Is the World Health Organization Reliable?

Wednesday's Example of Media Bias   —   Posted on September 15, 2010

This is from Reuters…:

North Korea’s health system would be the envy of many developing countries because of the abundance of medical staff that it has available, the head of the World Health Organization said on Friday.

WHO Director-General Margaret Chan, speaking a day after returning from a … visit to the reclusive country, said malnutrition was a problem in North Korea but she had not seen any obvious signs of it in the capital Pyongyang.

North Korea–which does not allow its citizens to leave the country–has no shortage of doctors and nurses, in contrast to other developing countries where skilled healthcare workers often emigrate, she said.

Reuters also notes–seriously, we are not making this up–that Chan found no signs of obesity among North Koreans. “News reports said earlier this year that North Koreans were starving to death,” the wire service deadpans in response.

Recently a reader sent us a 2007 New York Times editorial purporting to debunk the “delusion” that America has the best health-care system in the world. Among the paper’s evidence: “Seven years ago, the World Health Organization made the first major effort to rank the health systems of 191 nations. France and Italy took the top two spots; the United States was a dismal 37th.” The Times didn’t mention how the [North Koreans] did, but remember Margaret Chan’s stunningly fatuous comments the next time someone cites [the] WHO as an authority.

Read the original post at (Scroll down to the second excerpt “Fooled Again”)