Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Best Evidence of Past and Present Lives Colliding

This little item popped up on my Google home page this afternoon and as a career health policy wonk, I could not resist posting it. We've not had any encounters with the French health care system to date (except for the orthodontist and I'll save that for another day).

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - France, Japan and Australia rated best and the United States worst in new rankings focusing on preventable deaths due to treatable conditions in 19 leading industrialized nations, researchers said on Tuesday.

If the U.S. health care system performed as well as those of those top three countries, there would be 101,000 fewer deaths in the United States per year, according to researchers writing in the journal Health Affairs.

Researchers Ellen Nolte and Martin McKee of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine tracked deaths that they deemed could have been prevented by access to timely and effective health care, and ranked nations on how they did.They called such deaths an important way to gauge the performance of a country's health care system.

The research was backed by the Commonwealth Fund, a private New York-based health policy foundation.

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