U.S. Health Care ranks costliest of OECD nations

The U.S. health system is the costliest of all Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development nations, and does not deliver the best care, according to a new report by the OECD.

Key findings from the report:

  • Americans pay far more than any other OECD nation for health care, yet they have among the lowest life expectancy of these nations.
  • Americans also spend more tax dollars on health care than other industrialized nations, despite the fact that most of the citizens use private health insurance rather than public.
  • The U.S. did rank well for survival and screening rates for both cervical cancer and colon cancer.
  • Americans have fewer doctors and hospital beds, make fewer doctor visits, go to the hospital less often and stay for shorter lengths of time than about three-quarters of the other OECD countries.
  • Pharmaceuticals cost significantly more in the U.S. than their counterparts in other OECD nations.

(Sources: Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, http://www.oecd.org, November 2011; Reuters, http://www.reuters.com/, November 23, 2011)