Irish health system is ‘most efficient’ in world
The “surprising” findings show the NHS saving more lives for each pound spent as a proportion of national wealth than any other country apart from Ireland over 25 years. Among the 17 countries considered, the United States healthcare system was among the least efficient and effective. [emphasis added]
Here’s the paper. And below is the abstract:
Comparing the USA, UK and 17 Western countries’ efficiency and effectiveness in reducing mortality
Colin Pritchard1 and Mark S Wallace2
1School of Health & Social Care, Bournemouth University, Bournemouth, UK
2Department of Economics, Latymer School, London, UK
Correspondence to: Colin Pritchard. Email: email@example.com
Objectives To test the hypothesis that the USA healthcare system was superior to the NHS and 17 other Western countries in reducing feasible mortality rates over the period 1979–2005.
Design Economic inputs into healthcare, GDP health expenditure (GDPHE) were compared with clinical outputs, i.e. total ‘adult’ (15–74 years) and ‘older’ (55–74 years) mortality rates based upon three-year average mortality rates for 1979–81 vs. 2003–2005. A cost-effective ratio was calculated by dividing average GDPHE into reduced mortality rates over the period.
Setting Nineteen Western countries’ mortality rates compared between 1979–2005.
Participants Mortality of people by age and gender.
Main outcome measures A cost-effective ratio to measure efficiency and effectiveness of healthcare systems in reducing mortality rates. Chi-square tested any differences between the USA, UK and other Western countries.
Results Input: The USA had the highest current and average GDPHE; the UK was 10th highest but joint 16th overall, still below the Western countries’ average. Output: Every country’s mortality rate fell substantially; but 15 countries reduced their mortality rates significantly more than the US, while UK ‘adult’ and ‘older’ mortality rates fell significantly more than 12 other countries. Cost-effectiveness: The USA GDPHE: mortality rate ratio was 1:205 for ‘adults’ and 1:515 for ‘older’ people, 16 Western countries having bigger ratios than the US; the UK had second greatest ratios at 1:593 and 1:1595, respectively. The UK ratios were >20% larger than 14 other countries.
Conclusions In cost-effective terms, i.e. economic input versus clinical output, the USA healthcare system was one of the least cost-effective in reducing mortality rates whereas the UK was one of the most cost-effective over the period.
© 2011 Royal Society of Medicine Press