Despite having the most expensive system in the world, the U.S. health system scored lower than 10 other countries: Australia, Canada, Germany, France, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the U.K., which ranked No. 1. The rankings were part of a comparative analysis released Monday by the Commonwealth Fund (PDF).
The U.S. fared better in quality of care, ranking fifth among countries studied and earning high marks for providing effective and patient-centered care. But the U.S. ranked last in access to affordable care—37% of U.S adults reported forgoing care because of the cost. The report also ranked the U.S. as the least efficient among its peer nations, with 40% of adults reporting that they had visited an emergency department for conditions that could have been treated by a primary-care physician.