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Dutch Health System Rated Best, U.S. Worst - Polls

NEW YORK, July 7 (Reuters Life! ) - Americans are the least satisfied with their health care system, while the Dutch system is rated the best, according to new research.

Polls about health care in 10 developed countries by Harris Interactive revealed a range of opinions about what works and what doesn't.

In the United States a third of Americans believe their system needs to be completely overhauled, while a further 50 percent feel that fundamental changes need to be made.

"Given that all countries other than the U.S. have universal health care systems in place, this may invite questions on why the U.S. remains the only wealthy, industrialized country without such a system," Harris president George Terhanian told Reuters.

In the Netherlands, where health care is financed by mandatory health insurance, 42 percent of people think their system works well and needs only minor changes.

And only nine percent of the Dutch think a complete overhaul is necessary, compared to 12 percent in Canada and Spain, 15 percent Britain and France, 17 percent in Germany and New Zealand, 18 percent in Australia and 20 percent in Italy, according to the polls of more than 1,000 people in each country.

The U.S. model, widely criticized on its combination of private insurance and publicly-funded programs, spends more on health care than any other nation worldwide but ranks low on overall quality of care, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Full Story: http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/N07438178.htm