Despite spending $7,290 per person on health care - nearly twice what Canada spends and three times more than New Zealand – the U.S. health system ranked last among seven industrialized nations in a Commonwealth Fund study.
The report includes data from the seven countries – U.S., New Zealand, Canada Australia, Germany, The Netherlands, and the United Kingdom – as well as results from surveys of patients and physicians. The liberal-leaning foundation's report examined quality of care, effectiveness, safety, coordination and patient-centeredness as well as access, efficiency, equity, and length, quality and health of people's lives.
"It is disappointing, but not surprising that, despite our significant investment in health care, the U.S. continues to lag behind other countries," said Karen Davis, president of the Commonwealth Fund and lead author of the report.
The report ranked the U.S. health care system sixth behind Canada in terms of quality, finding that it came out last in terms of safety. The U.S. tied with Australia for last in access to care largely due to the high cost of care here. And the U.S. ranked last in efficiency and equity.
The findings were similar to results of four earlier reports by the foundation in 2008, 2007, 2006 and 2004.