The researchers questioned 7,500 adults in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Netherlands, New Zealand, Britain and the United States. Each had at least one of seven chronic conditions: high blood pressure, heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, cancer, arthritis and depression.
Dutch patients had the fewest complaints, while the Americans had plenty, according to the study by the Commonwealth Fund, a New York-based health policy research group.
Fifty-four percent of Americans surveyed said high costs prevented them at some point from getting recommended medical care, filling prescriptions or seeing a doctor when ill. Seven percent of the Dutch cited cost as a barrier to treatment.
In addition, 41 percent of the U.S. patients said they spent more than $1,000 over the past year on out-of-pocket medical costs. That compared to lows of 4 percent in Britain and 5 percent in France.
A third of U.S. patients said they were given the wrong medication or dosage, experienced a medical error, received incorrect test results or faced delays in hearing about test results, more than any of the other countries.
Almost half of the U.S. patients said their time had been wasted because of poorly organized care or had received care of little or no value during the past two years. These views were lowest in the Netherlands and Britain.
The Commonwealth Fund's Cathy Schoen, who worked on the study, said the United States spends twice as much on health care as the others, with the current economic woes putting more people at risk of losing employer-provided health insurance.
The study, published in the journal Health Affairs, was the latest to show the U.S. health care system is performing worse than those in comparable countries. Unlike many rich nations, the United States does not have universal health care.
Bonnie - isn't this lovely? All the more reason to implement as many preventative therapies/paradigms as possible into your lifestyle.