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July 13, 2007

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.

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Comments

So, maybe we're not the healthiest, here- but our medical system is the Wealthiest! ^..^

Why is Tennessee mentioned?

Did one of the articles yesterday get deleted? There was another article on the page about this subject, but it's completley missing.

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...

As a working hospital registered nurse, I see the brutal discomfort and enormous waste of this playing out every day.

Diabetics who delay care until they need toes amputated. Congestive heart failure patients who drown in their own fluids because they can't afford doctor visits to get their diuretic prescriptions renewed. Heart attack victims who delay treatment in the hopes that their chest pain will "just go away" after a few days, and when they finally come in half of their left ventricle is dead.

American healthcare is a ghetto.

trailrider: Tennessee was mentioned because in http://majikthise.typepad.com/majikthise_/2007/07/who-pays-what.html#comment-75680482>the post Count Zero refers to (no it, didn't get deleted, it just fell off the front page) Tennessee was the US state used, in the linked article, as the basis point for comparing costs between countries.

So it only seemed topical to make reference to it again.

pecunium: I got it now. Thanks.

Our system is the wealthiest, but we're the least healtyist.

"American healthcare is a ghetto."

Misery and suffering is often the midwife of great and authentic art. Think of what we would be losing with a decent health care system.

cfrost--

I thought it was safe to have a sip of coffee while I read, because I thought the seriousness of the subject would keep anyone from saying something that would make me laugh. And then you had to go and say that.

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