Doctors and Hospitals in Mexico

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The US Is Ranked 38th in Health Care and 33rd in Life Expectancy

Today, I read an article titled "10 Things Most Americans Don't Know About America," by Mark Manson. The two pieces of information that caught my attention were these:

1.- The US is ranked 38th in health care by the World Health Organization.

Why is it that American spend most per capita on health care, yet they rank below Colombia when it comes to health care?

Part of it is the system. Health care is based on corporations and their interests. It's no secret that a corporation's main interest is profit. When a corporation has another interest that is in conflict with profit, it will always prioritize profit. That's not so bad in other industries, but in the health care industry, profits will take priority over... well, health care.

Other two factors taken into consideration for the ranking explain why the US is ranked so low. One of them is distribution or equality. As I said in an earlier post, the US has a great health care system, and it's the number 3 destination for medical tourism in the world. However, it is unavailable for much of its population because they can't afford it.

The other factor is fair financial contribution. Compared to other industrialized countries, Americans pay much more for the benefits that they get.

2.- The US is ranked 33rd in life expectancy by the Word Health Organization.

The big culprits here are life style and food. Americans, in general, like comfort, and unfortunately that means less exercise. The lack of good public transportation also means that we walk less and drive more. For many, their days consist of sitting all day long in an office and then going home and sitting at the table to eat dinner and then sitting on a couch to watch TV.

Then there's the food many people eat, which is full of fat and oil and salt and sugar. And not only that, but some of it is loaded with chemicals like preservatives and artificial colors.

This is not a recipe for a long life. And when your body fails from lack of exercise, excess of sugar and salt, or gets poisoned by chemicals, the treatments you need may be beyond your financial reach.

The solution to the health care problem in the US doesn't rely on a magic pill, but on a change of culture and attitude, which is much harder to do.


Robert Ervin is a freelancer who writes about healthcare, medical tourism, and living in Mexico.

If you're considering traveling to Mexico for healthcare or retiring in Mexico, you may want to get yourself a copy of The English's Speaker's Guide to Doctors and Hospitals in Mexico, in order to find a good doctor or hospital in the main towns and cities of Mexico, or The English Speaker's Guide to Medical Care in Mexico, to understand how the Mexican healthcare system works. 

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