A new report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development shows the U.S. spent about 16% of its gross domestic product on healthcare in 2007, much more than the OECD average of 8.9%. Following the U.S. were France, Switzerland and Germany, which, respectively, spent 11%, 10.8%, and 10.4% of their GDP on healthcare services.
The U.S. also ranks far ahead of other countries in per-capita health spending, as the country spent $7,290 per capita in 2007, a figure that is nearly 2½ times the OECD average of $2,984 for that year. Those numbers account for purchasing power parity.
According to the report, the public sector is the main source of health funding in all OECD countries except the U.S. and Mexico; in all other OECD nations, 73% of health spending was funded by public sources in 2007, while 45% of health spending was publicly funded in Mexico and the U.S. that year. All countries need improvement in quality, the report noted, and the U.S. is no exception. For example, avoidable hospital admissions for asthma and diabetes complications are more than two times greater in the U.S. than the OECD average.
The report also cited some areas in which the U.S. outperformed other nations, such as cancer care, with the U.S. achieving higher rates of screening and survival from different types of cancer than most other developed countries.