Next up in the news is more bad news for the health and wellness of the average American. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is an organization that promotes policies that will improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world. It includes the membership of 34 countries including the United States.

World Industrialized Life Expectancy Report

Health Game Changers

The OECD recently released data on life expectancy of member nations. Back in the 1970’s the U.S. had the highest life expectancy in the world but that is no longer the case. Now the US ranks 26th out of 34 behind the country of Slovenia! Slovenia people! I can’t think of a better way to say how far we’ve fallen with our failed health care system than to see us ranked so low on the list.

I’ve talked in the past on news item about things that cause providers stress, well this causes me stress! Who are the top five leaders on the list of life expectancy in the world? Here they are: Switzerland, Japan, Italy, Spain, and Iceland. Our audience in Australia and New Zealand will be happy to know they are in the top ten, too. But here in the U.S. we are way down on the bottom of the list.

Two Years Makes a Difference

What’s the difference? Well, the U.S. life expectancy in the report is 80.1 years while the top five all get an extra 2 years on average with Switzerland topping the list at 82.8 years of life expectancy. So the next time someone tries to tell you that we have the best, most successful health care system in the world with the best care, tell them to move to Slovenia and check them out.

Now the article this came from does point out that we are living longer than we did in 1970, about 8 years longer but we have not kept up with the life spans of our colleagues in the industrialized world. The OECD released a full 213 page report on the topic of health and wellness in the member countries.

Poor Return on High Healthcare Investment

It shows that the U.S. spends more on health care per person than any other country but is getting way less for the investment. We apparently focus on high tech medical treatments that don’t pay off as much as simpler, more tried and true health interventions focused on elsewhere. So, the next time someone tells you we have it great here in the U.S. maybe we should all move to Slovenia!


Follow-up on the link for this and other news items as well as all of the additional resource links in the show notes for this episode – Blood Transfusions for EMS and Episode 363.



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