The US has been revealed to be the single most expensive country in the world for medical costs, with the price of mending a broken bone nearly eight times higher than the cost of the same treatment in the UK. The data comes via a report outlining the healthcare costs of the world’s major countries, and comparing trends between them.
The World’s Most Expensive Healthcare
Injury claim specialists National Accident Helplinecomplied data from the World Health Organisation to discern the world’s biggest spenders on healthcare, and which countries could leave their citizens more out of pocket for accessing it. Using a broken leg as an example injury, the study compared medical costs from 20 countries to rank the countries on the cost of healthcare. Treating a broken leg in the United States costs a significant $35,170 (£25,550), whereas the cost of treatment in the United Kingdom would be £3,363 – among the cheapest in medical costs.
The United States is not alone in astronomical medical fees; Spain is similarly expensive, with a €17,700 (£15,000) for an equivalent broken leg treatment, while the UK is beaten to the cheapest medical costs by the United Arab Emirates – where a broken leg costs just £2,094 to mend.
The above figures represent costs incurred by healthcare professionals in mending a broken leg, but do not reflect the point-of-use cost – that is, the money required from the patient to facilitate treatment. Many of the 20 countries on the WHO list have universal healthcare, but some, such as the US, operate private healthcare insurance systems, which increase the upfront cost of healthcare significantly. The report also includes figures for the upfront medical cost of a broken leg, with the US once again topping the list with a £838 cost to patients.
However, the story does not lie purely in the monetary amount of that upfront cost. The monetary amount is a percentage of the total medical costs, the rest of which are soaked up by government subsidy or private health insurance. Taking this into account, the US also has among the lowest percentage of medical care paid for up front, at 11%. Meanwhile India has citizens paying for nearly 70% of their medical bill up front, on average.
Personal Injury Claims by Country
The report also compiled search data for the term ‘personal injury claim’ in each country, revealing that U.S. had by far the largest number of searches per month; more than 330,000 people a month are reviewing their options when it comes to making a claim. However, the proportion of searches against population paints a different story. The UK reports over 100,000 monthly searches regarding personal injury claims, with a population of just over 62 million people. The US population currently stands at over 329 million, meaning the UK has the largest popularity of personal injury claims per capita.