Oh, Canada! You’re healthier too!

US vs CanadaFirst is was the Brits, now its those people with the funny accents up in the Great White North that are healthier than we Americans.

The way things are going, I’ve put money on the table that Cuba will be the next comparison and they will also be healthier that we are (would that be three strikes against the U.S. health care system?)

Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA) physicians, who teach at Harvard Medical School (HMS), authored a study in the July, 2006 issue of the American Journal of Public Health. Their news release states, “The study finds that U.S. residents are less healthy than Canadians, and despite spending nearly twice as much per capita for health care, U.S. residents have more problems getting care and experience more unmet health needs.”

The authors found that U.S. residents were less healthy than Canadians.Canadians had better access to most types of medical care (with the single exception of pap smears). Race and income disparities, although present in both countries, were larger in the U.S. Non-whites were more likely than whites to have an unmet health need in the U.S.

In the U.S., cost was the largest barrier to care. More than seven times as many U.S. residents reported going without needed care due to cost as Canadians (7.0% of U.S. respondents vs. 0.8% of Canadians). Uninsured U.S. residents were particularly vulnerable; 30.4% reported having an unmet health need due to cost.

A copy of the study is available at: http://www.pnhp.org/canadastudy/

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