U.S. Healthcare vs. Other Countries
According to past research conducted by the Commonwealth Fund, the United States has the worst healthcare system among 11 developed nations that includes Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. The report concluded that the U.S. spends the most money on health care, while ranking last or near the bottom in terms of access, administrative efficiency, equity, and healthcare outcomes.
The Commonwealth Fund’s report, however, was released prior to the diverse protocols that have been implemented in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. It would be instructive to know if a follow-up study has been completed to determine whether any of the healthcare rankings have changed, particularly, in nations where strict lockdowns and mandatory vaccination measures are being enforced, such as in Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. A published report from the summer of 2020 leaves this question on the table for future consideration.
The United States has one of the highest death rates due to COVID-19 across the world, and its mortality rates will likely increase. Due to different approaches to containing the virus across countries – as well as the quality and accessibility of health care – we may see diverging rates of mortality, disease burden, and other measures of health outcomes between the U.S. and comparable countries.Nisha Kurani et al, “How does the quality of the U.S. healthcare system compare to other countries?,” Peterson-KFF, Aug 20, 2020.