Health care in the United States is mainly provided in the private sector (both for profit and for non-profit) and to a lesser degree by public funding for the poor, elderly, disabled, children and veterans. The United States does not have a universal health care system.
In the United States expenditure on health care in actual dollars and as a proportion of gross domestic product (GDP) and on a per-capita basis is greater, than in any other nation in the world. The World Health Organisation reports that in 2005 the US total expenditure on health as 15 % of GDP and that the total expenditure on health per capita was $US6350. http://www.who.int/countries/usa/en/ (accessed on 22.04.2009).
In 2006, around 84% of US citizens had some form of health insurance and about 16% of the population, or 47 million Americans were without health insurance coverage. http://www.census.gov/prod/2007pubs/p60-233.pdf (accessed on 22.04.2009).
The number of acute care hospital beds in the United States in 2000 was 2.9 per 1 000 population. Bed numbers have declined and this coincides with a reduction in average length of stays in hospitals and an increase in day-surgery patients.
The United States has among the lowest average lengths of stay for most procedures. http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/20/48/16502658.pdf (accessed on 22.04.2009).
Validated October 2008