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America Ranks Last in Health Care Again!

Apparently, little, if anything, has changed since the Commonwealth Fund revealed the downbeat results of its last "scorecard" rating the abysmal performance of America's health care system. The latest report by the foundation found, once again, that America spend more for mediocre and inefficient health care than do New Zealand, Canada, Australia, Germany and the UK.

To add insult on top of preventable injury or, in some cases, death, the most expensive health care system in the world ranked at the bottom when it comes to outcomes, efficiency, equity, access and quality. Overall, Germany and the UK topped the list, with Canada and the Unites States bringing up the rear. Also worth noting here is that America spends close to three times as much for its mediocre approach to health per capita ($6,102) annually than does New Zealand ($2,083) and almost twice as much as Canada ($3,165).

Even worse, American doctors are the slowest to change when it comes to technology, again, with the lowest numbers in relation to using electronic medical records or keeping up with the latest treatments via the Internet.

Perhaps, the only silver lining among the deluge of dismal numbers for Americans: Based on monitoring by managed care plans for more than a decade, preventative care is the area in which the U.S. health care system works the best, which may be a sign people are beginning to take a bit more responsibility for their health these days and starting to question the many and useless treatments thrown at them reflexively by doctors, in favor of seeking out safer, healthier solutions that have nothing to do with potentially toxic drugs and procedures.

The Commonwealth Fund May 15, 2007 Free Full PDF Reports

Scientific American May 15, 2007