Mental health replaces Covid as the top health concern among Americans
The Ipsos Global Health Service Monitor demonstrated that, relative to other countries, more Americans believe the healthcare industry is plagued by high costs and inequitable treatment
Covid-19 is no longer the chief health concern among Americans amid rising concerns about mental health, according to a 2022 Ipsos survey of 34 countries. The number of Americans who said Covid was one of the biggest health concerns in the US dropped from 68 per cent in 2021 to 43 per cent in 2022. Meanwhile, more Americans rated mental health as one of their top health concerns, rising from 35 per cent in 2021 to 51 per cent over the same time frame.
At the same time, most Americans (66 per cent) are satisfied with the level of healthcare they receive, but say the industry is still plagued by high costs and inequality, making the US an international outlier on those fronts.
Megan Grobert, Director at Ipsos’ patient experience research practice, commented: “As Americans adjust to living with Covid, mental health is becoming a clearer concern for the public. And, even as Americans remain largely satisfied with their healthcare overall, people are paying attention to other issues outside of mental health, like equity and cost.”
The percentage of Americans who listed Covid as a primary health concern dropped to 43 per cent, compared to 66 per cent in 2020 and 68 per cent in 2021. Among the 34 countries surveyed, Covid remains the top health concern, though it also saw a drop to 47 per cent from 70 per cent in 2021 and 72 per cent in 2020.
Even so, the US saw a troubling spike in concern about mental health. About half (51 per cent) rated mental health as a top health concern, compared to 33 per cent in 2020 and 35 per cent in 2021. Globally, 36 per cent rated mental health as a top health concern compared to 31 per cent in 2021.
Democrats were more likely than Republicans to rate both Covid (53 per cent vs. 33 per cent) and mental health (52 per cent vs. 42 per cent) as a top concern. Other major health concerns for Americans were cancer (29 per cent), obesity (23 per cent), drug abuse (22 per cent) and stress (17 per cent).
Majority satisfied with their healthcare, though inequalities remain
The majority of Americans (66 per cent) feel that their access to healthcare is either good (44 per cent) or very good (22 per cent).
In the US, healthcare satisfaction is lowest among households with low income, with only 53 per cent of low-income respondents saying they have ‘good’ or ‘very good’ healthcare, compared to 76 per cent of respondents from medium-income households and 83 per cent of respondents from high-income households.
People in Saudi Arabia (79 per cent), the UAE (77 per cent) Australia (69 per cent) and Belgium (69 per cent) are the most likely to be satisfied with the level of healthcare they receive. Respondents in Poland (14 per cent), Hungary (14 per cent), Romania (21 per cent) and Peru (21 per cent) are least likely to say their access to healthcare was good. The US ranked 8th highest out of all 34 countries.
Only 28 per cent of Americans agree that the healthcare system gives the same level of care to everyone, ranking near the bottom out of the 34 countries polled. Globally, 42 per cent say that everyone receives the same level of care.
Out of the 34 countries surveyed, people in the United Arab Emirates (67 per cent), Saudi Arabia (66 per cent) and Portugal (62 per cent) are most likely to say their healthcare system is equitable, while people in Hungary (15 per cent), Chile (19 per cent) and Romania (22 per cent) are the least likely to feel their healthcare system is equitable.
Americans are slightly less optimistic about the future of their healthcare access compared to the world. Globally, 33 per cent of respondents say they think their healthcare access will improve compared to 21 per cent of Americans.