U.S. Healthcare Rankings Sliced a Different Way

Currently flying over New Mexico and being reminded how large the U.S. is in terms of geography. In reading the Commonwealth Fund report “Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, 2014 Update: How the U.S. Health Care System Compares Internationally” about the United States ranking 11th among developed nations with the United Kingdom coming in first in terms of Healthcare delivery.

While we definitely have our challenges with healthcare costs, I would be curious to see how our cost stacks up per square mile by country. My point being with the exception of Australia, every other country listed ahead of the U.S. fits inside of the average state in terms of size.

It would be way easier to provide healthcare services for Switzerland, which only has 8 million people across 16,000 square miles vs the United States which has 313 million people across 3.8 million square miles.

I would be willing to bet the countries providing universal coverage would struggle to be as efficient dealing such a large population across such vast geographic footprint.

In the Switzerland example, the United States is 237 times larger than Switzerland in terms of geography and services 40 times more people.

Going forward it would be nice to see these comparisons done for the report to put it into perspective how each country stacks up relative to measures like these as well. Or compare the United States to similar size countries in terms of geography like China or Russia.

For now I will stick with our “expensive” healthcare system knowing I can get a my reconstructive knee surgery done by the top medical professionals in the world in a couple of weeks vs waiting 6 months for my universal coverage.
Reference: http://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/fund-reports/2014/jun/mirror-mirror

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