Sunday, July 8, 2012

U.S. healthcare by the numbers / Reuters

According to Reuters, the US ranks close to the bottom on a number of healthcare indices, compared to   the 33 other countries in the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development).  Of course, the US ranks at the top in terms of cost:  17.9% of GDP is spent on healthcare in the US.

There is one other category in which the US ranks first:  90 percent of U.S. adults aged 15 and older describe themselves as being in good health versus an OECD average of 69.1 percent of citizens in the other OECD countries who said they were in good health.  Got that?

For infant mortality, we rank 31st.  For life expectancy, we rank 27th.  For both doctors per capita, and doctor visits per capita, we rank 29th.  For hospital beds per capita, we rank 30th.  For percentage of people with health coverage, we rank 31st.  Only Mexico has a higher rate of diabetes than the US, and no country has more obesity than we do.

But Americans think they have the best health, and think they have the best healthcare in the world.

This paradox is why the system keeps getting worse (by the indices cited) as it gets more expensive.  Go figure.

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