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A Comparison of the U.S. and the Swiss Healthcare Systems


Despite the obvious difference in the principles that the economy and politics of the United States and other democratic countries are governed by, their healthcare systems have an obvious propensity for crossing at some points. Based on similar concepts of a customer centered approach, the healthcare system of the United States and the ones adopted in the rest of the world, nevertheless, are still miles away from each other in terms of their efficiency. It is suggested that the success of some of the European healthcare approach lies in the difference regarding the strategy used towards the insurance issues. Supplanting the concept of an appropriate insurance policy with reimbursement cuts, the healthcare authorities of the United States make the problem of subjective cost-efficiency immanent to the American healthcare system.

Introduction: Healthcare Systems and Their Specifics

Issue Background: The U.S. and World Healthcare in a Nutshell

Healthcare provision is one of the essential aspects of a state’s functioning. Citizens need medical support, which means that state authorities must adopt an adequate strategy making healthcare services available to every single citizen of the state. Traditionally, though not necessarily, the healthcare system of the state is linked directly to its system of taxation.

Thesis Statement: The Key to Understanding the U.S. and Other Approaches

Though the economic and political development of the United States and the rest of the world occur in the same globalized environment, the healthcare strategies adopted in the corresponding countries differ from each other to a considerable extent, which may be attributed to a different idea of the role that the government should play in the development if state healthcare standards.

The American and the World Healthcare Systems: A Comparison

Similarities: The Customer-Focused Approach

When comparing the existing healthcare systems, one will notice a persistent tendency to resorting to a patient centered approach in most systems (Inzucchi et al., 2012). Moreover, the fact that most of the world healthcare systems have comparatively similar records of success in terms of preventing diseases, addressing specific healthcare issues, and spreading awareness regarding the current health threats, is a clear cut evidence of the connection between the principles of healthcare in the United States and the rest of the world. According to the official statistics, in 2013, the average rates of people using diabetes medication provided by the state healthcare facilities made around 14% in the United States (National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2014, p. 4), while globally, these rates made 7% (National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2014). The same can be said about the efficacy of the healthcare services, which the citizens of the state are provided with; much like in Europe (11.4% – 28.9%), Middle East and Northern Africa (41.5%), South East Asia (12.2% – 44.3%), and Australia (13.5% – 43.1%) (IDF, 2014, p. 4), in the USA, the rates of newly diagnosed diabetes amounted to around from 26.4% to 45.3% (IDF, 2014, p. 4). Hence, these systems are quite comparable in terms of their efficiency. Finally, the level of medical technology integration can be identified as satisfactory in the United States, as, even with the adoption of the latest technology, the follow-up actions are not as quick as they should be in 40% of cases (Sittig & Singh, 2011), which is rather close to the current global indices (Free et al., 2013).

It would be wrong to claim that the similar principles, which the healthcare system of the United States and the ones of the rest of the world are guided by, are entirely ambivalent; on the contrary, some of these concepts, such as taxation and its connection to the healthcare provision, can be positioned as rather dubious. For instance, high qualifications of the healthcare specialists presuppose that the pricing for these services lacks flexibility, much like in most states (Ireland et al., 2011).

Differences: Care Reified vs. Conspicuous Insurance Problems

First and most obvious, the role of the state government must be mentioned when comparing the healthcare system of the United States to those of other countries. According to the recent bill passed by Obama’s administration, the state’s influence on the healthcare system is restricted to the provision of Medicare (Classen et al., 2011). On the one hand, inhibiting the influence of the state bodies on the healthcare provision may be viewed as a negative idea, as it presupposes that possible breaches of ethical code, financial and legal principles, etc., may occur without regular audits. For instance, the Russian healthcare system, where the influence of the state authorities has very little effect on the actual quality of the corresponding services, is a graphic example of where the Medicare concept proves rather viable.

Though the quality of the healthcare services that the United States provide their denizens is apparently high, the state healthcare system has a major problem. Because of the insurance approach adopted in the USA, most patients lose the opportunity to enjoy the incentives that they are entitled to in accordance with the state law (Dubberke & Olsen, 2012).

One may aver, though, that the Canadian healthcare system is quite efficient as well with its conspicuous success in implementing the concept of equity. Indeed, according to the Canadian standards, the tiered policies are unacceptable in the healthcare domain, which stands in a sharp contrast to the United States (Barbera et al., 2011).

