General Article Healthcare systems around the world

Topic Selected: National Health Book Volume: 392

There are many philosophies shaping healthcare services around the world, and this article glances at some prominent examples. This may help understand why different countries experience healthcare differently.

By Dr. Liji Thomas, MD. Reviewed by Sophia Coveney, B.Sc.

Healthcare in the USA

The USA does not have a universal, free healthcare program, unlike most other developed countries. Instead, in line with the free-market-virtue mindset, most Americans are served by a mix of publicly and privately funded programs and healthcare systems.

Most hospitals and clinics are privately owned, with about 60% being non-profits, and another fifth being for-profit facilities. Coverage by federal and state programs is partial, and most insured Americans have employment-based private insurance.

Group plans funded by the employer cover about 150 million Americans.

Private insurance

These include health maintenance organizations (HMOs), which are networks of providers. Insured patients see a prima...

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