Prof Sir Brian, who adjusted the data to take account of differences in the countries’ health services, did not initially release his figures because he was so shocked by them he at first assumed there must be a flaw in his methodology.There was, however, “no means of denying the results,” he said.“I expected us to do well and was very surprised when we didn’t,” the Imperial College London medic told Channel 4 News.“If you go to the States, doctors can talk about problems, nurses can raise problems and listen to patient complaints.“We have a system whereby for written hospital complaints only one in 375 is actually formally investigated. That is absolutely appalling.”
One piece of received wisdom in health care reporting is that the US pays more for health care than most any other country but patients receive poorer quality of care in return. While it’s indisputable that our system needs serious reform, this new data reminds us that in many ways Americans do receive comparatively good care. Our health care is indeed far too expensive, but it doesn’t help when partisans on both sides exaggerate the system’s flaws to make their proposed policies go down easier.Every health system out there as its own flaws and trade-offs, and, at least according to this data, American hospitals are a better place to get treatment than British ones.