From Prescriptions' health care abroad series:
[In] a study ... published last year by Ellen Nolte and Martin McKee in the journal Health Affairs. They examined avoidable mortality — that is, deaths whose risk of occurrence would be far lower if the population had access to appropriate health care interventions. In that study, based on data for the year 2000, France was also ranked No. 1, with the lowest rate of avoidable deaths. The United States was last, in 19th place, with the highest rate of avoidable deaths. That’s a severe indictment of our health care system in my judgment and calls attention, quite justifiably, to the high performance of the French health care system.