Smart Takes

New infographic shows impotence of U.S. healthcare system

Posting in Design

A new infographic by National Geographic shows that the U.S. invests twice as much as other developed nations per capita for healthcare, yet has a lower life expectancy.

Americans love deals where they get the most bang for their buck. So why does the U.S. health care system cost so much and offer so little?

A new infographic by National Geographic shows just how much money per person the U.S. government invests in the system...and how little it gets for that investment.

Just how bad is the health care system in the United States? Canada invests a bit more than half as much as the U.S. per capita, and gets more average life expectancy for its investment.

The problem? Overall cost, access to services and a lack of accountability for those results.

(Click the chart to the right to see the entire infographic. Each nation is shown with its per capita investment compared to its average life expectancy.)

While the U.S. is the most pronounced example of a downward slope, you'll notice other nations have similar problems: Switzerland, Luxembourg and Denmark are all getting less bang for their buck, while Mexico, Portugal and New Zealand reap more than the rest.

There's another interesting aspect to the infographic, too: the thickness of the line denotes how frequent a citizen vists the doctor. Surprisingly, the average American barely visits the doctor, while the average Japanese or Czech visits often -- hinting that preventative monitoring might be better than throwing a lot of money at pharmaceuticals.

See the entire infographic at NatGeo.

[via FastCompany]

Share this

Andrew Nusca

Editor Emeritus

Andrew Nusca is editor of SmartPlanet and an associate editor for ZDNet. Previously, he worked at Money, Men's Vogue and Popular Mechanics magazines. He holds degrees from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and New York University. He is based in New York but resides in Philadelphia. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure