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Thread: Infant mortality

  1. #1
    MotherBear's Avatar
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    Default Infant mortality

    NZ shows poorly on infant mortality
    1.00pm Thursday September 21, 2006

    New Zealand has the second worst infant mortality rate after the United States, a study of 23 countries has found. A report released on Wednesday found the US has the highest infant mortality of the countries measured, with 7 deaths per 1000 births. New Zealand was the second worst of the group, with 5.6 per 1000. Iceland scored the best with 2.2 per 1000.

    The report from the Commonwealth Fund found the United States spends far more on health care than any other country but gets only mediocre care in return for its investment. The US national average score on 37 separate measures of health care falls far short when compared either to a few centres of excellence within the country, or to other countries.

    "Overall, you will see ... that the United States scores poorly -- an overall score of 66 (out of 100)," Cathy Schoen, senior vice president for research and evaluation at non-profit health-care research foundation, told a news conference. "We have lives at stake both in terms of mortality statistics but also in terms of quality of life."

    The scorecard outlines overuse of expensive services, duplication of efforts, failure to co-ordinate and communicate and uneven quality of care, even within a single hospital. Only a quarter of US doctors have computerised their record-keeping or writing of prescriptions, with the rest relying on expensive, time-consuming and mistake-prone paperwork, compared to 80 per cent in some other countries.

    The non-profit fund, whose goal is to improve health care, measured 37 indicators ranging from newborn mortality to how much a hospital stay costs for someone with colon cancer. Overall, the country scored 66 out of a possible 100 on a scale based on the best possible care available within the United States.

    "We can do much better and we need to do much better," said Dr. James Mongan, president of Partners HealthCare System in Boston, told the news conference, although he noted the country is home to some of the world's highest quality healthcare.

    There is one area where the United States comes in first, compared to other countries. "We are by far and away the leader on costs," Schoen said. Americans spend 16 per cent of gross domestic product on health care -- double the median for all industrialised countries.

    But the United States scores 15th out of 19 developed nations on deaths from causes that are easily prevented if timely medical care is provided, such as heart attacks. France scores the best, with 75 deaths per 100,000, while the United States weighs in with 115 per 100,000. Only Ireland, Britain and Portugal score worse.

    Even adults with private health insurance or Medicare do not get life-saving and money-saving preventive care much of the time, the report found. "Barely half of adults (49 per cent) received preventive and screening tests according to guidelines for their age and sex," the report read. If people do not want a more equitable health care system, they should care about saving money, the Fund experts said.

    "If we closed just those gaps that are described in the Scorecard we could save at least US$50 billion to US$100 billion ($76.78 billion to $153.56 billion) per year in health care spending and prevent 100,000 to 150,000 deaths," the report reads.

    "Moreover, the nation would gain from improved productivity."

    - REUTERS
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  2. #2
    Glenda's Avatar
    Glenda is offline All Knowing Deity
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    Default Re: Infant mortality

    Not particularly to do with infant mortality, but it is over an hour's drive to the nearest hospital from where we live. That is a long time in an ambulance or someone's car. Often, in emergencies, the ambulance calls in a helicopter which lands in the town's domain (parkland). Many times we have seen this since being here.

    (Just a random comment.)
    :)
    Glenda
    In NZ since June 2005
    Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness - Chinese proverb

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