WASHINGTON - February 10 - The American Medical Student Association (AMSA), the nation's largest, independent medical student organization, announces "Sea-Couver," a hands-on study tour in Seattle, Wash. and Vancouver, British Columbia that provides the opportunity to compare the U.S. and Canadian health care systems. Medical students will gain first-hand knowledge of health care delivery in the two countries by touring clinics, talking with patients, and learning from physicians, medical students and policymakers.
The students will compare the Canadian single payer health care system to the multi payer, market-based U.S. system. The United States, while spending over $1.6 trillion on health care annually, remains the only industrialized nation that does not guarantee health care for all citizens. Canada spends far less on health care and guarantees coverage for all its citizens. In addition, students will discuss and compare health care quality indicators, access to care disparities, prescription drug costs, drug re-importation and medical education and physician satisfaction. A highlight of the tour will be a discussion with Dr. Bob Evans, Professor of Economics at the Centre for Health Services and Policy Research at the University of British Columbia. Dr. Evans, Director of Population Health with the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, is considered one of the founders of the field of health care economics and is the single most influential academic in Canadian health care policy. "Universal health care in America is long overdue," says Lauren Oshman, M.D., M.P.H., AMSA National President. "Future physicians need to be more knowledgeable about universal health care in our own country and in Canada. By providing students with the ability to compare the positives and shortcomings of the two health care systems, they will be better positioned to educate their colleagues about the two systems, and to build a health care system that better serves our patients and the public." At the end of the excursion, students will present their findings at their individual medical schools and facilitate additional education for future healthcare providers.
For over 50 years, AMSA has empowered medical students to continually improve our health care system locally, statewide and nationally for the benefit of our future patients.
For more information on AMSA's Universal Health Care initiative, see http://www.amsa.org/hp/uhcinitiative.cfm.
For more information on AMSA's mobilization on universal health care and the upcoming presidential election, see http://www.amsa.org/election2004.