Chronically Ill Worse Off in US Than Elsewhere: Study

Health costs, medical errors scare more than in other rich nations
By Ambreen Ali,  Newser User
Posted Nov 13, 2008 10:50 AM CST
Americans who are perpetually sick say they avoid medical attention because of the costs and bad experiences.   (Getty Images)
camera-icon View 1 more image

(Newser) – Chronically ill Americans are more likely to forgo medical care because of high costs or bad experiences than counterparts in a number of other rich nations, a study finds. Researchers interviewed 7,500 adults with conditions like cancer, arthritis, depression, and diabetes, and the Americans led the complaints. Dutch patients had the fewest qualms, Reuters reports.

More than half of US patients said medical costs were prohibitive; just as many complained their time was wasted due to poorly organized care, and a third received the wrong treatment. Americans also paid more out of pocket than European, Canadian and Australian counterparts. “US patients are telling us about inefficient, unsafe and often wasteful care,” a researcher says. (Read more American stories.)