Wow. I’m taking a beating over at HuffPo. Who knew I was such a corporate shill?
Anyway, I was giving a class today on quality in health care systems, and I added a few new slides. I thought they might be of interest to all of you, as well. As always, these are OECD Health Data for all available years since 1993. The US is in bright red.
First up, the number of people who die every year of a myocardial infarction (heart attack) per 100,000 people:
Not so good, huh? With all the talk about how we get the best drugs and technology – plus the way other countries have “wait times” or “rationing”, you’d expect them to have much more death. How about deaths from cerebrovascular illness (strokes):
Well, at least we do better here. Of course, France is still beating us. Socialists. We must be the best at respiratory illnesses like asthma, right?
Um, no. We do really poorly, actually. But cancer? Everyone knows that’s our thing. That’s where we really have the goods. Hmm?
Now remember how poorly the US did on those other metrics of quality? Think of these when someone retorts that in the US we focus on curing disease and preventing death. Not so much.