It’s not well-known in the United States because we don’t measure it. Medicaid beneficiaries know all about it. Insurance companies secretly admit it and a survey by the Commonwealth Fund documented it. What is it?
Waiting for healthcare in America. We wait. A lot.
In 2005 the Commonwealth Fund surveyed sick adults in six nations and discovered (as quoted in Business Week last year):
“…[only] 47% of U.S. patients could get a same- or next-day appointment for a medical problem, worse than every other country except Canada.
“Patients now wait about 40 percent longer before receiving care in emergency rooms than they did in 1997. And nearly a quarter of heart-attack patients wait at least 50 minutes before seeing a doctor. Those delays can not only deprive you of needed care but also increase your exposure to the germs that often breed in E.R.s, including antibiotic-resistant bacteria”
Don’t kid yourself, folks. We’ve got the best healthcare system in the world. No reason to change anything.