Top 10 Countries with the Best Health Care in 2017

A country’s health care system is one of the biggest contributing factors to the well being of its people. It impacts a country’s financial situation, not to mention the general health of a country’s people. We know that the USA is one of the most developed and powerful countries in the world. Maybe surprisingly, its health care system simply does not hold up when compared with the countries on this list. This is not completely the United States’ fault. It faces more of a struggle in providing cheap health care to its people because its population is more than double that of any of the ones on this list. It’s also much larger in terms of size than any of the countries on this list.

Still, the United States’ health care wouldn’t have even made the top twenty. Also, its life expectancy doesn’t even crack the top fifty in the world. Despite this, the United States will spend more money per capita on health care than any country in the world in 2017. Surely there is something to be learned from the health care systems on this list.

Perhaps a surprising omission from this list is Canada. Due to Canada’s closeness and likeness to the United States, the countries are often compared. The two countries had similar health care programs in the 1970s, until Canada switched to a nationally funded system. Today, in comparisons, Canada always comes out on top. Canada spends less than the US on health care, and they have higher life expectancy. Canada provides universal health care to all citizens, with the money coming from taxes. Still, while Canada’s health care system beats out the US’, it has a way to go before it could crack this list of the top 10 health care systems in the world.

The Top 10 Countries with the Best Health Care – 2017 Update

10 – Switzerlandswitzerland

 

Switzerland has a high standard of living in many areas, and this includes their health care. Switzerland has universal health care that is compulsory for all citizens and residents of longer than three months. They don’t provide free services, and the amount that they spend as a country on health care is the second most in the world. The only country that spends more  on health care than Switzerland per capita is the United States. All citizens must opt into a private health care plan, so the private companies are responsible for guaranteeing that all citizens are covered. Everyone in Switzerland pays the same premiums for health care, and it isn’t based on employment. Subsidies are available for people who can’t afford their health care premiums.


9 – Japanjapan

Japan’s health care system is essentially the opposite of what is done in Switzerland. This proves that many different types of approaches can be successful in providing high quality health care. In Japan, all citizens must have coverage, and it can be obtained either through the employer or through the national program. Their per-person health care expenditures are a lot lower than most other countries, and they have one of the highest living expectancies in the world. They have very low infant mortality rates, and high illness recovery rates. A wide variety of free services are provided for those who choose Japan’s national healthcare program. These include hospital visits, screening, and exams. Japan is one of the healthiest countries in the world, and their healthcare system is practical and efficient.

8 – Austriaaustria

Austria is an example of a country that has found success in a healthcare system that has income-based pricing for health insurance. All Austrians are entitled to free, basic health care services. Amazingly, they also provide free healthcare services to all visitors to their country and tourists. Austria has a two-tiered system for healthcare, where basically everyone gets free healthcare, but people with more money can choose to purchase premium plans that they pay for. Some people will pay for their service entirely to ensure better services. This two-tier system is effective in giving everyone coverage, and allowing those who want it to purchase superior coverage for themselves.

7 – San Marinosan marino

Some of the countries on this list, like San Marino and Malta, have the advantage of being tiny countries with small populations. This simplifies things for the government when it comes to supplying and providing healthcare for their citizens. This also makes it so they can’t really be compared with big, diverse nations like the United States. Still, it’s interesting to evaluate how these countries in ideal circumstances have chosen to handle their healthcare situations. Like Austria, San Marino has compulsory, free healthcare for all citizens. Also like Austria, residents of San Marino can chose to buy private healthcare packages if they can afford it. The World Health Organization has ranked San Marino as having on of the best healthcare systems in the world.

6 – Englandengland-2

Like the previous two countries on the list, England has healthcare that is free for everyone and paid for with taxes. Healthcare is provided by the National Health Service, but there are private options as well. While basic services are free, people must pay for eye services, ear services, and prescriptions, like in most countries. The National Health Service is in charge of much of England’s healthcare responsibilities, including employing doctors and running hospitals. They rank highly on this list because of inclusiveness, and reasonable pricing of their services. Even though prescriptions aren’t covered, there is a cap on how much a patient can be billed for prescription medication.

5 – Singaporesingapore

It should be unsurprising that Singapore ranks highly on this list. It’s an affluent country that ranks high in human development and has a high GDP. It balances services between the government and private companies. Base-level services are provided by the government, and additional coverage can be purchased from private companies. The government is in charge of regulating the private companies and setting prices.

4 – Maltamalta

Malta has a famed history of good healthcare services. Their first recorded functional hospital was running in the 1300s. Today, they provide free healthcare services for all citizens. Weekly tax payments are made to give those who pay them access to government health services. Their system of providing free healthcare at point of service with optional private coverage is said to be based on England’s system.

