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Michigan Universal Health Care Access Network

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Finland, with its population of 5,167,486, is a little smaller than Denmark. The state of approximately the same size is Arizona, with its population of 5,130,632. Finland has an infant mortality rate of 3.82 deaths/1,000 live births, way better than ours. For 100 babies that die here, only 56 do in Finland. Life expectancy at birth is 73.74 years for men and 81.2 years for women. For whatever reason, men live longer in the US, and women, longer in Finland.

Finland is a fairly typical European conutry, with a per capita GDP of $21,000. The country spends only 6.9% of its GDP on health care, only $1449 per person. This is a mere 33% of what the US spends. Turning this number upside down, the US spends three times as much for - let's hear the chorus - about the same results.

In 1964, national health insurance was enacted in Finland. The Finnish health system is primarily funded (80%) by general tax revenues collected by the local and national governments. The basic administrative levels in Finland are divided into communes and municipalities. The local authorities in Finland number 445, averaging about 10,000 people each.

GP's practice mostly in health centers. They are salaried, but many are paid fee-for-service for overtime. Hospital physicians, who must be specialists, are salaried.

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