I have heard many reasons the media claims the US doesn't measure up compared to other countries in health care quality. There is the study by the
WHO claiming the US ranks 37th in overall quality based on 5 criteria, some of which I find highly questionable. Another one I hear is how much we
spend in healthcare, but I want to start out by discussing infant mortality rates.
IMO, the WHOs study lacks credibilty, would like to discuss that later, so I prefer this list, www.cia.gov...
. I want to focus specifically on countries in the
European union that rank higher than the US in infant mortality per 1000 births, which is almost all of them. Lets narrow it down a bit. According to
the results the US is somewhere near the top 20%, while Austria, Germany, Denmark, Belgium and France are all in the top 10%.
The problem with this is different countries used different measures to constitute a still birth. Some use weight, while others use the length of the
infant or length of pregnancy to determine a stillbirth, while the US maintians the highest standard. Any sign of life, prior to cutting umbillical
cord or removing the placenta.
the statute of limitations for those born alive,
but not meeting the criteria for live birth, we get a clearer picture of what I am talking about.
Styria (Austria) Population-based I Province of Styria Late fetal death from a Crown Foot Length>=35cm. From 01.01.95 limit of >=500g introduced by
law Up to 1 year
Mainz (Germany) Population-based III Mainz District (Rhineland Palatinate) Weight ***8805; 500g Recorded up to 1 week
Saxony-Anhalt (Germany) Population-based III Federal State Saxony-Anhalt Weight >=500 g introduced by law 1.4.94 (before 1.4.94 >=1000 g) Recorded up
to 1 week. Available up to 1 year
Odense (Denmark) Population-based I County of Fünen Gestational age at 28 weeks or more. Up to 7 years for cases seen at paediatric department.
Antwerp (Belgium) Population-based I Province of Antwerp >180 days Recorded up to 1year.
Hainaut (Belgium) Population-based II Provinces of Hainaut (South) & Namur 28 weeks or 180 days Recorded up to 1.
Paris (France) Population-based III Greater Paris 22 weeks after LMP Recorded up to 1 week (hospital discharge)
Strasbourg (France) Population-based III Department of Bas-Rhin Before 1993: 180 days. After 1993: 22 gestational weeks 2 to 5 years
I don't think I have to go into detail the high risk and rate of death when an infant is born premature, so it makes sense they score higher. But
even at this disadvantage how close is the US? France, who is the highest on the list of my examples has ~3 less deaths per 1000 births, with up to a
five year statute of limitation.
To me that speaks volumes for the US pediatric care industry and says just the opposite of what we hear.
I haven't looked up the statute of limitations for Canada, but the WHO www.gfmer.ch...
says an infant must show signs of life after the umbillical cord is
cut and the placenta is removed and Canada has 1 less death per 1000 births on the CIA mortality list.
What do you think?
[edit on 15-8-2009 by mhc_70]
[edit on 15-8-2009 by mhc_70]