However it lags behind when it comes to the quality of the service it renders for the welfare of its citizens. In a report published by World Health Organization (WHO) in 2000. the United States was ranked 37th in the world in health care (Neergaard, 2000). This only shows that America's opulence and superpower status does not mean that it has the healthiest populace.
How come that despite the huge budget of Americans, compared to the French and the Japanese, in health care they are still left behind in terms of medical care What are the yardsticks by which we measure the effectiveness of the health care system of a nation
According to the same WHO report that mentioned the poor heath care performance of the United States, the criteria that wherein they base their criteria on the three primary goals that a superb health system should do. The first criteria is the status of health of the people, the second refers to the responsiveness of the health care system to the medical needs to the citizenry, and the last refers to the fairness in financing the costs that the public incurs.
There are many different indicators that present the overall health status and well being of a country's population. Among the most important of them are infant mortality rates and "disability-adjusted life expectancy ('the number of healthy years that can be expected on average in a given population.'). In 1998, the infant mortality of the United States was 7.2 per 1000 live births. This figure makes US 26th among the industrialized nations.
Though, in the same report, the US ranked first in its responsiveness to client/patient health expectations, it does not provide an accurate picture of the real events that take place in the US soil. Though it is true that US health care provides the best service, another unfortunate revelation is the unfortunate fact that US has the most expensive health care system in the world. In 1998, the US spent $4,178 per person on health, more than twice the amount of the median of developed and industrialized countries, which was pegged at $1,783 per person.
On top of this is the unequal access of Americans to health care. Millions of Americans do not have insurance or have limited access to finance health care. The United States is one of the two industrialized countries (the other is South Africa) that do not provide health care for all its citizens (World Health Organization, as cited by The University of Maine, pp.2-5). This leaves millions of Americans incapable of enjoying the quality of medical care service that is touted as the best in the world.
All the above data were published in a WHO report published in 2000. What is alarming is after seven years this issue has not been resolved. In 2005, more than 46 million US residents are still uninsured and desperately need adequate health care. By increasingly shifting health care costs to employees, employers pass their responsibility of providing health coverage to US workers, leaving them struggling to pay higher premiums, deductibles, and co-payments. Because of this, most of them opted to forgo health insurance, risking their lives to be subjected to health hazards without appropriate and timely financial relief (American Federation of Labor - Congress of Industrial Organizations).
Another glaring issue that haunts US health care is the existence of corporate