Table 1. The Costs for Health Care per Capita, as percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), along with Purchasing Power Parity per Capita (PPP)
Source: World Health Organization (WHO). (2013). WHO Department of Health Statistics and Informatics (May 15, 2013). “World Health Statistics 2013”. Geneva: WHO. Data accessible via the following website: http://www.who.int/gho/publications/world_health_statistics/2013/en/
Demographics and Country
This is Part 2 of a three part review of several countries and how their healthcare practices and systems compare and contrast with that of the United States.
Abbreviations in use on this page:
- GDP – Gross Domestic Product
- GNP – Gross National Product
- OECD – Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
- PPP – Purchasing Power Parity per Capita.
- WHO – World Health Organization
Methodology, Initial Findings, and Discussion
A total of 192 countries are reviewed by the World Health Organization for their cost of care, cost of living, and how these two relate. The top 20 of these countries for cost are identified and then the four under review for this work (Malaysia, China, Cuba and the United States) were reviewed.
The listing of 192 countries from WHO had four countries that lacked per capita dollars data and/or percent total health expenditure of gross domestic product. The remaining 188 were compared. For the comparison, data were resorted in descending order for Percent of GDP, in order to define the countries that spend the highest percent of money per capita for health care. This review demonstrated that only one country surpassed the United States (spent 17.6% of GDP) due to the high amounts of money spent per individual per year to become or stay healthy and improve the quality of life–Sierra Leone (spent 20.8% of GDP).
The three countries focused on for this work aside from the United States are China (5.0% of GDP/year), Cuba (10.2%), and Malaysia (not calculated), the latter of which does not have comparable coverage in the book called World Health Systems: Challenges and Perspectives. 2ed, edited by Fried and Gaydos (2012).
The results for these additional countries are as follows, tabulated along with United States Data:
Table 2. PP and GDP calculated for Three of the Four Research Countries for this Study.
Source: World Health Organization (WHO). (2013). WHO Department of Health Statistics and Informatics (May 15, 2013). “World Health Statistics 2013”. Geneva: WHO. Data acessible via the following website: http://www.who.int/gho/publications/world_health_statistics/2013/en/ . An additional value for the U.S. was obtained from OECD Health Division (2013). “OECD Health Data 2013 – Frequently Requested Data”. Paris: OECD.
Figure 1: A scatter plot produced from Table 1 GDP (x) and PPP data (y).
Note: A number of outer ranking or outliers are identified. The four countries that are the focus of this review are highlighted.
These data were evaluated further to produce a prediction modeling equation for this commercial activity. Two lines with identical slopes were produced. One that included the low GDP outliers (lower left corner formula, y-intersect = $2650), and another than focused on the U.S.-Cuba-Malaysia trend (upper left formula equation, y-intersect = $944; comparison of the two, demonstrated p = <.05 for similarity, 94% fit with U.S., Cuba, China, and Malaysia data). The y-intersect value is considered to be the amount needed up front for engaging in any activities involving the health care program.
Figure 2: Scatter plot or all 188 countries, with two lines drawn. Line 1, equation in lower left, takes into account the outliers in the lwoer right quadrant. Focus is on drawing comparisons with the US. A second line was drawn for linear relationships, excluding the lower right outliers, with y-intersect at -$944.
Figure 3: Areas of focus, Top 20, relative to more conservative model selected focused on US-Cuba-Malaysia/China financial relationships. The PPPs are given for each of the countries depicted in yellow.
Figure 4. Combination of the above country data, population statistics, and two prediction model equations derived from these data. Note: Cuba is on the edge of top dollar per patient based on PPP, and beyond the -$2650 prediction modeling line; China and Malaysia are relatively low, <5.0 and very close to either of the prediction modeling lines.
The above findings are summarized as follows:
Table 3: A Comparison of Financial Data for Health Care in the Three Primary Countries Reviewed (WHO, 2013; OECD Health Division, 2013).
World Health Organization (WHO). (2013). WHO Department of Health Statistics and Informatics (May 15, 2013). “World Health Statistics 2013”. Geneva: WHO. Data acessible via the following website: http://www.who.int/gho/publications/world_health_statistics/2013/en/ .
OECD Health Division (2013). “OECD Health Data 2013 – Frequently Requested Data”. Paris: OECD.