(UNEDITED)In response to Mr Cisney's letter concerning the quality of healthcare in America vs. the cost, one of the comparisons he used was the infant mortality rate in America versus that in other developed countries. The infant mortality rate in the USA is 6.3 deaths per 1000 live births while the lowest reported is approximately 2.3 deaths per live births. In the United States, however, we count any infant exhibiting any sign of life as alive, no matter the month of gestation or the size of the fetus. In other European countries, they define the month of gestation and the size of the fetus before they count it as a live birth. For example, in France, Czech Republic, Ireland, Netherlands and Poland, the fetus must be at least 22 weeks and/or weigh 500 grams, if not, it is not a live birth and not counted as a part of the infant mortality rate. Another challenge to comparability is the practice of counting frail or premature infants who die before the normal due date as miscarriages or those who die during or immediately after childbirth as stillborn. Therefore, the quality of a country's documentation of prenatal mortality can matter greatly to the accuracy of its infant mortality statistics. This point is reinforced by the high ratios of reported stillbirths to infant deaths in Hong Kong and Japan in the first 24 hours after birth, a pattern that is consistent with the high recorded sex ratios at birth in those countries and suggests that many female infants who die in the first 24 hours are misreported as stillbirths rather than infant deaths.
So, not all statistical information is formulated in the same manner and to say that the quality of our healthcare lags that of other developed countries is misleading and requires a more detailed analysis to ensure we are comparing apples to apples.