One of the private foundations that encourages improving health care in America has published their latest report regarding International Health Policy. The latest report authored by David A. Squires with a title “Explaining High Health Care Spending in the United States: An International Comparison of Supply, Utilization, Prices, and Quality” was published on May 3, 2012. Among 13 advanced countries that include America, Australia, Britain, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, and Switzerland, America spent $7,960 per person in 2009 on health care services. The second highest cost country is Norway which this European country spent $5,352 per person in 2009 on health care services.
Japan spent the least on health care at only $2,878 per person (using data from 2008). The next lowest cost country is New Zealand which this country in South Pacific spent $2,983 per person in 2009 on health care services.
In term of comparing gross domestic product between the 13 advanced countries in 2009, America’s health care spending accounted 17.4% of GDP. Norway's was at about 9.6% of GDP. Japan's was at about 8.5% of GDP. While for New Zealand, it was about 10.3% of GDP.
Other interesting findings from the report (see page 6 of the report) including prices for 30 most commonly prescription drugs were higher in America than other advanced countries. People in America paid 25% more for drugs than people in Canada and Germany. Also, patients in America paid almost double prices for drugs than people in Australia, Britain, France, the Netherlands and New Zealand. Click here to download a full report (in .pdf format).
(Chart: The Commonwealth Fund)