The World Health Organization

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The World Health Organization (WHO) is the United Nations' specialized agency for health, and was established on April 7, 1948. The WHO's objective, is the attainment by all peoples of the highest possible level of health. The WHO defines health in its Constitution as, a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.

The World Health Organization uses several categories to establish standards that show how countries stand up to others around the world. Of three countries, United States, Canada, and India, Canada fared the best. In 2004, the life expectancy of a male in the United States was 75, Canada 78, and India 61. Females' life expectancy in the United States was 80, Canada 83, and India 63. One reason for the disparity in averages could be that Canada's government completely subsidizes their health care system. For each country the total health expenditure as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product was 15.2 for the United States, 9.9 in Canada, and 4.8 in India. In the United States more than 40 million people have no health insurance. The high cost of the United States health care system is considered to be a shortfall, but seems to be tolerated under the assumption that better health results from more expensive care, even with evidence in studies that as many as 20% to 30% of patients receive contraindicated care. In fact an estimated 44,000 to 98,000 of these patients die each year as a result of medical errors. The poor performance of the United States was recently confirmed by the World Health Organization, which used different indicators. Using data on disability-adjusted life expectancy, child survival to age 5 years, experiences with the health care system, disparities across social groups in experiences with the health care system, and equality of family out-of-pocket expenditures for health care (regardless of need for services), this report ranked the United States as 15th...
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