I agree with your statement that the United States is often referred to as one of the strongest nations in the world and that we should also have one of the strongest healthcare and education systems worldwide. Unfortunately this is not true for the USA. Our government officials could learn from other industrialized nations abroad to enhance the healthcare system in the USA.
The health care system in Sweden is one in which most health care providers work directly for the government. There seems to be low complaints about recalcitrant bureaucrats and runaway health costs that are frequently discussed in the USA. The United States spends more than $8,000 a person per year on health care, well more than twice what Sweden spends. Yet health outcomes are far better in Sweden along virtually every dimension. Its infant mortality rate, for example, was recently less than half that of the United States. And males aged 15 to 60 are almost twice as likely to die in any given year in the United States than in Sweden. Swedish health care system also seems to respond more efficiently in many ways. Managers have exploited economies of scale by consolidating services into fewer but larger hospitals. In large hospitals, CT scanners and other expensive diagnostic and treatment machines are in nearly constant use, versus only a few hours of weekly use in some small ones.
It is also interesting to note that in the United States, under the fee-for-service model, they can bolster their incomes, often substantially, by prescribing additional tests and procedures. Most Swedish doctors, as salaried employees, have no comparable incentive. Another important difference is that, unlike many American health insurance providers, the government groups that manage Swedish health care are nonprofit entities. Because their charge is to provide quality care for all citizens, they don’t face the same incentive to withhold care that for-profit organizations do. The Swedes also provide drugs and other treatments only when evidence establishes their effectiveness. People can spend privately on unproven treatments, but the government refuses to impose their cost on taxpayers (Frank, 2013).