Individuals in some cases say that western countries have “free” medical care, yet they end up paying for their medical care through various taxes and charges. In countries like the US, people usually pay for medical care in insurance premiums. Medical care is rarely truly free. Financial experts have opined that medical services, governments, and insurance agencies determine how a normal citizen pays for healthcare.
There are a lot of aspects of healthcare that the average citizen does not know much about. According to the WHO, those countries that are ranked relatively high in international surveys of healthcare quality mainly due to their wealthy status compared to the rest of the world and with long life expectancy are presumed to have cheaper healthcare, whereas the reality is quite different.But there are certain effective strategies to reduce healthcare costs too.
Free medical care is a myth.
Medical care is hardly ever free or inexpensive — while citizens may not always pay cash out of their pockets at the clinic , they pay significant measures of cash for medical care through taxation. The majority of citizens in western countries know nothing about the actual expense of medical care since they do not receive any bills for services paid for or subsidized by the insurance provider or government.
In addition, medical services charges cover just a negligible part of medical services costs. In reality, research data shows that patients and their families in western countries have been paying greater and greater sums for healthcare over the past decade despite having attractive medical care schemes.
The role of the private sector
Even in countries where the government offers financial support or insurance for healthcare, the delivery of services is a private affair in which the government does not interfere. The physicians are free to charge for their services.. Each stakeholder is independent, and the government cannot dictate how much they should or should not charge patients for services, consultations or medicines.
Limited bargaining power of governments
Per capita health costs are less in countries like Canada because governments have stronger bargaining power over the healthcare providers. For instance, the Canadian federal government is in a stronger position to negotiate cheaper drug prices with pharmaceutical companies than governments in other countries. However, this power is not unlimited.
The referral system
In addition, there are long referral lines and waiting times for services in countries with a welfare model of healthcare. Assuming a Canadian requires emergency healthcare, they get treated right away. However, for certain other services and surgeries, they are put on a waiting list that can last for weeks..
Some tips to save healthcare costs
However, there are things you can do to reduce the impact of these costs on your budget.
Ask your medical care supplier if you can use a generic drug instead of a prescribed drug. Generic drugs are cheaper, which can be a huge saving for those with limited incomes.
If a generic drug is out of the question, ask your doctor to prescribe a cheaper medicine.
Follow the doctor’s instructions carefully and do not miss any dose. If you do not complete a dose, you may have to take it all over again, increasing your costs in the long run.