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iNow
Post  Post subject: What's the best medical system in the world, and why?  |  Posted: Tue Aug 09, 2011 3:04 am
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Healthcare. Quality. Coverage. Cost.

Who has the best combination, who uses the best known method, and why do you think that is the best?

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marnixR
Post  Post subject: Re: What's the best medical system in the world, and why?  |  Posted: Tue Aug 09, 2011 6:25 am
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the problem with declaring a health care system "the best" is that most of us only have first-hand experience of no more than a handful of health care systems, and many only of one

the NHS system in the UK, whilst satisfactory in many respects, is often slow to respond to non-urgent treatments, which imo is one of the reasons why cancer survival rates in the UK is lower than in other western european countries

the only exposure i've had to the South African health care system was when my wife gave birth to our children there, and since there were no complications, i can't really claim that this was a severe test of the system

the system in Belgium is very responsive, and imo fairer cost-wise since you get a refund on your initial payment depending on your financial circumstances

i must admit that my (very bitty) exposure to the health care systems of 3 cuntries does not really qualify me to state which of these is best, and whether any of them really qualifies as best practice

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spuriousmonkey
Post  Post subject: Re: What's the best medical system in the world, and why?  |  Posted: Tue Aug 09, 2011 7:15 am
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I also only had exposure to 3 nations.

The USA, the Netherlands, and Finland.


My top three:
1. Finland
2-3 the netherlands + USA.


Health care in Finland is for free, has a low threshold and is supplemented by a private healthcare system, of which the costs are partially refunded by the state.

The netherlands and the USA have rather similar systems at the moment. I would have rated the Dutch system higher a decade or two ago, but not any more.

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iNow
Post  Post subject: Re: What's the best medical system in the world, and why?  |  Posted: Tue Aug 09, 2011 3:00 pm
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I appreciate the early responses, guys, and that's why I ask. Try to remember that some of us have even less experience than you do, perhaps only with one system (like myself).

We often see studies like this: http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2011/ ... CMP=twt_gu

This one reviewed healthcare of several countries with a simple ranking system: a measure of the the number of lives saved relative to expenditures proportional to the GDP. One parameter, called the GDPHE, or GDP Health Expenditure was a measure of how much money the country was sinking into health care per citizen; by dividing this by the mortality rates, they got a measure of the effectiveness of the health care system.

When they did that, and we could see the number of lives saved for the amount of money spent, Ireland and the UK were number 1 and 2, respectively. The US ranked only 17th out of 19 countries in the study.


Quote:
The "surprising" findings show the NHS saving more lives for each pound spent as a proportion of national wealth than any other country apart from Ireland over 25 years. Among the 17 countries considered, the United States healthcare system was among the least efficient and effective.

<...>

Using the latest data from the World Health Organisation, the paper shows that although Labour's tax-and-spend strategy for the NHS saw health spending rise to a record 9.3% of GDP, this was less than Germany with 10.7% or the US with 15%.

Not only was the UK cheaper, says the paper, it saved more lives. The NHS reduced the number of adult deaths a million of the population by 3,951 a year – far better than the nearest comparable European countries. France managed 2,779 lives a year and Germany 2,395.

This means, the paper says, that dramatic NHS improvements have led to a situation where that there are now 162,000 fewer deaths every year compared with 1980.

The paper says the US suffers from a "relatively huge bureaucratic burden needed to monitor the costs, behaviour and risks of customers, as well as the immense legal costs required to control payment".

Looking at elderly patients, the difference was even more stark with the best performers – Ireland, the UK and New Zealand – having health systems that were three times more effective and efficient than the worst – Switzerland, Portugal and the US.



Then, there was this study from the WHO a few years ago, summarized here with a special focus on US healthcare:

http://www.who.int/whr/2000/media_centr ... index.html
Quote:
The U.S. health system spends a higher portion of its gross domestic product than any other country but ranks 37 out of 191 countries according to its performance, the report finds.

<...>

One key recommendation from the report is for countries to extend health insurance to as large a percentage of the population as possible. WHO says that it is better to make "pre-payments" on health care as much as possible, whether in the form of insurance, taxes or social security.

While private health expenses in industrial countries now average only some 25 percent because of universal health coverage (except in the United States, where it is 56%)

<...>

WHO's assessment system was based on five indicators: overall level of population health; health inequalities (or disparities) within the population; overall level of health system responsiveness (a combination of patient satisfaction and how well the system acts); distribution of responsiveness within the population (how well people of varying economic status find that they are served by the health system); and the distribution of the health system's financial burden within the population (who pays the costs).


