More on what we get for our healthcare dollar
Business Week, that bastion of leftist reportage has an article which compares the healthcare of various nations.
Here's a quotation:
Of the countries surveyed, 81% of patients in New Zealand got a same or next-day appointment for a nonroutine visit, 71% in Britain, 69% in Germany, 66% in Australia, 47% in the U.S., and 36% in Canada. Those lengthy wait times in the U.S. explain why 26% of Americans reported going to an emergency room for a condition that could have been treated by a regular doctor if available, higher than every other country surveyed.
No. 1 in Foregone Care
The Commonwealth survey did find that patients in the U.S. had shorter wait times than every country except Germany when it came to getting an appointment with a specialist for nonemergency elective surgery, such as hip replacements, cataract surgery, or knee repair. But Gerard Anderson, a health-policy expert at Johns Hopkins University, says most doctors know how to "game the system" in those countries where there are queues for elective surgery, by putting at-risk patients on the list long before their need is critical. "Their wait might be uncomfortable, but it makes very little clinical difference."
The Commonwealth survey found one area in which the U.S. assumed first place—by a wide margin: 51% of U.S. adults surveyed did not visit a doctor, get a needed test, or fill a prescription within the past two years because of cost. No other country came close to that percentage...
In the UCSF study published last year, the researchers set out to determine how long it would take to get an appointment in 12 cities to examine a face mole that had changed color, a common warning sign of skin cancer. They found a range of mean wait times according to geography, from 20 days in Little Rock to 73 days in Boston. The researchers pointed out that the wait in rural areas, where dermatologists are scarcer, are likely much longer.
Yep, those extra couple of grand the citizens of Tennesee get to keep sure looks worth it.