Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Let's talk about health care

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States may spend twice as much on health care as other rich countries but it is not getting results to match, according to three studies released on Tuesday.

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It finds the United States spent $4,887 per capita on health care in 2001, compared to $2,792 in Canada, $2,513 in Australia and $1,992 in Britain.



"Our results also fail to reveal what the extra spending has bought, although there are many important places to look," the report reads.

It finds the United States has fewer doctors, nurses and hospital beds than many countries that spend less on health care. The United States has 2.7 doctors per 100,000 population, 8.1 nurses per 100,000 and 2.9 beds.

Yet Greece manages 4.4 doctors per 100,000, 3.9 nurses and 4.0 hospital beds.

A third study by Rand Health, part of the Rand Corporation, found that Americans across the country risk poor health care, even if they live close to a top hospital.

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