WHO Report Exposed

This is from a previous Health Alert:

The World Health Organization (WHO) ranks the US system 37th in the world, even trailing Costa Rica. (Costa Rica? Yes, Costa Rica.) 

On his way to get health care at the Cleveland clinic last year, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Burlusconi probably flew over a half dozen higher ranking countries, not to mention his own (rated number two!) or neighboring France (rated number 1!). What could he possibly have been thinking? Doesn’t he read WHO reports?

Professor Glen Whitman (California State University) has subsequently dissected the report, non sequitur by non sequitur, and concluded:

Those who cite the WHO rankings typically present them as an objective measure of the relative performance of national health care systems.  They are not. The WHO rankings depend crucially on a number of underlying assumptions – some of them logically incoherent, some characterized by substantial uncertainty, and some rooted in ideological beliefs and values that not everyone shares.  Changes in those assumptions can radically alter the rankings.

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