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America Has A Medical Care System Not A Healthcare System

Fri, 02/24/2012 - 3:54am
Stephen C. Schimpff, MD

As Americans we believe we have the best healthcare system in the world. But think again, it’s really not the truth. We do have superb medical schools, very well trained providers, superb science and technology but the delivery of medical care is just not what it should be. We spend more for healthcare than any other country does on a per capita basis.

And yet when we compare ourselves to other countries, especially developed countries, our outcomes are not better. Our life spans are somewhat shorter than countries such as Japan and our infant mortality is somewhat higher than countries like England and France. We tend to focus on disease and injury but not so much on illness prevention and health promotion. We all recognize that as a society we have some adverse lifestyle behaviors such as overeating a non-nutritious diet, being fairly sedentary, having chronic stress and having 20 percent of us still smoking. It’s quite clear that the best chance we have for increasing our life span and overall improving our health is to adjust our personal behaviors and to do so at an early age.

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