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U.S. patients have more access to specialists, less to primary care

Kaiser Health News, November 18, 2010

A new international survey finds that U.S. consumers report greater access to specialty health care but also have a tougher time seeing a doctor on the day they need help and in paying their medical bills than consumers in many of other developed nations.

Americans visit doctors and specialists more readily than some other countries, such as Canada and France, according to the survey, which was conducted in 11 countries last spring for the Commonwealth Fund, a Washington-based health policy foundation. Eighty percent of Americans who needed to see a specialist were seen in less than four weeks, trailing the results in only Germany and Switzerland. In Canada, the number was 41 percent.

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