We are aware that American healthcare is the most expensive in the world. But beyond highlighting that questionable accomplishment, we almost never ponder why. I stopped by David Dodge’s office during my most recent Fulbright visit to Canada to ask him that question.
David Dodge is an economist who has held positions as the federal deputy health minister and the governor of the Bank of Canada for seven periods. Before you read further, check out this guide about getting a Canada visa for Australian citizens.
He began by concentrating on the problem of rising healthcare costs that both of our nations are confronting. Medical technology is exciting because it creates new goods at a phenomenal rate, much like consumer electronics, he said.
When we figure out how to harness genetic data, we’ll see another wave of innovative products. According to Dodge, it will alter medicine and represent a “quantum leap” into the future on the financial and medical fronts.
Dodge immediately made the line between consumer electronics and medical technologies, though. New goods in the healthcare sector continue to be produced, but they are more expensive than the older models. In contrast, the cost of older technology has not decreased as it has with consumer electronics like computers and televisions.
“Why, with the advent of new laser procedures, hasn’t the cost of cataract surgery decreased by 90%?” Dodge enquired. “The cost has decreased slightly but not much. For the surgery, you used to spend two weeks in the hospital. It takes ten minutes now.”
Dodge offered the following idea as a potential cause: “Perhaps there is a problem with the economic mechanism.” The market does not appear to function. It’s possible that health care is unique from other products and services.
He gave yet another illustration: Geriatricians are the medical specialists with the lowest pay in Canada, despite the fact that there is a high need for them. If supply and demand were operating normally, high demand for their services might result in a price increase. When gas prices increase, the oil sector explains it in this way.
Our discussion that day in Ottawa didn’t result in any conclusive solutions. Dodge made the assumption that perhaps the reason healthcare markets don’t function is that patients typically don’t experience the pain of paying their bills in full.
Provincial governments in Canada fund them. The majority of Americans’ medical expenses in the US are covered by Medicare, Medicaid, or employer-based health insurance. You can get a Canada visa for Chile citizens and can get your medical treatment in Canada.
He also proposed that the uneven supply and demand equation for physician payments can be partially explained by the self-regulation of the medical professions in both nations. Governments naturally don’t want to take on the professions’ self-regulatory characteristics, Dodge told me.
Or to put it another way, they don’t want to meddle too much with what professionals charge. Like in the US, the majority of doctors in Canada are paid on a fee-for-service basis. However, in Canada, the government may bargain more fiercely with trade associations.
The patients are partially responsible for the cost dilemma. Dodge noted that most people prefer to see doctors for their medical needs rather than less expensive nurse practitioners; when anything goes wrong, they prefer to speak with doctors directly as opposed to someone else, even if that person is equally capable of managing their treatment.
Sophia has done Masters’s in Mass Communication from Delhi University, India. She is a qualified new reporter and a columnist as well. She worked sometimes for BenjaNews as well.