Thursday, June 24, 2010

U.S. scores dead last again in healthcare study

A patient waits in the hallway for a room to open up in the emergency room at a hospital in Houston, Texas, July 27, 2009. REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi
A patient waits in the hallway for a room to open up in the emergency room at a hospital in Houston, Texas, July 27, 2009.

Americans spend twice as much as residents of other developed countries on healthcare, but get lower quality, less efficiency and have the least equitable system, according to a report released on Wednesday.

The United States ranked last when compared to six other countries -- Britain, Canada, Germany, Netherlands, Australia and New Zealand, the Commonwealth Fund report found.

"As an American it just bothers me that with all of our know-how, all of our wealth, that we are not assuring that people who need healthcare can get it," Commonwealth Fund president Karen Davis told reporters in a telephone briefing.

Previous reports by the nonprofit fund, which conducts research into healthcare performance and promotes changes in the U.S. system, have been heavily used by policymakers and politicians pressing for healthcare reform.

Davis said she hoped health reform legislation passed in March would lead to improvements.

The current report uses data from nationally representative patient and physician surveys in seven countries in 2007, 2008, and 2009. It is available here

In 2007, health spending was $7,290 per person in the United States, more than double that of any other country in the survey.

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE65M0SU20100623

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