Sample Essay on Difference between Japan and America on Health care systems

Difference between Japan and America on Health care systems

Universal healthcare

The Japanese healthcare system provides care for every citizen with few appointment necessities and low comparative costs. The government of Japan takes almost full responsibility for medical services accessed by the citizens, it carters for about 98% of financial costs (Tatara, Kozo & Okamoto 23). Basic appointments cost about $20 even without insurance but in America, the patients incur responsibility for about 30% of the costs of treatment with the government taking care of the other 70% (Hafner, Tamara & Shiffman 42).

Covered services

The Japan healthcare system covers more services with fewer formalities to go through compared to the American one which has more formalities to go through. For instance every citizen of Japan can get appointments with a specialist without having to go through a general practitioner but in America the system is rigid structured where you must pass through the general practitioner first (Hafner et al., 43). In America, on would pay $1,200 for an MRI neck scan while in Japan one would pay $100 for the same service (Hafner et al., 43).

Hospital beds

In 2009, Japan had 13.7 beds per 1,000 persons in their hospitals while in America the same year there was 3 beds per 1,000 persons in the hospitals (Tatara et al., 34). This large difference shows the ability of the Japan hospitals to accommodate many inpatients in hospital comfortably compared to America system where inpatients can be sent home and provided with a nurse due to few hospital beds. Another disparity in this category is the ratio of doctors to the citizens. In America, there are 2.4 doctors per 1,000 persons while in Japan there are 2.3 doctors per 1,000 persons (Hafner et al., 46). This shows a slight advantage in America in terms of the numbers of qualified doctors available.

Ambulances in Japan are government owned and this often promotes laziness and it makes them take too long to bring patients to hospitals while in America the ambulance are operated by private companies and the competition between them makes them to be fast in response (Tatara et al., 40).


Hafner, Tamara, and Jeremy Shiffman. “The emergence of global attention to health systems strengthening.” Health policy and planning 28.1 (2013): 41-50.

Tatara, Kozo, and Etsuji Okamoto. “Japan. Health system review.” Health Systems in Transition 11.5 (2009).