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Running head: INTRODUCTION AND GENERAL STATE OF HEALTHCARE1IHP 501 Final Project One Milestone OneIntroduction and General State of HealthcareSarah HadleySouthern New Hampshire University
INTRODUCTION AND GENERAL STATE OF HEALTHCARE2It has often been said that the United States can learn a lot about healthcare from Switzerland, as it possesses one of the best healthcare systems in the world. Based on a study regarding the quality of 195 countries healthcare systems, conducted by the Healthcare Access and Quality Index, Switzerland has the third best healthcare system in the world, with the U.S. ranked at 37 (World Health Organization [WHO], 2018). The mountainous, landlocked country offers both mandatory and voluntary health insurance, ensuring that all Swiss residents have equal and affordable access to first-rate medical care. Due to this, the life expectancy of Swiss residents is higher than that of the U.S. and many other EU countries. Switzerland utilizes a direct democracy and emphasizes quality of care and universal health coverage, both of which could benefit the U.S. healthcare system. For these reasons, I would like to analyze the Swiss government’s role in healthcare, any health-related issues, and the current structure of the healthcare system. SwitzerlandSwitzerland, located in Central Europe with a population of 8.3 million, shares borders with France, Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein, and Italy (World Travel Guide, n.d.). With a population of just over 8 million, it is close to the population of New York City (World Travel Guide, n.d.). Switzerland possesses the highest mountains in Europe, the Swiss Alps, and is covered with waterfalls, rivers, and lakes set amid beautiful green pastures (World Travel Guide, n.d.). The country is divided into 26 cantons, which can be considered equivalent to states in theU.S. (Lucchi, 2017). The climate in Switzerland moderate, meaning it is mostly warm and sunny, without being too hot. Despite an overall classification of a moderate climate, the Alps often cause climatic variations throughout the country. Higher mountain regions tend to have
INTRODUCTION AND GENERAL STATE OF HEALTHCARE3lower temperatures, while the lower areas have high temperatures, with snow being most likely to fall in December and April (World Travel Guide, n.d.). Switzerland is, and has been for centuries, a neutral state. This means that it cannot take part in any armed conflict unless the country is attacked, thus Switzerland can only use its forces for self-defense and internal security (BBC News, 2018). This is a key characteristic of Switzerland, as is the direct democracy used by the government. Direct democracy allows the Swiss population to be involved in decision-making processes via popular votes that can be held up to four times per calendar year (Lucchi, 2017). The Swiss Government, known as the Federal Council, possesses executive power, and is composed of seven councilors from Swiss political parties, elected by the Federal Assembly every four years to share the duties of head of

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