A Health Affairs survey reveals how well eleven countries are meeting the needs of their population. Adult respondents from Australia, Canada, France, Grmany the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States participated; answering questions about their experience with health care services.
Findings include that 28% of US adults report having at least two chronic conditions, a higher percentage than in any other country. And, Americans report also being more likely to worry about having enough money for nutritious meals (15%) and housing (16%). The United States trailed other countries in making health care affordable and ranked poorly on providing timely access to medical care (except specialist care).
In all countries, shortfalls in patient engagement and chronic care management were reported, and at least one in five adults experienced a care coordination problem. Problems were often particularly acute for low-income adults. Overall, the Netherlands performed at the top of the eleven-country range on most measures of access, engagement, and coordination.
The findings highlight the need for the shift to a population health orientation that addresses contributing factors to poor health, including socioeconomic issues. The authors concluded. “As countries grapple with health disparities, rising health care costs, and additional stresses to their health systems, reallocating funds between health and social services may be a useful strategy.”