Monday, September 28, 2009

Economics 29/09/2009: Socialism is Bad for Your Health

International health services ratings 2009 Euro Health Consumer Index (EHCI) were published today. These provide comparisons for a number of EU countries, plus Switzerland and Canada. Tables below show Irish performance over 2006-2009 in the rankings and the performance of our closest peers - small European economies.

Summary of overall performance:
Before looking at the tables, here are some facts:
  • All leading healthcare systems (top 4 in the table) have separated provider of services (mixed models of private, publicly-owned but independent, locally-owned & non-profit) from payee (state) for services.
  • Of top 10 performers, 5 have fully separate functions of service providers and payees for service, 3 others have a mixed system. In contrast, Ireland has not even a mixed system, with all primary, emergency and non-elective medical service providers being captured by the state.
  • Ireland is ranked a lowly 14th this year, although it is a marked improvement on the past years performance (see below).
  • Fully nationalized system of healthcare practiced in Canada scores marginally worse than Ireland in patients rights and access to information. Only Latvia, Portugal, Romania and Spain score worse or equally poorly as Canada in this area.
  • Canada scores worse than Ireland in waiting times for treatment. The only other country that scores as poorly as Canada in this area is Latvia.
  • In terms of healthcare system outcomes (designed to gauge basic treatments effectiveness), Canada scores as highly as Ireland, with both countries ranked between the 4th and 8th places.
  • In terms of range and reach of health services provided within the system, Canada (100) scores marginally above Ireland (92), with Canada ranked between 12th and 14th places, while Ireland ranks between 15th and 22nd places.
  • In terms of access and quality of pharmaceuticals within the system, Canada ranks between 26th and 27th. Ireland ranks between 2nd and 8th.
  • Thus, contrary to the noise about 'socialised medicine for Ireland's future' movement within Irish Left, global data shows year after year, that using objective criteria, socialised medicine is bad for your health.
Now more detailed tables compiled by me from previous years' reports:
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