Coronavirus presents real-world test for state-run, single-payer health systems
The pandemic is only in its initial stages. Peak infections are weeks away in most countries, including the United States, according to the most recent forecasts. Vaccines and targeted antiviral medicines are not yet available.
It is too soon to see definite outcomes among competing health-care systems. Even in this early phase, public health experts say the single-payer, state-run systems are proving themselves relatively robust.
Unlike the United States, where a top health official told Congress the rollout of testing was “failing” and where Congress is only now moving through a bill that includes free testing, the single-payer countries have been especially nimble at making free, or low-cost, virus screening widely available for patients with coughs and fevers.
Denmark is offering some patients “drive-through” testing. South Korea is, too, and almost a quarter of a million people have been tested there. In Australia’s single-payer system, Hollywood couple Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson quickly learned they tested positive for coronavirus.
Yet there …continued .
[Source: Washington Post]