Navigation Links
World Health Report Rankings Driven by Ideology, Skewed Data

New Cato Institute study questions methodology behind WHO rankings

WASHINGTON, Feb. 26 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The two remaining Democratic presidential candidates take the stage tonight in what could be the final debate before the nominee is decided, and health care is all but certain to be a topic of discussion. But as the two senators trade dire statistics about the uninsured, and spin grim tales of people (invariably swing state residents) encountered on the campaign trail being "forced to choose between food and medicine," a new study released today by the Cato Institute questions the accuracy of at least one source of those gloomy statistics - the World Health Report 2000.

First published in 1995, the WHO report presents the performance rankings of the health care systems of 191 nations. The findings of the report are frequently cited in debates about health care, particularly by those whose goal is to reform the U.S. health system to resemble more closely those of other countries. In "SiCKO," his 2007 lambasting of the U.S. health system, activist filmmaker Michael Moore stated that the U.S. placed only 37th in the WHO report - one of many examples of statistics called into the service of ideology.

"Those who cite the WHO rankings typically present them as an objective measure of the relative performance of the national health care systems," states Whitman. "They are not. The WHO rankings depend crucially on a number of underlying assumptions -- some of them logically incoherent, some characterized by substantial uncertainty, and some rooted in ideological beliefs and values that not everyone shares."

So what of the United States placing 37th - behind Slovenia - in the WHO rankings? WHO rankings result from an index of five health-related statistics: health level, health distribution, responsiveness, responsiveness distribution and financial fairness. Only health level and responsiveness, Whitman writes, are justifiable measures of a health system. The remaining rankings, he argues, fail to take into account differences in health outcomes not explained by spending or literacy, and instead attribute them to health care performance, creating a fertile ground for demagoguery and selective citation.

"The WHO health care ranking system does not escape ideology," concludes Whitman. "On the contrary, it advances ideological assumptions under the guise of objectivity. Those interested in objective measures of health system performance should look elsewhere."

SOURCE Cato Institute
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. WorldHeart Appoints David Pellone Chief Financial Officer
2. National Association of Subrogation Professionals (NASP), the Largest Insurance Subrogation Association in the World - Announced Today that Leslie Wiernik has Joined the Organization as Director of Education
3. Kingfisher Healthcare (KFH) Achieves World Class Quality Platform
4. Data from Patient Subsets of e-HEALING, a Worldwide Registry, Support Use of OrbusNeichs Genous(TM) Bio-Engineered R Stent(TM) as Alternative to Drug- Eluting Stents
5. National Association for Sport and Physical Education Partners with S&S Worldwide to Help Improve Childrens Fitness
6. Hundreds of RNs from Across U.S. and World to Join California Nurses Association/NNOC National Convention
7. Neusoft Becomes First Global Growth Company Partner of World Economic Forum
8. Depression May Be Worlds Most Disabling Disease
9. Concentra Opens On-Site Medical Unit at World Trade Center Site
10. LifeQuest World Corporation Proud Contributor to Dietary Supplement Education Alliance (DSEA)
11. Womens World Banking Welcomes New Network Member From Tunisia
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/30/2015)... , ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... Beard and Brooke Bennett are collaborating with brands across various categories through traditional ... influential figures make up an elite group of Gold Medal Moms who can ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... The National ... 2015-2016 inductee into its VIP Woman of the Year Circle. She is recognized ... networking organization exclusively for professional women, boasting 850,000 members and over 200 operating ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... 30, 2015 , ... During the National Family Caregivers Month, ... two webinars on topics of ‘Medical and Palliative Care Decisions,’ and ‘Self-Care for ... . , With a loved one's diagnosis of mesothelioma, the closest family member ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... MOSI recently added two state-of-the-art augmented reality ... to the Jurassic to their collection of interactive exhibits within the Kids In Charge! ... will allow guests to get closer than ever to a range of animals as ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... across the United States to access life-saving information provided directly from top ... will consist of three individual conferences in three major cities: Houston, San Francisco, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/30/2015)... 2015  Kevin Smith has been appointed Chief ... pioneer in wireless monitoring of vital signs.  As ... , Mr. Smith will be responsible for the ... He will also directly oversee partnering with US ... for SensiumVitals, the first early warning detection device ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... LAKE, N.J. and SAN DIEGO ... and Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ARNA ) today ... has accepted for filing the New Drug Application (NDA) ... the extended release formulation will offer patients a chronic ... ® ) is currently approved as an ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... iCAD, Inc. (Nasdaq: ICAD ) ... solutions for advanced image analysis and workflow tools ... Radiological Society of North American (RSNA) 2015 Annual ... November 29 to December 4, 2015. The company ... automated breast density assessment solution, PowerLook® Advanced Mammography ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: