(Bloomberg) — Here’s a bitter pill for Americans to swallow: U.S. residents pay an average of $9,146 a year on health care. This per-capita price tag makes the U.S. health care system the third most expensive country for medical care in the world, according to an analysis by Bloomberg News Data’s Wei Lu.
Health care costs in the United States are surpassed only by costs in Norway ($9,715 per person) and Switzerland ($9,276 per person), the data show. Thailand, Algeria and the Dominican Republic have the lowest health care costs per capita. The 55 countries and regions examined in the study all have populations of at least 5 million, gross domestic product (GDP) per capita of at least $5,000 and life expectancy of at least 70 years.
With Americans paying one of the highest prices worldwide for health care, U.S. patients must be getting some of the best health coverage in the world, right?
Unfortunately, that optimism is unfounded.
What Your Peers Are Reading
Although annual U.S. health care costs are almost $10,000 per capita, American patients are getting less in return. By looking at three weighted metrics — life expectancy, health care costs per capita and costs as a percentage of GDP — Bloomberg was able to assign each of the 55 countries and regions a health care efficiency score.
Holding the No. 1 spot for most efficient health care system is Hong Kong, followed by Singapore and Israel.
The U.S. places 50th out of 55 countries, with only Azerbaijan, Algeria, Serbia, Russia and Brazil less efficient in terms of bang for your buck.