Model of health care used in Britain and Canada. It uses tax money to support a universally accessible health care system. It guarantees a basic level of health care for all, but tends to discourage exemplary care. It can be abused by unscrupulous providers. It is often seen as advantagous to patients but detrimental to doctors.

I grew up in a Communist country, and certainly did not like the political system there.

However, I have to say if there was one thing the Communists did right, it was socialized medicine! That was a major accomplishment that all civilized countries can learn from.

I went to medical school for two years, then switched to psychology and eventually became a clinical psychologist who worked within the socialized medicine system.

By the way, my training in both schools was completely free of charge, no tuition, no lab fees, nothing. The only thing I had to buy were my books, though I could have just gotten them for free from the excellent library system we had.

At any rate, I was admitted to either school not based on the wealth of my parents but because I passed the tests of academic achievement.

Neither me as a clinical psychologist, nor the medical doctors, got rich from it. But neither did anyone else. We were not motivated by financial gain. This, to me, is the biggest advantage of socialized medicine: People study medicine and other health care related disciplines because they care about other people's health, not because they want to get rich. This, along with the educational system, guarantees high quality of medical care.

It has many other advantages, not the least of which is the fact that if you are sick, you go to the doctor without hesitation. The doctor will prescribe all the tests he deems necessary, not what some HMO does. He/she will prescribe all the treatment you need, which you will get for free, of course.

The main advantage of socialized medicine is that it is not big business. What it is is medicine.

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