International Comparison Reflects Flaws and Opportunities for Better Health Care
Depends what you want, a recently published Commonwealth Fund report shows that the UK is the best for ease of access and efficiency. But it also shows the UK is among the worst for outcomes; in fact it’s next to bottom.
Now call me picky, but when I’m admitted somewhere I’d prefer to remain alive in a hospital that maybe a little inefficient than die in an efficient one.
The United States health care system spends far more than other high-income countries, yet has previously documented gaps in the quality of care.
This report compares health care system performance in Australia,
Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway,
Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
Seventy-two indicators were selected in five domains: Care Process, Access, Administrative Efficiency, Equity, and Health Care Outcomes. Data sources included Commonwealth Fund international surveys of patients and physicians and selected measures from OECD, WHO, and the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies. We calculated performance scores for each domain, as well as an overall score for each country.
The U.S. ranked last on performance overall, and ranked last or near last on the Access, Administrative Efficiency, Equity, and Health Care Outcomes domains. The top-ranked countries overall were the U.K., Australia, and the Netherlands. Based on a broad range of indicators, the U.S. health system is an outlier, spending far more but falling short of the performance achieved by other high-income countries. The results suggest the U.S. health care system should look at other countries’ approaches if it wants to achieve an affordable highperforming health care system that serves all Americans.
Sources and Press Releases
- Mirror, Mirror 2017: International Comparison Reflects Flaws and Opportunities for Better U.S. Health Care, commonwealthfund, JULY 2017.
- Appendices – Mirror, Mirror 2017: International Comparison Reflects Flaws and Opportunities for Better U.S. Health Care, commonwealthfund, JULY 2017.
- UK has best health system in developed world, US analysis concludes, The BMJ 2017;358:j3442, 14 July 2017.
- HOW BAD IS U.S. HEALTH CARE? AMONG HIGH-INCOME NATIONS, IT’S THE WORST, STUDY SAYS, newsweek, 7/14/17.