U.S. outpacing peer nations in healthcare services cost

AS the US healthcare system is under debate by the candidates for the presidential office, one thing is being agreed upon by everyone: the system’s high cost. A claim was made by Senator Bernie Sanders that compared to other nations of the world, per capita, twice is being spent on healthcare by the US.


A total of $10,586 was spent on healthcare per capita by the US in 2018, as reported by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). This equates to almost double the $5,280 average that is spent by the peer nations. While we cannot fully trust the claim made by Sanders but we can surely see that a serious concern was raised by him.


The healthcare spending accounts for two variables: payment of prices as well as the volume of provided healthcare services and technologies. Healthcare services are utilized much lesser in the US as compared to other nations. For instance, people less often visit physicians and spend lesser days when admitted to a hospital.


The International Federation of Health Plans reported that the US was much high priced in the healthcare services that it provided, as compared to other peer nations. All the services provided were hugely prices such as an orthopedic intervention, a hip replacement for example, or an imaging scan, for example, an MRI, or an outpatient procedure, for example, a colonoscopy, or in case of a cardiac care, for example, an angioplasty, it outpaced all the other nations.


An example has in particular been much popular among news reports is that of the cost of angioplasty. It costs $32,000 in the U.S while in New Zealand, it costs around half of this amount while the cost decreased to about 4 to 5 times in Switzerland and the Netherlands. And Australia costs six times lesser for spending a night in the hospital, as compared to the U.S.