All Canadians, rich and poor, regardless of the state of their health, age, or employment status, are covered by the same comprehensive system. Canadians go to the doctor of their choice and receive hospital care for free. There are essentially no financial barriers to health care in Canada, and there is an ample supply of physicians. Private insurance that duplicates the comprehensive services covered by the provincial plans are prohibited. Co-payments, deductibles, and direct patient payments to providers for covered services are also not permitted. This is the reason why healthcare system in Canada is considered to be the model to other countries especially the United States.
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The online survey that was conducted for Canadian Medical Association (CMA) in between 8th February and 15th February 2010 presents that Canadians care and concern about their current health care system. It is evident by the way they answer the poll. Majority of them think that the constant raise in the cost of universal health care will hinder the government in providing to the other necessities of the populace.
In the study, respondents were asked on how to lower down the costs of health care. Almost all of the participants believed that ensuring the efficiency and productiveness of the health care system will make a difference, and that 6 out of 10 think that giving rewards and penalties enable people in living a healthy life and eventually help in slowing down the costs of health care system. This means that citizen’s still doubt the capacity of the government in handling the Canada’s health care system. It has been the topic of the town since it was created, and is often compared to the system in the United States.
Furthermore, half of Canadians believe that increasing 10% more of their taxes could help in the current issue. Nearly 50% thought that those who are sick must be responsible enough to their health problems. They should shoulder their expenses, and other people must not suffer the same thing the patients do. They have the right to choose whether to help those in need or not. Meanwhile, there were 35% of the respondents trust the government in finding ways in delivering an efficient system.
Moreover, the survey also questioned the participants about their ideas in health spending. Approximately 70% said that it is better to develop a contribution-based Canada health Plan to be able to increase the income of the government. More than 60% think that it is good to create a Registered Health Savings Plan without tax so that people can save money for the future and also when they need to buy medications that are not subsidised by the government. There were few Canadians believe that raising the overtime tax would help. Similarly, one out of three think that the tax of each individuals must be based on how much they spend on their health problems.
In addition, the Canadian Medical association (CMA) is initiating the “Health Care Transformation” to help the citizens as well as the government realise that Canada does not have the leading health care system, instead they need to improve and change for the better. They aim to make Canadians the healthiest people compared to other neighbour countries and the best health care system by 2037. According to the article in the website, a staggering97% of total revenues available will be spent on health care expenditures 23 years from now, compared to 44 per cent in 2012. Last 19th of December 2011, the federal government announced that they were going to lower the budget allotted to the provinces and territories in Canada. As a consequence, the local authorities must impose severe cutbacks to other government services like education, public transportation, livelihood, and other social welfare, and in worse case, they need to increase the tax of the citizens.
On the other hand, this national issue will also give awareness to other industrialised countries like Australia, The Netherlands, United Kingdom, United States, France, Germany and Sweden. Governments talk about sustainability in terms of “costs” and financial impacts. This discussion often has more to do with “who pays” than “how much” they pay. It is sometimes hard to realize that health spending in Canada is on par with most countries in the Western world, that it is substantially lower than in the United States. Based on “The American” website article, in which it tackles and compared the universal health care policy of two countries, the United States and Canada. The latter thinks that they receive the same health benefits like the Americans do but the truth is that, Canadians appear to pay less in health insurance due to the fact that most of the advanced technologists that are available in the United States are not experiencing in Canada.
Also, other individuals believe that Canada must allow the private insurance in order to lessen the burden of the government. There are other countries advocate the Public Private Partnership like British Columbia and Ontario, and there are several successful hospital projects documented with the help of PPP. In these cases, PPPs have provided much needed capital to finance government programs and projects, all while freeing public funds for core economic and social programs.
In conclusion, even though Canadians are doubting the capacity of the government when it comes to health care system, they are still amenable in looking for a more effective, up-to-date and maintainable universal health care system to be able to give the best quality of health service to the society. Also, despite of the different opinions and ways on how to solve the present situation, they still have the initiative in giving what they can for the benefit of all. By the international healthcare policy, it is almost impossible to provide universal healthcare policy to most countries since there are certain rules that cannot apply to some nations. Even the industrialised countries in the world still have different approach in managing their health system.
- Discuss the justification for putting into place each of the following types of policy intervention solutions globally to address the ever increasing economic conditions faced by countries.
