Exploring Social Insurance: Can a Dose of Europe Cure Canadian Health Care Finance?

Sustainability, quality, and accessibility are vital questions in Canadian health care. All Canadian governments, concerned about the growing share of the public budget absorbed by health care, are questioning the sustainability of the present system. How can we maintain and improve access to health care services of appropriate quality while ensuring sustainability? If there is one consolation to Canadian governments as they wrestle with the future of Medicare, it is that sustainability concerns are not unique to Canada but affect all countries, regardless of the level of private financing in a system. Some countries, however – particularly social insurance countries in Northern Europe such as Germany and France – manage to achieve universal access without wrestling with waiting lists, while providing a wide range of services. This book examines whether the grail of sustainability, quality, and accessibility could be better achieved through a marriage of the traditional Canadian model with elements of a European system.

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