I figure it would be nice to know what is the best known method out there, even if that's just your opinion. It looks like the UK is toward the top of the list, but I've heard good things about Australia, and even France. What have you heard or experienced? Cheers.

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marnixR
Post  Post subject: Re: What's the best medical system in the world, and why?  |  Posted: Tue Aug 09, 2011 6:35 pm
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unfortunately when it comes to our own health and survival, we're all biased
from that point of view the best health care system is the one that keeps in good health without the need for us to sell our children for medical experiments

obviously from a health care manager's point of view cost is an issue, but for the patient less so, provided it doesn't lead to financial ruin

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iNow
Post  Post subject: Re: What's the best medical system in the world, and why?  |  Posted: Tue Aug 09, 2011 8:49 pm
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marnixR wrote:
obviously from a health care manager's point of view cost is an issue, but for the patient less so, provided it doesn't lead to financial ruin

Yeah, exactly.

Did you know that out of every single person in the United States who declares bankruptcy, over 50% of those bankruptcies are a direct result of medical bills?

You know what else? Out of those 50% of bankruptcy filings due to medical costs, nearly 80% had existing health insurance and still had to file. (source)

I am pretty sure there's a better way than what we do in the US, and we certainly aren't the "best known method." :lol:

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IFTS
Post  Post subject: Re: What's the best medical system in the world, and why?  |  Posted: Wed Aug 10, 2011 2:19 am
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It's tough to evaluate the Canadian health care system, since health is a provincial matter and the funding and standards are radically different between provinces. Some, like Alberta, rely heavily on a two tier system with private enterprise. Others, like Quebec, severely limit private medical care, and includes a public drug coverage system.

Our medical system took a huge hit in the late 90s when the government cut funding like it was going out of style, this resulted in a lot of health care institutions falling apart and huge increases in waiting times. The federal government also shifted mental institutions onto the provincial budgets, which added an extra burden to provincial health budgets.

I've personally never had much trouble with any health care issues in Quebec, but my parents have trouble because of the doctor shortage. My mother is not satisfied with her physician but she can't find another one willing to take her on. We also have severe doctor shortages because of the pay difference between Canada and the US coupled with the ease of doctors getting certified in the US with a Canadian medical degree.


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iNow
Post  Post subject: Re: What's the best medical system in the world, and why?  |  Posted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 12:08 am
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What about Cuba?

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marnixR
Post  Post subject: Re: What's the best medical system in the world, and why?  |  Posted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 7:15 am
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again, i've only been there on holiday, and haven't had any need to use their medical system
as far as latin america goes they seem to be seen as the goal to aspire to

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bunbury
Post  Post subject: Re: What's the best medical system in the world, and why?  |  Posted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 3:01 pm
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Costa Rica is said to have a superb health care system, and is a relatively poor country. Life expectancy is better than the US and the UK. Many Americans choose to retire there for the low cost of living and the affordable high quality health care. Medications are a fraction of the price charged in the US.

I have no first hand knowledge of Costa Rica.


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iNow
Post  Post subject: Re: What's the best medical system in the world, and why?  |  Posted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 4:34 pm
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Interesting. I hadn't heard that about Costa Rica. I looked for them at the link I shared above, but didn't find them.

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IFTS
Post  Post subject: Re: What's the best medical system in the world, and why?  |  Posted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 7:52 pm
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I have an aunt who lives in Costa Rica, and she's never commented much about the health care system. Mostly, I think she just lives there so that she can lounge around her coffee plantation and complain about the local labour.


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Falconer360
Post  Post subject: Re: What's the best medical system in the world, and why?  |  Posted: Mon Aug 15, 2011 9:50 pm
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I watched an episode of 60 minutes awhile ago, about medical tourism. Which is basically when a person travels to another country to use their health care. According to them the two top most ranking ones are Thailand, and India. Here's a link to the article. http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/04/ ... 9998.shtml

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marnixR
Post  Post subject: Re: What's the best medical system in the world, and why?  |  Posted: Tue Aug 16, 2011 6:17 am
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i've also seen a BBC programme showing that, if things go wrong, you don't have a leg to stand on to get redress in the country where you had the treatment

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Lila5
Post  Post subject: Re: What's the best medical system in the world, and why?  |  Posted: Tue Oct 25, 2016 7:01 am

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Indeed, medical tourism includes healthcare, travel and other associated costs. Last month, my friend opted for [LINK REMOVED]South Korean Medical Tourism[/url] for treatment of his spine problems. He was quite happy that got it done in under a quarter cost of what he would have been charged here.


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