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Learning from the international health care arena

by Emily DeVoto

This is Emily DeVoto from The Antidote. It’s great to have a chance to work with all the good folks at the World Health Care blog.

My regular readers already know what pushes my buttons: the high cost of health care, especially when it’s not accompanied by high quality; health care that’s not based on good evidence; and health journalism that’s not based on good evidence. One thing that attracted me about the World Health Care blog project was the opportunity to transmit back to the U.S. lessons on how other industrialized countries essentially do more with less: health outcomes are better (e.g., life expectancy and infant mortality), health disparities are lower, and - amazing! - per capita health care costs tend to be lower as well.

Based on my viewing of the posts Lloyd Davis and Hylton Jolliffe submitted from the WHC conference in Barcelona last week, every European country operates differently in terms of centralization of payment and/or care. Single-payer health care, it seems, is actually a broad categorization, and while I’ll admit up front my bias that we need to go in that direction in the U.S., I’m equally convinced that it isn’t going to fix, by a long shot, what’s lacking here in terms of quality and efficiency. It’s an exciting time in terms of progress on health care, now that it’s politically acceptable again to talk about health reform. I hope that the U.S. will take the opportunity to be part of the international dialogue, and I hope that issues such as quality, patient safety, and cost-control will be part of that dialogue as well.

The upcoming conference in Washington, I’m sure, will add considerable fuel to that dialogue. I’m looking forward to interviewing a variety of good leaders and thinkers from across the health care industry. Meanwhile, if you’re an international reader who would like to offer me and this blog’s readers a primer on how health care works in your country, I’d be most grateful.


1 Comment »

  sarahparkin.com » World Health Care blog wrote @ April 3rd, 2007 at 10:59 pm

[…] care bloggers to cover two international conferences of the World Health Congress. My first post is here. Please come by and join in the […]

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