Frontline: Sick Around the Word [DVD] [2008]

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Special Features

  • Teacher's Guide
  • Closed Captioned


Frontline: Sick Around the World
It's no secret that the subject of health care is a hot-button issue in the United States, but would it be possible to improve our health care system by looking to other countries for inspiration? This is the question asked by T.R. Reid, a veteran foreign correspondent for The Washington Post and a concerned American who has taken it upon himself to explore out the most effective health care systems from capitalist democracies across the world. In this documentary, Reid travels to the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, Taiwan, and Switzerland in order to contrast and compare their health care systems what that of the United States'. The result is an eye-opening look at the many ways in which a country can care for its citizens. In Germany, the country often credited with creating the concept of a universal health care system, the rich help to pay for the poor and the healthy contribute to cover the ill. But while this system may seem ideal to some, it does get a bit more complicated: Medical providers must negotiate standard coverage process with the government on an annual basis, and doctors in Germany only earn between half and two-thirds the incomes of their U.S. counterparts. Japan boasts the world's best health care statistics, but citizens are ordered by law to purchase health insurance and insurers aren't allowed to make a profit. As Reid makes his way around the world, he begins to wonder if the U.S. couldn't take a tip from Taiwan - a country that looked offshore for inspiration on creating a more effective national healthcare system. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

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