U.S. physician compensation lower than other Western nations

May 23, 2012

Doctors in other countries are paid more as a percentage of total healthcare spending than are those in the United States. See where you might be able to strike it rich.

Physician compensation in the United States is lower than in many other major Western nations, according to a new report by Jackson Healthcare.

Payments to doctors accounted for 8.6%-$216 billion out of $2.5 trillion-of the total amount spent on healthcare in the United States last year, compared with 15% in Germany and roughly 11% in Australia and France. Other countries that had higher physician compensation than the United States included Canada and the United Kingdom (UK). Of the eight nations included in the poll, only doctors in Sweden and New Zealand were paid less than those in the United States.

The report contrasts with a similar analysis recently released by the Commonwealth Fund, which claimed that primary care physicians in the United States are paid more for office visits than those in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, and the UK.

“As we continue to debate how to reform healthcare, many often blame physicians’ salaries for driving up the cost of healthcare,” says Richard L. Jackson, chairman and chief executive officer of Jackson Healthcare. “What this illustrates is that compensation for American doctors is not what is driving up healthcare costs in our country.”

The data in Jackson’s report were gleaned from a 2011 Physician Compensation Survey conducted by the company and from data provided by the Overseas Employment Development Board.

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