ATLANTA (May 14, 2012)- Just when the debate over healthcare is
about heat up again, a new survey finds physician
compensation as a percentage of healthcare
costs in the United States among
the lowest of the major western nations.
The amount compensated to physicians accounted for 8.6 percent
of total healthcare costs in the United States last year. That was
about $216 billion of the $2.5 trillion spent on healthcare.
However, that was among the second lowest of western nations
with modern healthcare systems. Only Sweden spent less on overall
healthcare costs dedicated to physician compensation with 8.5
percent allotted to the costs of paying doctors.
On the high end, Germany's healthcare system allotted 15 percent
of its healthcare costs to paying physicians. In Australia, 11.6
percent of healthcare costs went to compensating doctors.
In France, it was 11 percent of overall healthcare costs. In the
United Kingdom, amount of physician compensation was 9.7 percent of
overall health spending.
"As we continue to debate how to reform health care, many often
blame physicians' salaries for driving up the cost of healthcare,"
said Richard L. Jackson, chairman and CEO of Jackson Healthcare.
"What this illustrates is that the compensation for American
doctors is not what is driving up healthcare costs in our
With the exception of Sweden, data was obtained from the Organisation
for Economic Co-Operation and Development and the
Medical Group Management Association's U.S. salary data. Sweden's
physician salary data was obtained from a Congressional Research
(page 23). All data is 2007, except Sweden, which is from 2004.