US, Western Europe Adults: Tear Down (at Least Repair) This Healthcare System

June 2, 2008

This article is included in these additional categories:

Europe & Middle East | Pharma & Healthcare

Among Western European and US adults, Americans are the unhappiest with their own country’s healthcare system, with one-third (33%) saying it has so much wrong with it that it needs to be completely rebuilt, according to a new survey.


Among other key findings of the Harris Interactive/France 24/International Herald Tribune survey:

  • Majorities of the public in Spain (61%), Italy (61%), Great Britain (60%), Germany (54%) and the US (50%), as well as a plurality in France (43%) all stated that while there are some good things in their healthcare system, fundamental changes are needed to make it work better.
  • French adults seem to be the most “content” with their healthcare system, as almost two in five (38%) say their healthcare system works pretty well and only minor changes are needed.

Some major reasons for the dissatisfaction of the healthcare systems:

  • Strong majorities in all six countries agree with the idea that the standards of care and treatment in the public healthcare system are declining (between 80% in Germany and 57% in Spain).


  • Even stronger majorities in all six countries agree that costs of care and treatment in the public healthcare system in their country are rising too fast (between 89% in the US and 58% in Spain).


  • Germans seem the most unhappy, as half strongly agree that care is declining (50%) and over three in five strongly agree that costs are rising too fast (63%).

Where there is not a sense of agreement in these six countries is if the healthcare system in their country is meeting their needs and expectations:


  • A majority in adults in France (55%) and just under half of Spaniards (48%) agree that the system is meeting their needs.
  • Adults in Great Britain are more divided: Over two in five (42%) say the system is not meeting their needs, while just under that (38%) say the system is meeting their needs.
  • Strong majorities of adults in Germany (72%), Italy (67%), and the US (62%), however, say their public healthcare systems are not meeting their needs and expectations.

About the data: Study was conducted online by Harris Interactive among a total of 6,735 adults (age 16-64) within France (1,288), Germany (1,106), Great Britain (1,088), Spain (1,120) and the United States (1,046) and adults (aged 18-64) in Italy (1,087) between April 30 and May 12, 2008. Figures for age, sex, education, region and internet usage were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.

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