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US spends the most but doesn’t get the best results, a comparison of health data shows

BMJ 2010; 340 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.c2144 (Published 20 April 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c2144
  1. Janice Hopkins Tanne
  1. 1New York

    A multinational comparison of health systems data has found that the United States spends more on health care than other countries but often doesn’t get the best results; the United Kingdom comes out in the middle on most measures.

    Drs Gerard Anderson and Patricia Marcovich of Johns Hopkins University did the study with funding from the Commonwealth Fund, a non-profit foundation in New York that seeks to improve health care.

    They compared data on healthcare spending and outcomes from nine industrialised countries (the US, Switzerland, Canada, France, the Netherlands, Germany, Australia, the UK, and New Zealand) with the median for the 30 countries in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The study compares data between 1996 and 2006, the latest year for which data are available.

    In 2006, healthcare spending per capita in the US was double that for OECD countries and the UK ($6714 (£4400; €5000), $2880, …

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