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What the United States could learn from Canada's healthcare system

Posted On Thu, August 4, 2011

A recent article by the National Journal inspects how the United States could learn to save money on healthcare by following Canada's example.

According to the article, University of Toronto researchers stated that the United States could save around $27.6 billion a year if it implemented a single-payer healthcare system. Such a system would cut down on the amount of time and money spent by doctors dealing with multiple insurance companies.

In the journal Health Affairs, Dante Morra, a professor at the University of Toronto's Department of Medicine, wrote, "Many factors contribute to the high cost of healthcare in the United States, but there is a broad consensus that administrative costs in the healthcare system are high and could be reduced."

Doctors only deal with one paying agency - the government - in the Canadian single-payer system. The study found that American doctors spend about 10 times longer dealing with health plans than their Canadian counterparts. American nurses and medical assistance spend roughly 21 hours per week per doctor dealing with insurers, compared to the 2.5 hours a week of their Canadian counterparts.

If healthcare costs were cut in the United States, it could potentially help out the millions of uninsured Americans who are currently unable to afford health insurance rates.

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