Access to health care is a basic human right. Everyone deserves to have access to good health care, and many governments prioritize this by providing programs and initiatives for publicly funded and quality medical care. The result of this, usually, are higher life expectancies and generally better quality of life.
Not all countries have equal health care systems. This can be due to a number of factors such as government support, political states, developments in technology, and many more. Nevertheless, it is important for the government to exhaust efforts into ensuring that their health care system is top-notch.
With that, here are the top countries with the best healthcare systems in the world. We will also discuss what makes their systems so good so that other countries can hopefully follow their examples.
The World Health Organization recognizes France as having the best healthcare system in the world. All legal residents of the country are covered as of 2000, and funds used are acquired from sources such as social security, taxes, and employee income.
The country distributes a larger part of their GDP into health care when compared to other countries, although others contribute bigger percentages. Due to this, French residents are usually refunded 70% of health care costs, but the government may shoulder all expenses in some situations.
Most private insurers are non-profit and a large percentage of employers pay a portion of these as part of a compensatory package. Aside from universal health care, it is said that 85% of French people also own private insurance.
Doctors in France do not pay tuition for education, and they also enjoy lower social security taxes. This comes with a caveat, however, as they are bound by fixed charges. Patients, on the other hand, enjoy short wait times, high patient success rates, and lower mortality rates when compared to the rest of the world.
Italy is ranked only behind France by the World Health Organization when it comes to health care. Italy spends around 9.2% of its GDP on health care, and Italians enjoy one of the longest lifespans in the world at 82.3 years of age.
Italy’s current health care originated in 1978 when the National Health Service was created. Also known as Servizio Sanitario Nazionale or SSN, is in charge of the public aspect of the country’s health care. Italy also provides universal health care with funds mostly coming from taxes.
The success of the country’s health care system is largely attributed to their control over family doctors’ activities. Family doctors are required five day work weeks and have caps on how many patients they can take on. This helps maintain the quality of medical attention that these specialists can provide.
While Italian residents are still expected to copay in certain instances, almost all medical services for the poor are free of charge. In these cases, costs are fully subsidized by the government. Emergency medical services accessible through phone number 118, as well as hospitalization and surgeries in public hospitals, are free of charge.
San Marino is a relatively small country found in Europe, yet their health care is considered to be one of the best in the region. The country has both a universal health care system as well as private health care. Employees have automatically deducted their contributions from their salaries, although their dependents are automatically covered.
Unemployed, seniors or those with serious health conditions are also automatically included even if they do not contribute to the fund. They can be accepted in health centres that can provide emergency care, basic health services, and diagnostic tests.
There is only one hospital in the country, though, that can handle more serious cases. Some hospitals in Italy do allow costs to be covered by the country’s healthcare system, though, albeit with certain restrictions.
Due to its low population, San Marino also enjoys a fairly high doctor to patient ratio. They also have their choice of private clinics for their health concerns if they want to skip the long lines of the public health system.
Spain has long been heralded for its exemplary health care system. It is ranked number one in terms of organ transplants. Around 9.4% of its GDP is spent on health care. All residents who contribute to social security and their families are covered as well.
The system also covers for foreigners working in the country for as long as they pay for social security as well. For retirees, an annual amount is provided for their health expenses. However, hospitals and health workers are required to treat everyone in an emergency situation, regardless of whether they are eligible for public health insurance or not.
It is estimated that 15% of Spanish people have private health insurance. This is typically used for dental, eye, and some gynecological medical services which are not included in Spain’s universal health care system. Private insurance also provides residents with more treatment options, and it helps them avoid long waiting times.
Spain is also known for having highly skilled physicians, as well as pharmacies that are open 24 hours a day. The country also has an emergency number 112, which is similar in function as the United States’ 911.
Singapore is the top-ranked country with regard to health care in Asia, and it can certainly compete with the rest of the world as well. Singaporeans currently have the world’s longest life expectancy at 84.8 years. They also are ranked within the top when it comes to other health-related surveys.
Singapore’s healthcare system strong private and public systems. All public hospitals are divided among government-owned corporations, with specialty centres also existing for specialized treatments such as oncology or dentistry.
Singapore has a small doctor to patient ratio, and although only 1.6% of the country’s GDP is allocated to health care, Singaporeans can still enjoy quality health care as 20% of them rely more on private insurance. The country also has multiple insurance schemes which provide different levels of subsidy based on their economic status.