We would like to express our gratitude for this fantastic opportunity to present our recent activities and describe the great success of the MRIC Global (Medical Research Information Centre)Essay Contest. The theme of this contest was “International Comparison of Healthcare Systems,” and the participants—medical practitioners and students from all over the world—shared their passionate perspectives on the topic.
We received 13 entries from 8 countries, the MRIC Global editorial team (Akihiko Ozaki, M.D.; Asaka Higuchi, R.N.; and Yuki Senoo) selected the 5 best essays after careful deliberation. Andy Crump—a research biologist who has been reporting on all aspects of global health for over 30 years, including work with The Lancet and Nature—then evaluated these 5 essays.
All of these essays impressed the judges, as they were from the frontlines of the medical field and demonstrated prospects for future developments in the health care system through discussions of local contexts. After much careful consideration, we are delighted to share the winners of the 2018 MRIC & MRIC Global Essay Contest!
The prize winners received their awards on November 24, 2018, at a ceremony that took place during our organization's annual symposium, Medical Reform Promoting Practical Solutions from the Field. Below, we also share the prize winners' messages from this ceremony.
To celebrate the efforts of the participants, we are giving certificates to the authors of every entry and will publish all the entries in MRIC Global's online newsletter. We will email the certificates in December.
First Prize Winner: Hans Jesper Del Mundo, the Philippines
"Health Inequity Pandemic"
In his essay, Hans Jesper Del Mundo addresses the current health care inequality in the Philippines, which is derived from a gap between public and private health care and from citizens’ unmet health care needs in primary-level care. Del Mundo points out that the United States has a similar inequality in medical services despite that country's large expenditures on health care; however, other countries (such as Canada, France, Great Britain, and Cuba) are succeeding in stabilizing health care costs and reducing inequities using tax funding and good referral systems.
Second Prize Winner: Karim Moutchou, Morocco
"Gaps and Disparities in Healthcare between Past Colonies and Colonizers: Comparison between Morocco and France"
Karim Moutchou's essay compares the health care systems of Morocco and France. Moutchou explains that, as a former suzerain of France, Morocco has a health care system that has been greatly influenced by France's system. In his essay, Moutchou shares his perspectives on the benefits of the French implementation of health care, including its basic health care institutions and guidelines. Moutchou also discusses the Moroccan health care system’s recent struggles related to the postcolonial burden. He says, “Seventy-two years after independence, the French healthcare system is one of the best in the world; meanwhile, Morocco is still struggling to find its medical system's identity and strength.”
Third Prize Winner: Santosh Paudel, Nepal
"Health Care System in Nepal: More than Individual Care"
Santosh Paudel is a medical doctor and an assistant professor at the National Academy of Medical Sciences; he also recently completed fellowship training in the principles and practices of spinal surgery at Hiroshima City Asa Hospital, Japan. In this essay, Paudel shares his training experiences and remarks that Japan’s good health care system enables medical doctors to tailor the management of their patients. In contrast, according to Paudel, Nepal’s current health care system is still much undeveloped as it is even failing to provide the primary health care to their people. He claims that the establishment of a more stable health care system is required in Nepal in order to provide essential medical supply and to update medical technologies..
Third Prize Winner: Haruka Sakamoto, Czech Republic
"Is It Possible that We Keep the Same Health Care System?"
Haruka Sakamoto, who is Japanese but is studying medicine in the Czech Republic, shares her experience of attending a summer-school program in the Netherlands, where she participated in a discussion-based workshop regarding the handling of medical ethics in various countries. Sakamoto shares her attitudes as a result of the workshop, where she was exposed to diverse opinions from students of varied backgrounds. She concludes that, based on careful observations of a variety of health care systems, there is a possibility that the Japanese health care system will collapse in the near future due to the burden of healthcare cost.