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U.S. Ranks Last in International Survey

May 14, 2007
by root
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The U.S. healthcare system ranks last or second to last compared with five other nations on measures of quality, access, efficiency, equity, and outcomes, according to the third edition of a Commonwealth Fund report analyzing international health policy surveys.

Key findings in the report, entitled "Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: An International Update on the Comparative Performance of American Health Care" include:

  • On measures of quality, the United States overall ranked fifth out of six countries.
  • On access measures, the United States ranked last overall, including last on timeliness of care.
  • On efficiency, the United States ranked last overall, including last on percent of patients who have visited the emergency room for conditions that could have been treated by a regular doctor if one had been available.

Key findings in the report, entitled "Multinational Comparisons of Health Systems Data" 2006, include:

  • In 2004 the United States spent the most per capita on hospital services, and Canada and Japan spent the least.
  • The United States spent twice the OECD median per capita on drugs in 2004.
  • 30.6 percent of individuals in the United States were obese in 2004, compared with 13 percent of the OECD median.
  • The United States had about two and a half times the OECD median for years of potential life lost due to diabetes.

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