I write frequently about the high costs of healthcare, in the U.S. and in many other parts of the world. And in general, I believe strongly that most developed countries need to look seriously at how they’re spending healthcare dollars, and make great efforts to promote high value medical care. But in trying to control healthcare costs, we must not forget about the benefits of healthcare spending. Consider this picture, from a study by Warren Stevens and colleagues, showing that countries that spent the most on cancer care have also experienced the greatest decline in cancer mortality:
Our efforts to curb healthcare spending need to account for the value of the care we spend our money on.