This Country Has the Best Health Care in the World (Nope, It’s Not the U.S.)

Tue, 17 Jun 2014 15:14:16 PDT

Our cousins across the pond in the U.K. are known for complaining about the National Health Service’s notoriously long wait times for surgery and other medical treatment. But according to the latest report from the nonpartisan health organization the Commonweath Fund, that nation’s publicly funded system is the best in the world. Meanwhile, for those of us living in the colonies, the report ranks health care in the United States in an abysmal last place.

To create its quadrennial rankings of health care systems in 11 of the most prosperous nations in North America, Europe, and Australasia, the fund crunches data on well-being from a slew of international policy and think tanks, including the World Health Organization and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Along with being bested by the U.K., America’s health care system ranked worse than those of Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, and Sweden.

In comparison, our doctors and hospitals are terrible at providing low-cost, efficient, and equitable care, and we have much higher infant mortality and low life expectancy. The biggest obstacle to a healthier society and better health care system? We still don’t have single-payer health insurance.

“Other nations ensure the accessibility of care through universal health systems and through better ties between patients and the physician practices that serve as their medical homes,” the report’s authors wrote.

Hope could be on the horizon. The report primarily used data from 2011, which is well before the advent of Obamacare. The Fund hopes that the implementation of the Affordable Care Act “will further encourage the efficient organization and delivery of health care, as well as investment in important preventive and population health measures.” Given the millions of Americans who signed up for health insurance and now have the ability to go see a doctor, look out, U.K.: We’re coming for the top spot.

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Original article from TakePart