How the US can learn from New Zealand's healthcare system: Dr. Brian Gantwerker

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New Zealand's healthcare system employs a single-payer model and offers universal coverage to its population of more than 5 million.

Brian Gantwerker, neurosurgeon and CEO of the Craniospinal Center of Los Angeles, spoke to Becker's Spine Review about how the U.S. healthcare system can learn from New Zealand about access to care, universal coverage and physician independence.

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Note: The following responses were lightly edited for style and clarity.

Question: Which country's healthcare system do you think the U.S. healthcare system can learn from?

Brian Gantwerker, MD. The Craniospinal Center of Los Angeles: The New Zealand healthcare system has successfully integrated universal coverage, patient timely access and physician autonomy in a way that no other country has seen. There, public health is paramount. From the beginning of the pandemic, they hunkered down, banded together and kept the integrity of their system. I think we have a lot to learn from them. If we can all agree all patients should have health insurance of some kind, and that physicians should get paid a reasonable (i.e., not discounted) rate, and realize we are getting gouged by a very large, but somehow still obscure, third party and that is what is driving up healthcare costs, we will be OK.

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