction. Fortunately, we never had a heart attack or cancer, but for the normal family medical problems -- flu, measles, broken bones, earache, etc. -- we got excellent care, with little or no waiting. During a trip to South Asia, I contracted a mysterious tropical disease that left me sick as a dog. When I got back to London, our family doctor diagnosed the problem precisely and found a fast cure. In Japan, the prices were low; in Britain, there was no price at all. There was no bill! I loved that part of British health care. In Japan my local government, Shibuya-ku -- it's a part of Tokyo -- sent me a card every year on my birthday, urging me to get a comprehensive physical. I could go to any doctor or hospital in Shibuya, and the whole thing was free. When I did it, they checked everything -- and I mean everything -- that a man my age might have to worry about. This was a terrific example of preventive medicine. More. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/sickaroundtheworld/etc/notebook.html Expendishers here. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/sickaroundtheworld/countries/ Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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