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The Experience of International Medical Associations with Universal Coverage

What has been or will be the role of the medical profession and their professional organizations in the implementation and evolution of health system reform? The experience of other countries that have implemented reform might identify some interesting lessons, particularly if the medical societies had to adapt in order to meet the needs. 

Accordingly, the Council conducted a study to better understand the experiences of a sample of national medical associations in countries that have implemented universal coverage. Britain, France, Singapore, Thailand, Taiwan, Canada and Australia were selected since these countries implemented reform in different forms and at different points since World War II.  Interviews were conducted with representatives to explore:

  1. The role of the medical society in the design and implementation of universal coverage;
  2. The impact of reform on patient demand for services;
  3. The impact of reform on the day-to-day practice of medicine; and
  4. Advice they would give to the AMA as the US implements major reform.

Details of the study findings are in CLRPD Report 1, The Experience of International Medical Associations with Universal Coverage which was submitted to the November 2009 AMA Interim Meeting of the House of Delegates. In an effort to better understand reform from the perspective of other medical associations, CLRPD also conducted an educational session at I-09 with association leaders calling in from Canada, Australia, and Taiwan, three of the associations that participated in the earlier interviews.