Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Comparisons of U.S. Health System to Other Nations
Comparisons are odious, because they are impertinent – making one thing the standard of another which has no relation to it.
William Hazlitt (1778-1830),  Table Talk

Here are comparisons of the United States to other developed countries in the western world.  You may find more detailed information  in The HealthCare Handbook; A Clear and Concise Guide to the United States Health System.  As you read these points,   keep in mind that  only 15% of a nation’s health outcomes depend on its health system, but on such things as poverty,  education levels,  family cohesion, violence and accident rates,  and,  above all,  on its culture.

·         The U.S. spends 17% of GNP on health care,  more than any other nation. 

·         Health care is the fastest growing industry in the U.S. employing 10% of its populace. 

·         The U.S. has fewer physicians, hospital beds, physician visits, and hospitalizations than most other industrialized nations. 

·         85% of Americans have a regular source of care, but 25% have difficulties accessing care.

·         Life expectancy in the U.S. is rising fast, but not as fast as in other developed countries, where it is 83 for women and 80 for men compared to 77 for women and 75 for men in U.S. 

·         The U.S. lags behind in infant mortality,  maternal mortality,  and preventive care  but ranks above other nations  in cancer care,   heart care,  and care of chronic diseases,   research and education,  diagnostic  imaging, and other  health care technologies.

·         Americans prefer local and regional health solutions,  are reluctant to accept government mandates coverage with rationing,  feel they are capable of making their own health care choices,   seek equal opportunity access to high tech solutions,  prefer pluralistic payment systems, and allow market-based and federally-based institutions to co-exist and compete.

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