Worldwide Trends: Technology and the Related Alterations

As far as the worldwide trends are concerned, apart from the above-mentioned tendency to focus the services around the needs of diverse population, the significance of technology in healthcare seems to have risen. Indeed, a closer look at the changes, which the healthcare realm has suffered over the past few decades, will show that the emphasis on the use of modern technology has become stronger and much more tangible.

Implications for Future Practice: What Has Been Learned

The best healthcare environment possible: welcome to the USA

Despite the few flaws that it has, the healthcare system of the United States may be listed among the best options for healthcare practice, at least from my subjective point of view. Though the specified system admittedly has a few flaws and could use some change, especially in terms of its insurance policy, the quality of the services provided to the customers, as well as the ethics and the priorities set in the American healthcare environment, obviously allow for delivering the services of the best quality. Most importantly, the principles that the U.S. healthcare system is guided by are rather malleable, which creates the premises for tailoring the services in question to the needs of any patient and, therefore, addressing specific health problem in as an efficient and expeditious manner as possible.

The worst healthcare environment imaginable: the Russian healthcare services

Of all the healthcare systems covered over the course, the Russian one seems to be the least trustworthy. The egregious environment, which the Russian healthcare authorities create for their staff to work in and for patients to resort to is beyond deplorable. To be more exact, the problems of the Russian healthcare seem to stretch beyond simple inconsistency of the existing healthcare structure and must be rooted in the corruption within academic ranks. More to the point, the ethical issues in the country clearly affect the healthcare system, making it barely possible to promote the patient-centered approach among the healthcare specialists. As a result, there is no opportunity for the Russian healthcare system to qualify as at least passable (Mackey & Liang, 2012).

Conclusion: Recommendations for Improving the U.S. System

Judging by the fact that the American approach, unlike the Swiss one, has major insurance issues, one may aver that the adoption of a better insurance policy may be the salvation for the U.S. healthcare system. In other words, it is desirable that the method of insuring the patients, which is implanted into the American healthcare system, should be altered towards a safer one, with better options for the citizens. By charging relatively similar insurance rates to both young visitors and senior citizens, the U.S. healthcare authorities will be capable of improving the economic operation of their facilities. As a result, better quality of services will be provided to the U.S. population. Though there are a range of issues to be addressed, Medicare definitely has a potential for becoming an efficient system.

Reference List

Barbera, L., Ho, T., Saskin, R., Lu. H., Neville, B. A. & Craig, C. E. (2011). Trends in the aggressiveness of end-of-life cancer care in the universal health care system of Ontario, Canada. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 29(12), 1587–1591.

Classen, D. C., Resar, R., Griffin, F., Federico, F., Frankel, T. Kimmel, N., … & James, B. C. (2011). ‘Global trigger tool’ shows that adverse events in hospitals may be ten times greater than previously measured. Health Affairs, 30(4), 581–589.

Dubberke, E. R. & Olsen, M. A. (2012). Burden of clostridium difficile on the healthcare system. Clinical Infectious Diseases, 55(2), 588–592.

Free, C., Phillips, G., Watson, L., Galli, L., Felix, L., Edwards, P. … & Haines, A. (2013). The effectiveness of mobile-health technologies to improve health care service delivery processes: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Plos Medicine, 10(1), 1–26.

IDF. (2014). IDF diabetes atlas. Web.

Inzucchi, S. E., Bergenstal, R. M., Buse, J. B., Diamant, M., Ferrannini, E., Nauck, M., … & Matthews, D. (2012). Management of hyperglycemia in type 2 diabetes: a patient-centered approach: position statement of the American diabetes association (ADA) and the European association for the study of diabetes (EASD). Diabetes Spectrum, 25(3), 154–171.

Ireland, M., Paul, E. & Dujardin, B. (2011). Can performance-based financing be used to reform health systems in developing countries? Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 89(9), 695–698.

Mackey, T. K. & Liang, B. A. (2012). Combating healthcare corruption and fraud with improved global health governance. BMC International Health and Human Rights 2012, 12(1), 23–29.

National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2014 ). National diabetes statistics report. Washington, DC: CDC.

Sittig, D. F. & Singh, H. (2011). A new socio-technical model for studying health information technology in complex adaptive healthcare systems. Quality and Safety of Healthcare, 19(3), 68–74.

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StudyKraken. "A Comparison of the U.S. and the Swiss Healthcare Systems." April 25, 2022.


StudyKraken. 2022. "A Comparison of the U.S. and the Swiss Healthcare Systems." April 25, 2022.


StudyKraken. (2022) 'A Comparison of the U.S. and the Swiss Healthcare Systems'. 25 April.

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