Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Which Country Ranks High In Focusing Preventable Deaths?

Which leading countries rank high in focusing preventable deaths? Don’t know, never, just make a wild guess!

United States! This is the first country that flashed on my mind. I bet many of you will have the same answer as mine.

The poll that I placed last week


The correct answer is France, and the next 2 best countries are Japan and Australia. Surprisingly, among the 19 leading industrialized nations, United States was rated worst on focusing on preventable deaths due to treatable conditions.

The researchers from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine reported the findings in the journal Health Affairs on January 8, 2008. In the study, they tracked deaths that could have been preventable if accessing to timely and effective health care were possible and ranked nations on how they did. According to the researchers, such deaths are an important way to gauge the performance of a country’s health care system.

Deaths before the age of 75 from numerous causes, including heart disease, stroke, certain cancers, diabetes, certain bacterial infections and complications of common surgical procedures, were considered when establishing the rankings. The results showed that such deaths accounted for 23 percent of overall deaths in men and 32 per cent of deaths in women. France did best - with 64.8 deaths deemed preventable by timely and effective health care per 100,000 people, in the study period of 2002 and 2003.

Nevertheless, if the US health care system could have been performed as well as those of the top three countries, the deaths in the United States could have been reduced by 101,000 per year.

According to the US government estimates, there is a large number of Americans, about 47 million, who lack any type of health insurance, out of about 300 million populations. Perhaps, this is the main reason for United States to perform poorly in the study.

There is no doubt that the health care in the United States is good if you have access. However, if the people do not have access, then the “picture” could be very different. Don’t you think so?

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