Discussion in 'Healthcare/Insurance/Govt Healthcare' started by Truthmatters, May 15, 2007.
Report: U.S. health care expensive, inefficient
America ranks last among six countries on key measures, group finds
Updated: 2 hours, 9 minutes ago
WASHINGTON - Americans get the poorest health care and yet pay the most compared to five other rich countries, according to a report released on Tuesday.
Germany, Britain, Australia, New Zealand and Canada all provide better care for less money, the Commonwealth Fund report found.
The U.S. health care system ranks last compared with five other nations on measures of quality, access, efficiency, equity, and outcomes, the non-profit group, which studies health care issues, said in a statement.
That's why people from those countries keep coming here (at least the ones who can afford to come here) for most important operations instead of getting them in their own countries.
Same unsupported bunk.....
I think maybe you need to read about this study and realise it is the people who can PAY anything who do that.
BTW they also go to these other countries mentioned also depending on the specialty they need performed.
People come here for the best plastic surgery.
Canada rates second worst out of the six overall. Germany scored highest, followed by Britain, Australia and New Zealand.
The United States is not getting value for the money that is spent on health care, Commonwealth Fund president Karen Davis said in a telephone interview.
The group has consistently found that the United States, the only one of the six nations that does not provide universal health care, scores more poorly than the others on many measures of health care.
Congress, President George W. Bush, many employers and insurers have all agreed in recent months to overhaul the U.S. health care system an uncoordinated conglomeration of employer-funded care, private health insurance and government programs.
The current system leaves about 45 million people with no insurance at all, according to U.S. government estimates from 2005, and many studies have shown most of these people do not receive preventive services that not only keep them healthier, but reduce long-term costs.
Davis said the funds researchers looked at hard data for the report.
It is pretty indisputable that we spend twice what other countries spend on average, she said.
Per-capita health spending in the United States in 2004 was $6,102, twice that of Germany, which spent $3,005. Canada spent $3,165, New Zealand $2,083 and Australia $2,876, while Britain spent $2,546 per person.
We focus primarily on measures that are sensitive to medical care making a difference infant mortality and healthy lives at age 60, Davis said. Those are pretty key measures, like how long you live and whether you are going to die before age 75.
Measures of other aspects of care such as cataract surgery or hip replacements are harder to come by, she said.
They also looked at convenience and again found the United States lacking with a few exceptions.
We include measures such as waiting more than four months for elective, non-emergency surgery. The United States doesnt do as well as Germany but it does a lot better than the other countries on waiting time for surgery, Davis said.
We looked at the time it takes to get in to see your own doctor ... (or) once you go to the emergency room do you sit there for more than two hours, and truthfully, we dont do well on those measures, Davis said.
According to the report, 61 percent of U.S. patients said it was somewhat or very difficult to get care on nights or weekends, compared with 25 percent to 59 percent in other countries.
The area where the U.S. health care system performs best is preventive care, an area that has been monitored closely for over a decade by managed care plans, the report reads.
The United States had the fewest patients 84 percent reporting that they have a regular doctor.
And U.S. doctors are the least wired, with the lowest percentage using electronic medical records or receiving electronic updates on recommended treatments.
Most of your healthcare dollar goes to lawyers, via malpractice insurance. But I don't hear liberals like John Edwards saying we should rein that in. For some crazy reason.
Dang, I'm convinced. The US is the worst place in the world to live! I guess I'll join those long lines of folks at the borders just waiting for permission to leave the country.
I was just thinking the other day - and please feel free to critique my idea - that the problems besetting GM (just as an example) regarding liabilities for employees' health fund benefits might have been reduced if the US had a socialised health care system like ours in Australia. Now don't go nuts on me. An employer here doesn't bear the cost of employees health/dental etc programmes because we have our Medicare system and people can - like me - get extra cover through private health programmes. The cost is shared out and the employer, especially an employer like GM that must have many thousands of employees, isn't burdened with the costs through (I assume) labour/labor contracts.
Socialized health care sucks. It may provide "bang" for the buck but that doesn't change the lack of options and the LONG lines to use it. There is a reason a Doctor degree is more likely to appeal to someone in a place like the United States.
Hard-up hospital orders staff: Don't wash sheets - turn them over
by DANIEL MARTIN - More by this author »
Last updated at 23:22pm on 13th April 2007
Cleaners at an NHS hospital with a poor record on superbugs have been told to turn over dirty sheets instead of using fresh ones between patients to save money.
Housekeeping staff at Good Hope Hospital in Sutton Coldfield, have been asked to re-use sheets and pillowcases wherever possible to cut a £500,000 laundry bill.
Posters in the hospital's linen cupboards and on doors into the A&E department remind workers that each item costs 0.275 pence to wash.
Good Hope reported a deficit of £6million last year and was subject to a report by the Audit Commission because of its poor financial standing.
It recorded 36 cases of MRSA from April last year to January, while cases of clostridium difficile have more than doubled in less than a year to 327. A Government hit squad was drafted in to solve the infection problems last year but the trust is still failing to hit MRSA targets.
Tony Field, chairman of Birmingham-based MRSA Support, said: 'Is that all the safety of a patient's life is worth? 0.275 pence?
'It is utterly disgraceful and tantamount to murder because hygiene like changing sheets is essential to protect patients.
'It proves beyond all doubt that cost- cutting is directly contributing to hospital acquired infections.'
A Good Hope spokesman said the posters went up around two years ago and should all have been taken down by now. But a medic insisted the posters were still on display in A&E and the maternity unit as recently as the past month.
'It is clear the trust is encouraging staff to "top 'n' tail" used sheets on a bed instead of replacing them between patients,' said the health worker, who did not wish to be named.
'The very nature of A&E should be enough reason to change sheets between every patient as casualty sees patients who have come in with a variety of infections, traumatic injuries and blood spill.'
Conservative healthvehealth spokesman John Baron said: 'This sounds ludicrous and is a real cause for concern given that MRSA is such a problem in our hospitals.
'This matter needs to be investigated at a higher level. Patient safety must never be compromised.'
Liberal Democrat health spokesman Norman Lamb said: 'If we are to beat healthcareacquired infections we need the highest possible standards of cleanliness. The idea of turning over sheets like this is extraordinary and scandalous.'
The scheme is one of many ways that cash- strapped trusts are trying to save money.
In January, staff at West Hertfordshire NHS Trust were amazed to receive a memo urging them to save £2.50 a day by prescribing cheaper medicines, reducing the number of sterile packs used, cutting hospital tests and asking patients to bring drugs in from home.
Epsom and St Helier Trust in South London has removed every third light bulb from corridors.
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