The U.S. healthcare system has another measure of how poorly it compares to other countries. An editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine compares polls from developed countries on two measures: “All things considered, doctors in your country can be trusted” and “Satisfaction with the treatment you received when you last visited a doctor.”
American doctors finished 3rd for the second question asking about a personal physician visit, but 24th in the world for the broader question of trust of all doctors: 2 ahead of Bulgaria and 3 ahead of Russia.
Since I know more about the British system than other countries, I’ll point out that it finished 7th in the personal physician question and 4th in the country question. This result comes from a country that clearly and transparently sets limits on the care it provides its citizens.
Maybe I’m completely naïve, but I continue to believe that in the end, transparency and honesty gain trust, even if truths are difficult and the status quo is challenged. We have examples from other developed countries to follow, but the monied interests and our culture that expects perfect health for low co-pays keep us light years away from where we need to be.