Healthcare in high-income countries
August 6, 2021 - The United States trails other wealthy countries on almost every healthcare measure, with Norway, the Netherlands and Australia taking the top three places in a Commonwealth Fund survey.
The study measured five categories -- access to care, preventive services, waiting times, and the responses of thousands of patients and physicians to survey questions.
The U.S. brought up the rear despite spending a much higher proportion of its gross domestic product on healthcare, 16.8 per cent compared with an average of 10 per cent in the other nations: Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.
Among contributing factors is that 50 per cent of lower-income U.S. adults and 27 per cent of higher-income U.S. adults say costs keep them from getting needed healthcare.
“In no other country does income inequality so profoundly limit access to care,” David Blumenthal, president of the Commonwealth Fund, said.
In the UK, only 12 per cent of citizens with lower incomes and 7 per cent with higher incomes said costs kept them from care.
The U.S. maternal mortality rate of 17.4 deaths per 100,000 live births is twice that of France, the country with the next-highest rate (7.6 deaths per 100,000 live births), and ten times that of New Zealand (1.7 deaths per 100,000 live births).
Britain’s National Health Service lost its rating as the best healthcare system in the world, falling to fourth place, dropping down from first in 2017 and 2014.