Provision of universal healthcare is a concern for all nations. It is, however, important to place special emphasis on the treatment of veterans in any nation. A comparative study of various nations proves certain differences in how veterans are handled. According to McDonald and Kennedy (2004), eligibility for veteran treatment is limited to countries such as US, UK, Finland, and Canada. The comparison between Canada and UK reveals certain strengths and weaknesses of each system. In reference to Canada, pros and cons can be discussed as shown below.
Pros for Better Healthcare Towards Veterans
First, Canada is better than the UK in the treatment of veterans because it offers life insurance cover to the disabled veterans. As Browne et al. (2007) observe, any system that gives due consideration to the veterans who have served the country should extend favor by providing life insurance. This is the trend taken by Canada in reinforcing the treatment of various old and young veterans who have served the country in different capacities. Apart from the USA, Canada is the only other country with this service. This places it ahead of UK.
Secondly, Canada is better than the UK in the treatment of veterans because the system allows for reimbursement of expenditure during travels. It is true that in case a veteran travels, he can receive treatment in any of the Canadian provinces. This is unlike many countries where access to treatment is not only restricted to specific regions. In this achievement, Canada would be preferred to the UK. The latest survey released in Canada shows that veterans not only receive disability pension but also an award (Browne et al., 2007).
Canada is also better than the UK due to its services to the veterans. In the words of Irvine et al. (2013), a comparative analysis of the healthcare between the UK and Canada shows that technological advancements in Canadian hospitals give veterans greater satisfaction. Despite its limited medical technology, veterans in Canada have cited greater satisfaction in Canada than in the UK.
Finally, Canada is preferred in veteran healthcare because it has cost-effective expenditures for the veteran families. Irvine et al. (2013) note that although the US and UK may spend more money on healthcare, they record worse results on mortality rates and life expectancy of the veteran families. This puts Canada ahead of many nations.
Cons Against Canadian Healthcare
Most veteran patients perceived not to be having emergency cases can really wait for a long time. It is reported that there are rampant instances of unnecessary referrals that may end up complicating the lives of veterans.
Veterans in the rural setups are often neglected. Whereas healthcare is distributed along demographic lines, those in the villages, especially the old, are often unreached. This brings imbalance and unfairness in the distribution of health services. McDonald and Kennedy (2004) stress that sustainable health should consider all citizens of a nation irrespective of locality and age factors.
Finally, Canadian is worse compared to the UK in terms of the outgoing nature of the doctors toward the veterans. In Canada, doctors are less proactive so as to prevent recurrence of certain ailments. This is unlike the UK where doctors treat veterans with efficiency and outgoing nature. This is echoed by Addicott (2008) who mentions that sometimes, veterans in Canada suffer because proactive measures are not taken to address their health problems.
1. Addicott, R. (2008). Models of governance and the changing role of the board in the “modernised” UK health sector. Journal of health organization and management, 22(2), 147-163.
2. Browne, T., Hull, L., Horn, O., Jones, M., Murphy, D., Fear, N. T., & Hotopf, M. (2007). Explanations for the increase in mental health problems in UK reserve forces who have served in Iraq. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 190(6), 484-489.
3. Irvine, B., Ferguson, S., Cackett, B., Clarke, E., & Bidgood, E. (2013). Healthcare Systems: Canada. Retrieved from http://www.civitas.org.uk/content/files/canada.pdf
4. McDonald, J. T., & Kennedy, S. (2004). Insights into the ‘healthy immigrant effect’: health status and health service use of immigrants to Canada. Social science & medicine, 59(8), 1613-1627.