Universal Healthcare vs Paid Healthcare

Different governments across the world offer varied healthcare systems to their citizens for a number of reasons. There are two broad categories of healthcare systems offered by most governments namely: Universal Healthcare and Paid Healthcare. Universal healthcare implies that the government caters for all or most healthcare needs of her citizens with a goal of reducing financial burden usually incurred while seeking health care services. On the other hand, paid healthcare requires that citizens cover their own medical and other healthcare expenses.

Much as it may be argued that universal healthcare is better than paid healthcare, the truth is that each healthcare system has its own advantages and disadvantages. On determining the best healthcare system, it is important to consider other factors that affect the level of health care service delivery both directly and indirectly, which will greatly depend upon the specific country in which the system is provided for. Below are some of the key points worth considering while comparing between universal and paid healthcare systems in different countries.


It goes without saying that universal healthcare saves a lot of money on the side of citizens. Universal, which means inclusive, benefits all citizens across the country. Medical and healthcare services are quite expensive and certainly, very expensive for middle class and lower class citizens. Therefore, governments that provide for universal access to health care services of their citizens are working beyond expectations to improve the general life of citizens in that country.

Ease of access to Healthcare services

Is universal healthcare a better option in regard to how fast you can access health care services? The answer to this question will also provide a reason why universal healthcare is not a sufficient solution to citizens’ health care needs. Access to health care services is one area where most citizens suffer a great deal while seeking services related to healthcare especially if the services are universal. You will have to spend a whole day on a queue hopelessly waiting to be attended to. At such a time, you wish you would rather have given out your money to receive quick and timely services. What if you have an emergency? You will not be the only one. So you find people switching to private hospitals where they can pay and have quick and personalized attention rather than line up and end up in despair.

Existing Working Models

Most governments that offer universal healthcare services such as Canada, Switzerland and Germany have perfect operational insurance services for all their lawful citizens. Such insurance systems are perfect working models that greatly determine effectiveness of a universal healthcare system. These models are worth embracing by countries that provide for a universal healthcare system since they make it advantageous over paid healthcare system.

Increased Taxation

Whether you pay directly for your health care needs or benefit from universal health care system, you have an obligation to fulfill as a citizen in your country. Adoption of universal health care system which is �free’ means that the government has already catered for the expenses involved. And who is the government? As a citizen, you are part of the government. You therefore participate in the coverage of your health care expenses. Governments that provide for these services are likely to tax their citizens highly so as to have enough money to cover their health care needs. As your government adopts universal healthcare for its citizens, be prepared to pay more taxes.

In contemplating the benefits of either of the two types of health care systems therefore, it is important to think of the type that gives you peace of mind. It is difficult to settle on one system and call it the best since its advantages and disadvantages are relative to different factors. The above described are just general facts. How much citizens are affected by the two health care systems depends upon the individual country in which the system is being practiced.