Posted 10/17/11 on the Medical Billing and Coding Blog
There has been much debate in recent years about whether health care is a privilege or right. While securing coverage for every U.S. citizen has been a priority for years, people often overlook the overall quality — or lack thereof — of our health care system. Without question, improvements can be made. Problems such as delays in obtaining care and care coordination persist — according to SocGen’s Albert Edwards, it’s the most inefficient — and surveys have shown dissatisfaction from patients throughout the country. So, how does it stack up against other health care systems around the world? Ultimately, that’s to be decided by those who’ve studied and experienced a multitude of them firsthand. But here’s an informal list — in no particular order — of the world’s best based on positive facts and reviews.
The two primary factors working in Japan’s favor are its healthy population — a girl born today is expected to live to 86, according to a paper in the Lancet series — and low per capita health care costs. It’s not difficult to find competent, affordable care for an average citizen when problems arise, a distinction that differs from many other first world countries. Japan also boasts excellent recovery rates from most major diseases and a low infant mortality rate — three per 1,000 live births — which is less than half than the United States’ live birth rate of 6.8 per 1,000.