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World Health Care Rankings

Editor’s note: Be careful who you benchmark.

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TORONTO (Reuters) – Canada outperforms the United States in health outcomes but is well behind global leaders like Japan in overall health of its population, a Canadian report released on Monday showed.

The annual report card by the Conference Board of Canada ranked Canada 10th out of 16 developed countries, with a “B” grade. The United States was the worst performer, placing 16th and earning a “D” grade.

Along with the United States, Denmark and the United Kingdom got “D” grades.

Canada ranked higher than the United States on all of the mortality measures except for mortality due to cancer, a criteria for which both countries earned a “B” grade.

http://www.reuters.com/article/healthNews/idUSTRE58R41620090928

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September 29, 2009 - Posted by | healthcare | ,

1 Comment »

  1. This was a truly bizarre article, as well as a misleading one. I searched for any explanation of the measurement process used to compile the report that is the subject of the article, and found only the statements that:

    “The Conference Board, which has been issuing the report card since 1996, ranked the 16 countries according to 11 criteria, including life expectancy, mortality due to cancer, circulatory diseases, respiratory diseases, metal disorders, as well as infant mortality and self-reported health status.

    * * *

    Canada and the United States both earned “A” grades on self-reported health status, ranking first and second, respectively, among the 16 countries.

    * * *

    The Conference Board said top-performing countries achieved better health outcomes on broad actions such as environmental stewardship and health promotion programs that focus on changes in lifestyle, along with education, early childhood development, and income to improve health outcomes.”

    Apparently, “environmental stewardship” and “income to improve health outcomes” enter into the evaluation somehow, whatever those factors may be and however they may be weighted. Also, the U.S. and Canada are the top two on “self-reported health status”. What does that mean? The reporter presumably cared so little about the piece that the story says that that study considered “metal disorders” as one of the criteria, as opposed to “mental disorders”. Without explanation of the basis of the study, its methods, its criteria and its statistical weighting approaches the conclusions lack meaning. Reuters was once a decent source for news. It has reported a study without once addressing its meaning.

    Comment by Douglas Foss | September 30, 2009 | Reply


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