Best and Worst Developed Countries for Medical Care
Medical care as an institution exists to help the population of a country be healthy and thrive. Yet, even in major developed countries of the world, there are large gaping holes within the medical care system, leaving more than tens of thousands of people without the proper care they desperately need. The following list will showcase the world’s developed countries’ best and worst systems, based on The Commonwealth Fund report.
With health expenditures rising to over $3,925 per capita, efficient and quality care has been provided to all citizens of this country. This means that both people with below-average and above-average incomes have access to the same healthcare services and rate them similarly.
With health expenditures of about $5,643 per capita, Switzerland scores high in healthy lives, quality of life and easy access to its citizens. The country’s citizens receive relatively timely healthcare. A lower percentage of people forgo medical treatment because of costs, and a lower percentage of people skip out on medical tests, skip prescriptions or have claims denied by insurance.
3. United Kingdom
The U.K. ranked number one overall compared to all of the other countries in the Commonwealth Fund report. Using $3,405 in health expenditures per capita, it also ranked superiorly in cost, quality, access and efficiency. In terms of effective computerized reminders for follow-up care, the U.K. scored a 95 percent. It also scored a 95 percent for providing diabetes patients with all four recommended services in chronic care.
Although France had the lowest preventable mortality rate, a high life expectancy and a low infant mortality rate, the country ranked ninth overall when compared to the other countries in the report. France ranked dead last in terms of access, scoring low in both timeliness and cost of care measures.
Surprisingly, Canada ranked tenth overall relative to the other countries in the report. The country ranked the lowest in efficiency, with the largest number of patients visiting emergency departments for conditions that could have been treated by regular doctors, a high percentage of re-hospitalizations after treatment and some inefficiency with medical records that did not reach the doctor’s office in a timely manner.
3. The United States
Coming in dead last is the United States. The U.S has the most expensive health care costs per capita, at over $8,500, and the most expensive health care expenditures overall, at 17.7 percent of the nation’s GDP, but it scored worse than every other country in the report. Within the data, there appears to be marked differences in care between those with lower-than-average incomes and those with higher-than-average incomes. Sadly, the U.S. was reported to have had the highest number of infant moralities out of all the tested countries and it ranked second to last in preventable deaths.
These findings are a stark reminder that while developed countries do have a better probability of providing health care to its citizens, they do not inherently have that position. Choices made by governing bodies and institutions that provide the care cannot simply rely on a budget or seek their own personal gain by preferring to treat wealthier individuals over the non-wealthy.
Understanding this is key to providing medical care not only for the United States, but for the world and for those undeveloped countries that are in desperate need of an efficient and stable healthcare system.
– Alysha Biemolt
Sources: Commonwealth Fund, Cheat Sheet, Medical Dictionary
Photo: The Richest