Years ago, the World Health Organization came out with a ranking of health systems that placed the US 37th. Over time, there's been a fair amount of controversy over the WHO's methodology, and so the Commonwealth Foundation began a new project to assemble a comparative international picture: They chose seven countries and conducted deep, ongoing polls of both patients and health-care providers. The surveys test experiences with the system, cost questions, efficiency, convenience, health outcomes and much more.
The US health care system is the costliest in the world, but underperforms relative to many other industrialized nations, according to a study released Wednesday.The report by the Commonwealth Fund, a private foundation focused on health, updated its comparison of the US medical care system to those in Australia, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and Britain.The US system "ranks last or next-to-last on five dimensions of a high performance health system: quality, access, efficiency, equity, and healthy lives," the report said.
Canada ranks 17th out of 29 so-called wealthy countries when it comes to the well-being of children, according to a new study from UNICEF, the United Nations children’s agency.
UNICEF graded the 29 countries in five categories and Canada’s best ranking was 11th in the area of housing and environment.
The UN agency placed Canada 14th in educational well-being, 15th in material well-being, 16th in behaviour and risks and a low 27th in health and safety.
I've been a bit annoyed by the convention of referring to the health-care bill's 10-year cost rather than its annual cost. We don't talk about very much in terms of 10-year costs, and so people don't have much context for it. So I asked crack intern Dylan Matthews to build a crude comparison of what various government programs are projected to cost in 2015 (chosen because health-care reform doesn't kick off until 2014, and I wanted to give it a year to get up and running). Projections are always iffy, but this is just to get an idea of the relative size of different programs.