International Healthcare Report Card: Citizen-Patients in 15 Countries Assess Improvement to Healthcare

Overall, access and experiences are assessed as better now than five years ago but there are distinct differences country by country as South Korea, Argentina, Japan and Belgium earn top improvement grades while Spain, Hungary, Italy and France flounder

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

New York — An International Healthcare Report Card on citizen-patient perceptions of improvement to access and patient experience in 15 countries was released today by Ipsos on behalf of Reuters News.

On an aggregate basis for the 15 countries, perceptions of access to healthcare overall, its components and patient experiences, is deemed better now than five years ago but there are distinct differences in terms of the countries and the elements assessed: South Korea, Argentina, Japan and Belgium earn top improvement grades while Spain, Hungary, Italy and France flounder.

A total of 12,001 survey respondents assessed the access that they and members of their household personally have to healthcare services overall — including doctors, specialist physicians such as surgeons, hospitals, tests for diagnosis and drugs to treat various ailments — as a patient in their local community, how much easier is their ability to access those services today compared to five years ago (in 2008). Further, respondents were asked about their patient experience recently compared to five years ago (in 2008) in going to a doctor and then being diagnosed, referred to a specialist or for surgery, or treated for an accident or serious ailment or condition, on the following seven components: better information shared with me, more options given to me for treatment, better quality, better coordinated, better level of care, more sensitive to my needs and speedier.

After completing a GAP Score Analysis of the 15 countries, the Global Score Average was +130 points. What this means is that on an aggregate basis, perceptions of access to healthcare overall, its components and patient experiences, was deemed to be better now than five years ago. However, there were distinct differences in terms of the countries and the elements assessed.

Ipsos used a scorecard based on net findings (removing “no change” and subtracting the positive from the negative findings) and on the gap scores in the statements sections. Each country produced a numeric net “score”. The cumulative scores for each country, across all three questions, represent their overall score on the International Healthcare Report Card that then received a letter grade ranging from A+ to an F. Grades were assigned based on the relative gaps between each of the countries’ net scores and the total range of all scores, creating a method of comparing the countries against each other.

The countries where citizen-patients rated their healthcare system high for improvement over the last five years were: South Korea (net score 635 A+), followed by Argentina (net score 420 A), Japan (net score 291 A-), Belgium (net score 270 A-), Australia (net score to 16 B+), the United States (net score 199 B+), Poland (net score 160 B), Germany (net score 132 B) and Canada (net score 105 B-).

The countries where citizen-patients rated their healthcare system low/lowest for improvement over the last five years were: Great Britain (net score 93 C+), Sweden (net score 9 C-), France (net score -2 D+), Italy (net score -70 D), Hungary (net score -136 D-) and Spain (net score -372 F).

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Key Observations

  • On overall access of healthcare compared with five years ago, the winners are similar to the Report Card ratings: South Korea (+53), Argentina (+35), Belgium (+20) and Australia (+17) lead, while Germany (+15) climbs from middle of the pack on the Report Card score to fifth in the world on overall access.
    • On access: South Korea again leads in total net scores for access to specific services (+250), followed by Argentina (+145), Japan (+98) and Belgium (+87). Spain (-171) and Hungary (-76).
    • On patient experience: South Korea also leads in total net patient experience (+332), followed by Argentina (+241), Japan (+178), Belgium (+163), Poland (+133), and Australia (+132). Spain (-164), Hungary (-37), Italy (-28), Sweden (+8), and France (+47) score lowest in this area.
  • It is evident that those in South Korea view their healthcare system as having improved substantially over the past five years given that they outrank the other 14 countries on every measure
    • On access: diagnostic tests +54, doctors +53, drugs +53, hospitals +49, specialists +41…On patient experience: level of care +58, speed +51, quality +48, info +45, options +44, sensitivity +44, coordination +42
  • On the other end, it is evident that respondents are Spain have seen a stark degradation in their healthcare services as they take last place in every category:
    • On access: drugs -47, specialists -43, tests -39, hospitals -34, doctor -8 … On patient experience: level of care -27, options -27, coordination -25, quality -24, speed -24, sensitivity -23, info -14
  • Poland’s overall score suggests a worsening of access to healthcare (-8), but only hospitals (-5) and specialists (-18) are rated to show degradations and their patient experience (+133) scores are positive.
  • Most countries hold similar rankings across access and services improvements, except…
    • Japan ranks seventh in reported heath care access (+15), but they are third in service access (+98) and patient experience (+178).
    • Germany ranks fifth in overall healthcare access (+15), but fall to tenth on patient experience (+73).

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos Global @dvisor poll conducted between January 4th and January 18th, 2012. The countries reporting herein are Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Poland, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, and the United States. An international sample of 12,001 adults aged 18-64 in the US and Canada, and age 16-64 in all other countries, were interviewed. Approximately 1000+ individuals participated on a country by country basis with the exception of Argentina, Belgium, Hungary, Poland, South Korea, and Sweden, where each have a sample 500+.

Weighting was then employed to balance demographics and ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the adult population according to the most recent country Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. The precision of Ipsos online polls are calculated using a credibility interval. In this case, a poll of 1,000 is accurate to ± 3.5 percentage points and one of 500 is accurate to ± 5.0 percentage points in their respective general populations. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error. For more information on credibility intervals, please visit the Ipsos website at http://ipsos-na.com/dl/pdf/research/public-affairs/IpsosPA_CredibilityIntervals.pdf

For more information on this news release, please contact:

John Wright
Senior Vice President
Ipsos Global Public Affairs
416.324.2002
john.wright@ipsos.com

For all Reuters/Ipsos Polls go to: http://www.ipsos-na.com/news-polls/reuters-polls/

About Ipsos

Ipsos is an independent market research company controlled and managed by research professionals. Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos has grown into a worldwide research group with a strong presence in all key markets. In October 2011 Ipsos completed the acquisition of Synovate. The combination forms the world’s third largest market research company.

With offices in 85 countries, Ipsos delivers insightful expertise across six research specializations: advertising, customer loyalty, marketing, media, public affairs research, and survey management.

Ipsos researchers assess market potential and interpret market trends. They develop and build brands. They help clients build long-term relationships with their customers. They test advertising and study audience responses to various media and they measure public opinion around the globe.

Ipsos has been listed on the Paris Stock Exchange since 1999 and generated global revenues of €1,789 billion (2.300 billion USD) in 2012.

Visit www.ipsos.com to learn more about Ipsos’ offerings and capabilities.

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International Healthcare Report Card: Citizen-Patients in 15 Countries Assess Improvement to Healthcare

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