10 January 2008

Ezra on healthcare comparisons

Ezra's evidently back from New Hampshire, and reading the new Health Affairs study "Measuring the Health of Nations" — which shows 101,000 excess deaths annually due to "amenable mortality -- 'deaths from certain causes that should not occur in the presence of timely and effective health care'." He notes,
Every other country posted significant progress in reducing amenable mortality. Save for us. In 2002-03, for both males and females aged under 75, America had the highest rate of amenable mortality -- which is to say, preventable deaths -- in the OECD. That means we were behind Canada, behind the United Kingdom (whom we'd beaten in 1998), behind France, behind Ireland. And not by a little -- France's preventable death rate was only 58 percent what ours was. Had we achieved the average gains -- not their rates, but simply the improvements -- posted by the other countries, we would have saved 75,000 lives. Had we achieved the gains of the top performers, we would have saved 101,000 lives.

Repeat that to yourself: 101,000 lives. That's more than the total population of Boulder, Colorado.

1 comment:

Shimmy said...

The U.S. health care system is the best in the world except when your death can be prevented by access
to timely and effective health care.