On November 15, as part of International Education Week at Appalachian State University, a panel of faculty from the Beaver College of Health Sciences discussed health care in their home countries. The panelists included: Dr. Louise Keegan (Ireland), Dr. Susan Roggenkamp (United States), Dr. Marco Meucci (Italy), Dr. Caroline Smith (Great Britain) and Dr. Herman van Werkhoven (South Africa). Over 80 students and faculty attended the event.
Panelists discussed how health care is provided and paid for, how health care providers are trained, and how satisfied citizens are with their health care in each country. Dr. Roggenkamp provided an interesting look at the health statistics of the other countries in comparison to the United States. Although the U.S. health care system utilizes state-of-the-art technology and some of the best trained health providers in the world, our outcomes are not always the best. The U.S. also has the most expensive health care in the world, consuming a greater proportion of our economy than in other countries. While no country’s health care system is perfect, understanding what works well and what does not work well may help us find ways to improve our own health care system.