World Quality Compare

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Summary

A summary glance at the graphs below should serve notice to all that the U.S. healthcare is in crisis. The left graphs show 2006 health spending both as a percent of GDP and on a per capita basis to be far above all other nations in the OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development).

And if that wasn’t bad enough, the graphs on the right show that the trend is so bad compared to these OECD countries that without a major policy change, the U.S. will be paying far more into health care and far less in productive activities compared to its competitor nations.  That all were similar years ago suggests that a U.S. solution is possible.

Yet, for all these higher costs, is the U.S. really getting better health care than other OECD countries?  Graphs show only selected countries, but data include all 30 nations.  The U.S. more often than not compares unfavorably in key areas.

All data in this report are derived from OECD Health Data 2009 – Version: June 09 .  Below each graph are all nations’ computed average, the percent the U.S. is over or under that average, and the min and max for those criteria.

Of the areas selected, the U.S. is significantly above average in % of GDP spend, health care and prescription drug costs per capita, MRI units, CT scanners, and infant mortality.

The U.S. is significantly below average in acute care beds, doctor’s consultations and hospital discharge rates per capita, in average length of stay in acute care hospitals, and in population over 15 years old who smoke.

The U.S. is about average in life expectancy at birth but lags key European countries.  It is average in cancer death rate. There are other factors that are not part of the OECD report, but the issue is whether the U.S. is getting its money’s worth.

Average: 8.9%    U.S. vs. Average: 78%    Minimum: 5.8%    Maximum: 15.8%.

The U.S. clearly pays the highest percent of its GDP for health care.

Average: 8.9%    U.S. vs. Average: 78%    Minimum: 5.8%    Maximum: 15.8%.

The trend of OECD countries is clearly lower than for the U.S.

Average: $3,073    U.S. vs. Average: 126%    Minimum: $1,322    Maximum: $6,933.

The U.S. clearly pays the highest per capita cost for health care.

Average: $3,073    U.S. vs. Average: 126%    Minimum: $1,322    Maximum: $6,933.

The trend of OECD countries is clearly lower than for the U.S.

Average: 72.9%    U.S. vs. Average: -38%   Minimum: 44.2%   Maximum: 90.9%

There is still a large percent of private health participation in OECD nations.

Average: $451    U.S. vs Average: 87%   Minimum: $178    Maximum: $844

The U.S. pays almost double per capita for its drugs versus the OECD.

Average: 3.9    U.S. vs. Average: -31%    Minimum: 1    Maximum: 8.2

While the U.S. is comparable to some nations, it lags behind some key nations.

Average: 9.7    U.S. vs. Average: 173%    Minimum: 1.4    Maximum: 40.1.

Except for Japan, the U.S. has more than twice as many MRI’s as other nations.

Average: 21.7    U.S. vs. Average: +57%    Minimum: 3.4    Maximum: 92.6.

Not quite as extreme as MRI units, but the US is still out front of EU countries.

Average: 6.7    U.S. vs. Average: -43%   Minimum: 2.8   Maximum: 13.6.

Access to care in other countries?  They are far ahead of the U.S. in this category.

Average: 16,256    U.S. vs. Average: -22%   Minimum: 5,486   Maximum: 28,440.

If you do not admit, there is no discharge.  U.S. is moving to outpatient.

Average: 6.9    U.S. vs. Average: -19%    Minimum: 3.9    Maximum: 19.2.

But for those needing acute care, the U.S. is about average for other than Japan.

Average: 79    U.S. vs. Average: -1%    Minimum: 71.6    Maximum: 82.4.

Considered a health quality factor, the U.S. lags behind key countries.

Average: 5.1    U.S. vs. Average: +31%    Minimum: 1.4    Maximum: 22.3.

The U.S. clearly lags in this health quality measure.

Average: 164.5    U.S. vs. Average: -4%    Minimum: 96.5    Maximum: 219.8

With cancer the leading cause of death, the U.S. is still only average.

Average: 24.4%    U.S. vs. Average: -34%    Minimum: 14.5%    Maximum: 40%.

Despite more smokers in Europe, they still have longer life expectancies.

APPENDIX

The following tables offer a complete list of data available.  Those highlighted are included above.

OECD Health Data 2009 – Frequently Requested Data

Health expenditure

–         Total expenditure on health, % of gross domestic product

–         Total health expenditure per capita, US$ PPP

–         Public expenditure on health, % total expenditure on health

–         Pharmaceutical expenditure, % total expenditure on health

–         Pharmaceutical expenditure per capita, US$ PPP

Health care resources

–         Practising physicians, density per 1 000 population

–         Practising nurses, density per 1 000 population

–         Medical graduates, density per 1 000 practising physicians

–         Nursing graduates, density per 1 000 practising nurses

–         Hospital beds, density per 1 000 population

–         Acute care beds, density per 1 000 population

–         Psychiatric care beds, per 1 000 population

–         MRI units per million population

–         CT Scanners per million population

–         Mammographs per million population

–         Radiation therapy equipment per million population

Health care activities

–         Doctor consultations per capita

–         Hospital discharge rates, all causes, per 100 000 population

–         Average length of stay for acute care, all conditions, days

–         Coronary artery bypass grafts (CABG), per 100 000 population

–         Coronary angioplasties, per 100 000 population

–         Caesarean sections, per 100 live births

Health status (Mortality)

–         Life expectancy at birth, females, males and total population

–         Life expectancy at 65 years old, females and males

–         Infant mortality rate, deaths per 1 000 live births

–         Potential years of life lost (PYLL), all causes females and males

Suicides, deaths per 100 000 population

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