Wednesday

“Inequalities in health status tend to be lower in three of the four countries with a private insurance-based system”

Further data on the relatively low standard of healthcare provided by the NHS compared to the systems in other countries. This is from an OECD report:

They found that Australia, Japan, South Korea, Switzerland and Iceland got the most value for money and that if all countries could follow their example, life expectancy at birth could be raised by more than two years on average across the OECD nations.The report noted that the UK – the seventh most inefficient country for healthcare among the 29 members – had: infant mortality rates among the highest; life expectancy for women among the worst; and one of the highest rates of avoidable deaths with only Portugal and Denmark worse.

and again:

“The UK has fewer acute care beds and high-tech equipment like scanners than other OECD countries. It also has fewer doctors and fewer doctor consultations per capita.”

The Daily Telegraph, which is not very full unfortunately, is here.

Here is a link to the full OECD report.

Here a few snippets:

An encouraging note about healthcare systems based on private insurance:

Inequalities in health status tend to be lower in three of the four countries with a private insurance-based system – Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland – indicating that regulation and equalisation schemes can help mitigating cream-skimming and the effects of other market mechanisms which can raise equity concerns

And here is a rather sad comment about working out which system is best:

Efficiency estimates vary more within country groups sharing similar institutional characteristics than between groups. This suggests that no broad type of health care system performs systematically better than another in improving the population health status in a cost-effective manner.

On page 15 of the report the healthcare systems of the advanced world are divided into six types. The categories are not exactly pithy or easy to remember.

  1. A possible clue to why insurance-based healthcare systems cost so much
  2. How many households have private medical insurance?
  3. How do the highest ranking health systems work?
  4. Reducing the cost of US health insurance
  5. ‘British cancer and heart attack victims are more likely to die than almost anywhere in the advanced world’
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