The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, (OECD) has published “Health at a Glance 2011,” a look at health care in OECD member nations, most of which are the richest in the world.  The US lead all nations by spending 17.4% of its GDP on health care, compared to a 9.6% average for the others.

Total health expenditure (2009):  USA - 17.4%; OECD average - 9.6%; The Netherlands - 12% (the second highest); France - 11.8%; Germany - 11.6%; UK - 9.6%%.  The UK provides free universal healthcare.
The US is near the bottom in hospital beds per 1,000 population.  Japan leads, followed by the Russian Federation and Korea lead with 13.7, 9.7 and 8.3 respectively.  The US ranks 26th out of 35 nations with 3.1 beds per 1,000 people.

The report is a gold mine of data and extremely important to review as countries around the world, including the US, struggle with their finances.

The US is a leader in cancer diagnosis and treatment, but is not in the field of diabetes for instance.  The US has the second highest diabetes rank in the survey, behind only Mexico.

The US also easily led the pack in administrative costs.  In fact, it was the study’s conclusion that that is one of the reasons why US healthcare is so expensive.

It is important to note that US roads are a dangerous place.  The three countries with the lowest traffic accident mortality rates are Iceland, the Netherlands and the UK.  The three most dangerous are the Russian Federation, Mexico and the US.

The report concludes, "Hence overall the picture about whether the US spends more than other countries because its system does more than other countries is mixed. It does more of some activities, but less of others. Overall, it seems that high prices are probably a more important cause of high spending than high provision of services."