United States Leads All Developed Countries — Even Those With Universal Health Care — In Cancer Survival
According to a study published in The Lancet Oncology medical journal, the United States has the best cancer survival rate in the developed world. The tables below are from an article on the study published in Britain’s Daily Telegraph (h/t Andrew Stuttaford)…
“Survival rate” was defined as “the number of patients who are alive five years after diagnosis”.
The Telegraph article, focused on Britain’s poor showing in the study, contains a couple of notable observations…
For women, England was the fifth worst in a league of 22 countries. Scotland came bottom. Cancer experts blamed late diagnosis and long waiting lists.… Prof Richard Sullivan at Cancer Research UK said: “Cancer is still not being diagnosed early enough in all cases.”But wait – I thought this wasn’t possible in a country with a “universal” health care system. Don’t universal health care proponents promise that universality guarantees that everyone will have their illnesses diagnosed early?
A second article, which looked at 2.7 million patients diagnosed between 1995 and 1999, found that countries that spent the most on health per capita per year had better survival rates.Contrary to what the folk-Marxists out there argue, not every problem can be solved by increasing the resources controlled by government. How money gets spent matters. And big government bureaucracies are simply not the best option for making medical decisions that will have life or death impacts on individual people.
Britain was the exception. Despite spending up to £1,500 on health per person per year, it recorded similar survival rates for Hodgkin’s disease and lung cancer as Poland, which spends a third of that amount.