Health care vs health care systems

When I say the U.S. has an awful health care system, one of the most common rebuttals is to point out all our great technology. Why, anybody in the world would prefer to have a major medical procedure done in an American setting versus just about any other location. That’s true enough. Our technology is fantastic, and even though our educational system leaves much to be desired, we do have many great doctors, both those bred at home as well as those who come from abroad. But that isn’t what I mean when I talk about our health care system. I’m talking about the way we deliver care, the type of care available to the average citizen, and the cost of that care. Our technology may be wonderful, but that doesn’t mean anything if it costs us exorbitant sums to get it to the average person. Take a look at these two charts:

Of the Western nations surveyed, we spend more than anyone else. Yet in terms of efficiency, we’re ranked 17 out of 19. That’s pitiful.

via PZ.