Sooner or later in just about every debate over national health care reform the issue of waiting times for services comes up. A widely held belief is that in the U. S. we don't have to wait for our care, at least not as long as citizens of other developed nations who have some form of universal health coverage. In light of that notion, I found this report from Ezra Klein enlightening.
America’s waiting times are the worst in the developed world
By Ezra Klein
Any discussion of waiting times must begin with the observation that France, Germany, Switzerland and many other developed nations manage to combine universal access to care with rapid access to care. It’s an unfortunate quirk of international health-care policy that Canada and England, the two countries that do struggle with waiting times, happen to be the two nearby, English-speaking countries in the sample, and so our impressions of government-run health-care systems are disproportionately influenced by their experiences.
That said, it’s important to understand that America also struggles with waiting times. Someone who can’t afford to go to the doctor, or can’t afford to purchase an elective surgery, waits. In some cases, they wait forever. In some cases, they’re killed by the delay. But we don’t count them as having “waited” for care, and so they don’t show up in measures of American waits. But which would you prefer? A three-month delay for an elective surgery? Or no surgery at all?.
To read the entire report click here.