10 months ago
Despite spending top-dollar, Americans are treated to far from top-tier health care.
In the first-ever global study of its kind, researchers found large inequities in the treatment of patients around the world and within countries. Perhaps even worse, people are dying from causes with well-known treatments at a higher rate than expected.
The shocking report, which ranked nations on a scale from 1-100 for their quality and access to medical treatment, came from the Insitute for Health Metrics.
The United States ranked 81 overall, on par with Estonia and Montenegro. Like many other developed countries, America earned a perfect score in treating common vaccine-preventable diseases, like tetanus or measles.
However, the U.S. had nine categories in which it scored in the 60s including lower respiratory infections (60), chronic kidney disease (62), and harmful effects caused by the treatment itself (68).
“America’s ranking is an embarrassment,” said Dr. Murray, a senior author of the study, pointing out that the country spends more on health care—$9,000 per person—than any other nation.
The scores in the report, published in The Lancet Thursday, were based on an empirical index evaluating the 195 countries from 1990 to 2015.