More MS news articles for January 2001

Russia Leads Nations in Dissatisfaction With Their Healthcare Systems

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) Jan 17 - While close to 50% of Russians believes that their country needs to "completely rebuild" its healthcare system, only 13% of Dutch feels that the system in The Netherlands requires a complete overhaul.

Rather than speaking to a degree of satisfaction or dissatisfaction with their national governments, these respondents are part of a Harris Interactive survey gauging public attitudes toward the healthcare systems in 10 countries.

The Internet-based market research firm released this week the results of data from surveys that were conducted in 1998 and 2000 by Harris Interactive and its affiliates throughout the world.

The results have been published in Harris Interactive Healthcare News, Issue 2, now posted on the company's Web site.

The firm's recent surveys of cross-sections of adults in six countries, combined with its 1998 four-nation research for Harvard University's School of Public Health and the Commonwealth Fund, indicate that majorities in the US, Italy, Japan, UK, New Zealand and Canada feel "there are some good things in our healthcare system but fundamental changes are needed."

Harris Interactive found that the Dutch top the list of 10 surveyed countries as being generally satisfied with their national healthcare system.

Thirty-three percent of the Dutch said that their system "works pretty well," while only 6% of Russians said the same.

The UK came in second in the "generally satisfied" category, with 25% of the country's respondents indicating an overall approval. Trailing the UK are Canada, Australia, Argentina and the US, where a respective 20%, 19%, 16% and 14% of respondents said that they are "generally satisfied" with their national healthcare systems.

Two years ago, Americans said that they were happier with the system than they are today, with 17% indicating general satisfaction.

Russians' low level of liking for their national healthcare system was exceeded only slightly by that of respondents in Japan, Italy, New Zealand and Russia, where a respective 12%, 10%, 9% and 6% were generally satisfied with their countries' systems.

The editors of Harris' Healthcare News had anticipated an even bleaker showing of approval by Russians than the one resulting from the two surveys.

Humphrey Taylor, chairman of the Harris Poll, and Robert Leitman, group president of Healthcare, Education & Public Policy, wrote that "the poor showing of the Russian system will come as no surprise; indeed, the surprise may be that only 45% think the system needs to be completely rebuilt."

After Russians, the most critical respondents were New Zealanders, Australians, Argentineans and Americans, with a respective 32%, 30%, 30% and 29% saying that they desired a complete restructuring of their nationwide healthcare systems.