US healthcare still lags far behind other developed nations

 作者:池糨拍     |      日期:2017-12-20 04:07:06
Jason Redmond/AFP/Getty Images By Aviva Rutkin The results of the latest check-up on US healthcare are in, and the numbers don’t look good. A survey from the Commonwealth Fund, a foundation in New York City that focuses on health issues, compared health in the US against 10 other countries, including the UK, Australia and Germany. By many measures, the US fell short. “US adults are sicker and have the highest rates of material hardship,” says Robin Osborn, who led the survey. “Despite gains made under the Affordable Care Act, Americans still struggle to afford care and face greater financial barriers to care than adults in the other countries.” Osborn and her colleagues conducted telephone surveys with at least 1000 people from each country in the study from March to June of this year. They found that the health of those in the US still trails behind that of people in developed countries around the world. When asked if they had two or more chronic health conditions, 28 per cent of US participants said they did – more than in any other country. They were also among the most likely to say that their health affected their ability to work full-time or perform daily activities. People in the US also reported more problems affording healthcare than in any other country – 33 per cent said that they had had a “cost-related access problem to medical care” within the past year. They were also more likely to say that they always or usually worried about having enough money for rent or nutritious meals. It’s important to recognise that the US has improved since a few years ago, says Benjamin Sommers at Harvard University. “What’s worth pointing out is that the US has actually made progress on these measures over the past several years with the Affordable Care Act. If there is significant rolling back of the ACA, we’ll see the US lose even more ground compared with other countries,” he says. By insuring millions of Americans, the ACA was able to get many people in the door at their doctors’ office, adds Nadereh Pourat at the University of California Los Angeles. Now, surveys like this one show that the country needs to focus on improving the way it delivers healthcare. “No matter whether ACA is repealed or not, we still need to achieve efficiency. We still need to improve healthcare. It’s still our collective responsibility to address those type of issues.” “The election really has turned things on its head,” says Sommers. “The question is, are we going to protect the gains that we’ve made, or backslide and leave millions more people without coverage?” Meanwhile, the Netherlands came out on top in the survey, which also looked at Canada, France, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland. People in the Netherlands find it far easier than people anywhere else to access healthcare during evenings, weekends and public holidays. People there were also among the least likely to report two or more chronic conditions or having trouble affording medical care. Journal reference: Health Affairs, DOI: 10.1377/hlthaff.2016.1088 Read more: Obamacare has already improved health of low-income Americans; Trump wants to halt healthcare for 20 million poor US citizens More on these topics: