Washington — Spending on healthcare in the United States continued to far outpace other industrialized countries in 2009, according to a new tally by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.
Healthcare spending in the U.S. accounted for 17.4% of the nation’s total economic output, nearly twice the average of 34 OECD countries, the OECD found.
The next biggest health spender – the Netherlands – spent just 12% of its gross domestic product on medical care.
Spending per capita on healthcare, which hit $7,960 in 2009, also far exceeded that of even some of the richest countries in Western Europe. France, Belgium and Britain spent less than half what the U.S. did per person.
Unlike all but two other industrialized countries, American healthcare is mostly privately financed, although public spending on health has been growing steadily.