Medicine and Health Sciences | Other American Studies


Health systems throughout the world may have a profoundly different, or extremely similar structure. A well-known, industrialized nation, the United States has an unusual system, which Shi and Singh (2008) describe as “unnecessarily fragmented” (p. 2). Highly unusual for a developed country, this system does not guarantee access to medical care for all of its citizens. On the other hand, a small Central American country more known as a vacation hotspot, Belize ensures health care for all inhabitants of this tropical nation. How can these major differences affect health outcomes? What could these two vastly different countries have in common when considering public health? This paper will explore the Belizean public health system and the United States (US) public health system frameworks. This will include analyses of the usage of health technology, management of chronic and infectious diseases, and cultural considerations.