Looking Beyond the USA — Lessons for the Canadian Healthcare System from Around the World

Sarah Li


A universal healthcare system is something that Canadians have much to be thankful for and proud of. Our neighbour, the United States, serves as a constant reminder about how fortunate we are. We have a healthcare system where no one has to worry about becoming bankrupt when he or she becomes ill, as opposed to a US citizen who cannot afford to pay for private health insurance or who could be denied coverage by insurance companies due to his or her pre-existing medical conditions. Not only is it fairer, the Canadian system is also less costly—the health spending per capita (as a percentage of GDP) in Canada is only half of that in the US (1).


Due to geographical proximity, the Canadian system is traditionally compared to the US and it becomes easy for us to become complacent. But what if we look beyond the US? How do we compare with the rest of the world, or more specifically, with other OECD countries with similar economic status as us (OECD standing for “Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development”, a group of developed countries such as France, UK, Japan, Norway, New Zealand)?




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OECD; international healthcare; comparative healthcare systems

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