The Durk Pearson & Sandy Shaw®
Life Extension NewsTM
Volume 8 No.
2 • April 2005
Healthcare Systems Compared
One problem with comparing healthcare systems in the U.S. versus other countries by, for example, considering life expectancy or infant mortality rates is that the U.S. population is made up of many disparate ethnic and racial groups that have strikingly different lifespans, while infant mortality rates differ widely depending upon such factors as race, geographic location, income, and education.
A better measure of a country’s healthcare system may be mortality rates for diseases that modern medicine can treat effectively. A comparison of breast cancer mortality ratio (the percentage of those diagnosed with the disease who die of it is shown in parentheses) shows: New Zealand (46%), United Kingdom (46%), France (35%), Germany (31%), Canada (28%), Australia (28%), and the United States (25%). Prostate cancer mortality ratio (the percentage of those diagnosed with the disease who die of it is shown in parentheses) shows: United Kingdom (57%), France (49%), Germany (44%), Australia (35%), New Zealand (30%), Canada (25%), and the United States (19%). As these figures clearly show, patients diagnosed with prostate or breast cancer in the U.S. have a better chance of survival than those in other countries. The figures were obtained from Gerard F. Anderson and Peter S. Hussey, “Multinational Comparisons of Health Systems Data,” Commonwealth Fund, October 2000.
- Goodman JC. Health care in a free society: rebutting the myths of national health insurance. Cato Institute Policy Analysis No. 532, Jan 27, 2005.