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08 February 2010

Expensive health care is not always the best health care, says OECD’s Health at a Glance

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New internationally comparable indicators on quality of care show progress in treating serious conditions such as cancer. However, despite increasing rates of chronic diseases such as asthma and diabetes, care for these conditions falls short of good practices in too many countries, resulting in deteriorating health and higher medical costs.
The United States and Canada have good cancer care, screening more people than most other countries and saving the lives of a greater number of cancer patients. Japan also has higher survival rates for people with cancer than most countries. The Netherlands, Italy, Switzerland and Germany provide good primary care, reducing costly hospital treatment for chronic conditions such as asthma or diabetes. But no one OECD country provides high quality care in all areas.

“There are opportunities for all countries to improve the performance of their health care system, and making such improvements does not necessarily require higher spending”, OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria said. 


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