The documentary “Sick around the World” follows correspondent T.R. Reid as he travels around the world looking at the health systems of five different countries, England, Japan, Germany, Taiwan and Switzerland. The healers in this documentary could be considered the health care system and are held in high regard by all the countries, for the most part. Apart from England whose health system is solely government operated, all the countries share some commonalities in terms of health care provision. The very first commonality is that all the natives of the countries mentioned are mandated to buy into health insurance. Those that cannot afford to do so have their premiums picked up by the government. Health insurers cannot deny anyone based on a pre-existing health issue and they cannot attempt to profit off basic health care (such as wellness checkups). Finally, the doctors and hospitals are compelled to accept and set standardized fees and prices based on negotiations with the government.
All of these countries provide health care in an efficient manner, which means that citizens will never suffer bankruptcy due to medical bills. Incidentally, none of their administrative costs are in double figures, unlike America. Surveys of citizens of the countries analyzed showed that they were satisfied with their health systems. Doctors are highly respected by patients but none of the doctors earned comparatively to American doctors. However, they also did not face high malpractice insurance fees or overheads. Though in England, the waiting times could be months or even years, most of the countries had no or little waiting time to be seen by a doctor, allowing better patient interaction. In the two eastern countries, Japan and Taiwan, holistic medicine, such as acupuncture was included in the coverage, and Germany also allowed patients to go to spas if their health condition warranted it. The president of the Switzerland government summarized how the body is understood and treated by all the countries evaluated, saying “It is a basic human right to have universal health care”.