The quality of education and healthcare are the primary cornerstones by which the development of any society can be judged. Back in 2000, the World Health Organization came up with a list of countries with the best healthcare systems. The top countries included were; France, Italy, San Marino, Andorra, Malta, Singapore, Spain, Oman, Austria and Japan.
It has been nearly two decades since this list was published. To look at recent developments, let us look at a study conducted by a project called Best Countries undertaken jointly by U.S. News and The Guardian. The project ranks several countries of the world and the following rankings are of the countries that scored highest in the Healthcare parameter.
The Danish healthcare system is an excellent one and is largely financed by the government. The Danish public pay some of the highest taxes in the world and in lieu enjoy numerous social benefits including “free” healthcare for all citizens. There is a private healthcare system that covers dental care and some other procedures. As of 2016, the Danish healthcare expenditure per capita was pegged at about USD 5,205 which amounts to about approximately 10.4 percent of GDP.
On an average the life expectancy of Swedes is 84 years for women and 81 years for men. This falling mortality rate is attributed to the country’s excellent healthcare services. Health and medical treatment in Sweden is shared by the central government and by the 20 county councils and 290 municipalities. The per capita healthcare expenditure of Sweden in 2016 was pegged at USD 5,488.
The provisions of the Canada Health Act of 1984 clearly state that healthcare in the country is provided through a publicly funded system referred to as Medicare. The per capita healthcare expenditure of the country in 2016 was estimated to be USD 4,753. Excellent and standardized health services are provided for all who enroll in the Medicare program. Mental health, homecare, infertility and cosmetic procedures are, however, not covered.
- United Kingdom
The National Health Service (NHS), the public health services in the United Kingdom provides its citizens comprehensive and universal health care free of cost. Optical and dental treatments are not covered by the NHS, though. The average UK citizen has a life expectancy of about 81 years and the spend per capita on healthcare is estimated at USD 4,192 (as of 2016). The country is home to exceptional medical services and professionals.
The Euro Health Consumer Index notes that the healthcare system in Germany is one of the most consumer-oriented systems in the EU. All workers in Germany contribute about 8 percent of their gross earnings to a non-profit insurance which is also known as a sickness fund. There are about 130 such sickness funds that a person can choose from. Now the employer matches this contribution towards the fund. The funds extend healthcare benefits and cannot refuse membership. Medical services in the country are superlative. The country’s per capita health spends are about USD 5,551.
The average per capita healthcare expenditure in the Netherlands as of 2016 is estimated to be about USD 5,385.In the same year, the Euro Health Consumer Index favored the Danish healthcare system as the best healthcare service in the EU. All Dutch citizens are required to take out a basic healthcare insurance and the government insures its citizens for long-term nursing and institutionalized care. Insurance costs are often split between the workers and employees.
Australia is also among the nations providing excellent healthcare and medical facilities to its citizens and permanent residents. All of them are covered by Medicare, a publicly funded healthcare system. About 2 percent of the individual’s income goes towards taxes that are used to fund this system. About 50 percent Australians also have private insurance to cover procedures that are not taken care of by Healthcare. The average per capita spend as of 2016 is USD 4,708.
The World Health Organization findings reveal that the French medical and health care system is close to being the best in the world. France spent an average of USD 4,600 per capita on healthcare as of 2016. The French healthcare system is universal, meaning it covers every resident of France. What’s more is that it covers treatment both in public and private hospitals, doctors’ costs and all other medical treatment costs.
Austria’s per capita spends towards healthcare in 2016 were pegged at USD 5,227. The country has one of the best health care systems in the continent. All residents of Austria receive high quality medical services and care through the healthcare system but all individuals also have the option of purchasing private health insurance which provides them more comfort and flexibility in case of hospitalization.
- New Zealand
New Zealand spends about USD 3,590per capita on its healthcare services. With the exception of cosmetic surgery and similar procedures, health care is free and available to all citizens, permanent residents, or those who hold a work or student visa. Medical facilities in the country are among the best in the world.