According to Dr. Barbara Starfield, health care professionals in the US are responsible for 225,000 deaths per year from iatrogenic causes, making doctors, nurses and hospitals the 3rd leading cause of death behind cancer and cardiovascular diseases. That doesn't include the number of patients who simply experience complications stemming from poor decisions made by care providers, resulting in more physician visits, more prescriptions, more emergency room visits, more hospitalizations, more long-term visits and even more deaths -- all adding up to an additional $77 billion in unnecessary expense.
The United States came close to ranking dead last out of health indicators measured for 16 countries... and further studies show that the poor rating can't be correlated to bad health habits or lack of technology.
Introducing another 40 to 50 million people into a health care system that's already struggling is a recipe for disaster. You want to redistribute wealth? Find a way to recover that $77 billion and put it to better use.
- Journal of American Medicine, July 26, 2000
- Doctors Are The Third Leading Cause of Death in the US, Causing 225,000 Deaths Every Year
- Medical Errors, the FDA, and Problems with Prescription Drugs