Sunday, September 20, 2009

Ranking: U.S. 1st in health care spending, 37th in health

From the academic side, here's the most common diagnosis for the high price of U.S. health care: a highly complex and fragmented payment system that weakens the demand for health care and has high administrative costs that don't improve anyone's health.
No. 37 is where the United States' health status was ranked by the World Health Organization. Here's how U.S. health care stacks up in other ways (in most recent statistics available):
  • No. 1 in total health costs as a percentage of gross domestic product.
  • $878 per person spent on pharmaceuticals -- the most among the world's 30 largest economies.
  • 2.4 practicing physicians per 1,000 people in the United States. Countries with fewer physicians per 1,000 are Canada, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Poland, South Korea and Turkey.
  • 3.1 hospital beds per 1,000 people -- the fewest beds per 1,000 among the world's 30 largest economies, except for Mexico, where there are 1.7 beds per 1,000.
  • 34.3 percent of Americans are obese (with a body mass index of 30 or higher), the most of any developed country.
  • 25.9 magnetic resonance imaging units per million people makes the United States No. 1 among the world's largest economies. The United Kingdom, in contrast, has about one third the number of the U.S.
  • 84.5 coronary bypasses per 100,000 people makes the U.S. the second most bypassed among developed nations, topped by Germany which has 131.8 bypasses for every 100,000 people.
  • 15.4 percent of the U.S. population are daily smokers -- the second smallest percentage among the world's 30 largest economies (only the Swedes smoke less).

Read it all ~~ OECD Health Data 2009

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