Sunday, November 11, 2007

Health Care Redux

US among worst in for infant deaths

The United States ranks near the bottom for infant survival rates among modernized nations. A Save the Children report last year placed the United States ahead of only Latvia, and tied with Hungary, Malta, Poland and Slovakia.

The same report noted the United States had more neonatologists and newborn intensive care beds per person than Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom — but still had a higher rate of infant mortality than any of those nations.

Doctors and analysts blame broad disparities in access to health care among racial and income groups in the United States. More ...

Our average life-span and infant mortality will continue to lag other industrialized nations as long as the urban emergency room remains the primary access to health care for the uninsured and under-insured. From a purely economic standpoint, would it not be cheaper to provide someone with an inexpensive prescription for antibiotics than to wait for that illness to progress to the point where tens of thousands of dollars of critical care are required? Any analogy that seeks to buttress the belief that increased health care spending doesn’t translate into better overall health is flawed in that it fails to realize that, while the US spends more per capita on health care, most of that spending occurs within the last days of life in an attempt to forestall death.


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