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Global Snapshots - United States: vast resources for the rich

BMJ 2003; 326 doi: (Published 01 June 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;326:0306209
  1. Dave Barr, medical student intercalating in international health1
  1. 1Lynda Fenton, medical student intercalating in international health, University College London

Illness is big business in the United States. In 2000, the world's largest economy spent 13% of its gross domestic product on health care.1 It has a workforce of 650 000 doctors.2 The resources are vast, but how are they administered, and do they really meet the health needs of the United States' 280 million people?

The US system is extremely diverse and decentralised, and traditionally, funding and delivery are separately administered.1

There is a mixture of both private and public funding. Nearly two thirds of people have their health care funded through private insurance schemes through their …

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