(02 September 2013) – The Bloomberg agency has ranked 48 countries of the world in terms of efficiency (value for money) of their health care system. The results are often surprising.
It is important to note that this data doesn’t necessarily reflect the best health care in the world, Bloomberg explains in its methodology; it is simply a measure of overall quality as a function of cost. Each country was ranked on three criteria: life expectancy (weighted 60%), relative per capita cost of health care (30%); and absolute per capita cost of health care (10%). Countries were scored on each criterion and the scores were weighted and summed to obtain their efficiency scores.
Among EU countries, only three – Spain, Italy and Sweden – are in the top ten. It is remarkable how low America places in health care efficiency: among the 48 countries included in the Bloomberg study, the U.S. ranks 46th, outpacing just Serbia and Brazil. Once that sinks in, try this one on for size: the U.S. ranks worse than China, Algeria, and Iran.
Despite being considered by some as having the freest economy in the world, Hong Kong’s universal health care system (which ranks 1st in the study) involves heavy government participation d relies mostly on public medicine. Public hospitals account for 90% of in-patient procedures, while the numerous private options are mostly used by the wealthy. (With The Huffington Post)