As part of my final paper in my Modern Medicine class, I had to write a paper regarding another country’s healthcare system and how it compares with the United States healthcare system.
I decided to write about Japan. It boasted having some of the best healthcare outcomes despite one of the lowest healthcare expenditures comparatively with the world. The United States boasted having some of the highest healthcare expenditures comparatively with the world, but it has some of the worst healthcare outcomes. This discrepancy serves as a great starting point of inquiry.
What I learned was that Japan has universal healthcare coverage like the rest of the developed world, but it has a unique system of funding the system. It’s considered a multpayer system, which differs from a single payer system where the government covers all the healthcare expenditures. A high percentage, but not 100%, of all healthcare expenses is covered by the government and the rest is covered by the patients themselves or their private insurances if they have one. It was an interesting combination, but it assures that the patients have access to those healthcare procedures while not having to worry about the economical side effects. I also found it interesting that Japanese residents enjoy using their medical technology/procedures such as CT scans and MRIs more so than their American counterparts. One would think that by using more of such procedures would drive up the healthcare expenditures significantly, but that’s not the case for Japan. As a result, Japan is able to have a highly preventive healthcare system does lowering the rates of occurrences for chronic diseases.
Overall, I was very impressed with the Japanese healthcare system.