An average day in a U.S. hospital cost $4,287 last year. It was less than $1,000 in New Zealand, France, South Africa and Spain.
That's one of several cost comparisons reported Tuesday in an annual report by the International Federation of Health Plans, an industry trade group. The London organization surveyed its member companies in 12 different countries to gauge the variation in medical prices.
"With the cost and availability of healthcare being an important topic around the world, it's essential that we not only examine the disparities that exist, but also why and how certain gaps do exist," said Tom Sackville, the group's chief executive.
The latest report added new comparisons on common prescription drugs as well as on knee replacement surgery and colonoscopies.
Lipitor, a top-selling drug to fight high cholesterol, goes for $124 on average in the U.S., according to the report. Chile was less than half that at $60, France was $48 and South Africans got it for $11.