- Financial support and provision of pension credits for care giving
Nowadays, most of the people are getting conscious of their health due to certain situations happening in the environment and also because of the help of media. As a result, population ages as years go by. Individuals are trying to get fit, eating healthy food, and prevent the vices that could cause diseases. It may sound unrealistic but it is true. For instance in some countries like Canada, people die at the age of 81, the same with New Zealand and Netherlands (The World Bank from 2009-2012). In Sweden, Singapore and United Kingdom 82 years is the estimated age people live. Meanwhile, Switzerland and France got the highest age, which is 83. Most of the countries listed in The World Bank have an increasing trend in life expectancy. Based on this data, it means that there are more elderly persons living in the country who need to be taking care of by caregivers, healthcare workers or even family members. The demand of support from the younger generation as well as the financial needs coming from the government is growing. It is also necessary to have ample supply of medical technology and physicians in order to compensate the aged population. Pension for the geriatrics and to the caregivers are necessary to have an effective health intervention, and it is the responsibility of the authority as well as the whole community to supply the necessities.
Pension schemes are a form of indirect financial assistance that provide caregivers with long term benefits rather than material support while giving care. The intention of this benefit is to protect caregivers who cannot seek employment because of caregiving responsibilities against income losses from future retirement benefits.
Unfortunately, not all countries have pension schemes for caregivers. Canada has two pension programmes, The Old Age Security program and Canada Pension Plan. In Norway (thru National Social Insurance Fund) and Britain (thru Invalid Care Allowance “ICA”) they give pension credits for the individuals who have been hindered from labour work because of care giving needs in the family. These pension credits basically require a specific amount of time an individual have been out of employment to provide care over a period of time to be eligible of the credits. The credits simply substitute the income that can affect the employment pension in the future of an individual that have been out for the reason of care giving responsibilities.
- Tax benefits and payments to caregivers
In countries like Canada, US, Singapore, Germany, France and Sweden they use tax reliefs (such as tax credits, tax deductions and tax exemptions) as a vehicle to indirectly help caregivers. Tax credits simply compensates the taxpayer by deducting the cost of care needed for a member from the taxed owed. These policies help the caregivers to provide the essential care like medicines and medical bills with salaries just enough for a personal sustainability. Examples of these policies are in Canada (Infirm Dependent Tax Credit, Caregiver Tax Credit, Disability Tax credit and Medical Expenses), in The United States (Dependent Care Tax Credit), and while some countries (Singapore, Germany, France and Sweden) grant tax deductions and exemptions in which the costs are deductible from taxable income.
- Income supplements
Each nation has its own income supplements for seniors. In Canada, they have The Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) programme which gives a monthly non-taxable benefits to those eligible recipients whom happened to have low income and still citizens of Canada. There are requirements for a person to become a beneficiary of this government programme. An individual must be a legal resident, should be receiving the Old Age security pension (OAS), and the earning is lower than the annual income. Yukon (Westernmost Canada) announced last July 2011 that federal government provides an increased income to those people who are guaranteed with OAS and GIS, up to $ 243.30 is given monthly to seniors. The same benefits with the citizens in Saskatchewan.
In addition, New Zealand Superannuation and SuperGold Card are available for the residents and citizens of New Zealand. To be qualified in these benefits, a person must be aged 65 or over, and still living in NZ. The latter programme is automatically send to the applicants when the previous one is already granted.
Chapter seven- pension reform to address the long-term consequences of family caregiving. (n.d.). Retrieved from www.bcli.org: http://www.bcli.org/elder-law-resources/execsum/chapter7
drummond, S. L. (2010). Supporting Canadian Caregivers current and future directions. Toronto.
service canada people serving people. (n.d.). Retrieved from government of canada: http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/eng/services/pensions/oas/gis/index.shtml
skinner, b. j. (december 8, 2008). the trouble with canadian healthcare. the american.
social services of saskatchewan. (n.d.). Retrieved from government of saskatchewan: http://socialservices.gov.sk.ca/sip
tax breaks for care giving expenses help sandwich generation. (2011, 12 08). Retrieved from Forbes: http://www.forbes.com/sites/ashleaebeling/2011/12/08/tax-breaks-for-caregiving-expenses-help-sandwich-generation/
the world bank. (n.d.). Retrieved from the world bank: http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SP.DYN.LE00.IN
work and income . (n.d.). Retrieved from work and income: http://www.workandincome.govt.nz/individuals/65-years-or-older/superannuation/superanuation-overview.html
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