3 – Andorraandorra

While Malta’s healthcare system is based on what is done in England, Andorra has found success in modelling their system after the French. Andorra ranks highly in most healthcare evaluations, including the one conducted by the World Health Organization. This is likely owing to the fact that it’s a tiny, rich country with a small population and high GDP. Healthcare is run and coordinated by the government in Andorra. This system obviously suits the needs of the population in Andorra. Only around eight percent of Andorrans don’t have health coverage, a startlingly low number.

2 – Italyitaly

While they have the option to pay for it, hardly any Italians have private health insurance. This is likely because they’re covered so well by the national system. Italy has a healthy population, with one of the highest life expectancies in the world. They also spend less on their healthcare services than almost any other country. Prescriptions are subsidized, and public hospital visits and procedures are completely free for those who participate in the national health coverage services. Beyond the fact that coverage is affordable and efficient, Italy is also known for having very good doctors and hospitals. These factors combine to give Italy one of the highest-ranked healthcare systems in the world.

1 – Francefrance

For years, France has been considered to have the most efficient, functional healthcare system in the world by many, including the World Health Organization. They use a combination of private and public coverage, and nearly everyone in France has health insurance. Most people in France have additional private insurance, and almost all medical bills in France are covered by the government. France has one of the top rankings when it comes to efficiency in spending on medical care, which allows the government to pay around seventy percent of all medical bills. Perhaps the most telling statistic is that France is reported to have the lowest amount of deaths that could have been prevented with basic medical insurance of any country. France spends more on healthcare than any other European country, but they still spend less than the US does.

Looking at this list, one can pick up on quite a few patterns. Almost all of these countries are European. Most of them have small land masses, and most of them have pretty good economies. One must be careful when drawing simple comparisons between these countries and a country like the United States, which has a much bigger population and far bigger landmass. At the same time, a nation’s health should always be one of its top priorities. It is 2017 after all! So it’s important to keep tabs on how other countries are succeeding in health-related issues so that we know what to strive for.




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Tyler Carlson

When I’m not writing I’m probably gaming or quoting cheesy movie quotes to the annoyance of everyone else around me.

47 COMMENTS

      • Again….google healthcare rankings in the world….
        We have the worst in the developed countries according any study you want to look at.
        Learn how to read.

        • Learn how to not be an jerk when you are replying to someones question. Since I have found that when I have READ other rankings they are different.

          • Then I’ll say…learn how to read ‘credible’ sites and not opinionated or biased ones. Many legit sounding sites are simply think tanks from the right…the Kochs and ALEC have lots of them.
            When you do, you won’t find those ‘other’ rankings that are different.

    • Then just google…’healthcare rankings’ or ‘U S healthcare ranking’
      You’ll find the same results from any that you choose.

      • One of the basic rules of journalism is to disclose (when possible, and if not saying that) your source when you give news.
        If I dont see any source I can just think that the journalist just got that out of his mind and that wouldnt be a legitimate ranking.

  1. When this article says ‘England’, what it means is ‘The UK’. The UK (United Kingdom) is formed from four united countries, England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. All of these countries are part of the UK and benefit from the NHS (National Health Service). The people of Scotland, N. Ireland and Wales are very definitely NOT English. We are all British though. 🙂

  2. I would like to know your source.. in who’s opinion, and what are the determining factors. Other listings are very different from what you are showing with Switzerland way down around 20th..

  3. Nothing is FREE, Italians and the French (europeans in general) pay uber high taxes on everything. Just because you don’t open your wallet in the doctor’s office doesn’t mean it’s free. I think people should be able to buy just what they need. If you’re healthy, buy emergency medical care. One checkup per year currently costs me $150. Obamacare would cost me $300 per month with a deductible of $3,000 for a total of $6,600 per year, an increase (tax) of $6,400. Insurance companies were not allowed to compete outside of their state, and in some states there was only one or two insurance companies providing coverage. When you have a monopoly, or one or two other companies, it’s easy to set the prices. They should just repeal obamacare, allow insurance companies to compete across state lines and wait a year or two to see how things adjust. That, and stop giving the IRS live access into our bank accounts.

    • Hello JoJo58, Stop drinking the koolaid! The people of the world pay about the same or even less for a civilized country even though you see them as having “high taxes”. The only thing “high” is the total propaganda that you swallow by the gallon!

      • Sorry, no drinking the koolaid here. I lived in Germany for eight years and you pay very high taxes on everything. My boyfriend lives in Italy and he pays uber high taxes and since he doesn’t want to wait weeks to be seen by a doctor he pays out of pocket for private healthcare, so he pays double. Maybe YOU should stop drinking the koolaid that makes you think you can get everything for free….or my personal favorite was the woman from Oregon who got her obamacare bill in the mail. She wanted free healthcare, but whined that she didn’t think SHE would have to pay for it.

        Freaking typical.

        • Hello JoJo58, Did you have health insurance or healthcare while in Germany? When you add all the taxes paid here the numbers are either the same or slightly less in other countries. We get to eat krap at filet mignon prices here! Also look at the lack of income her due to the destruction of unions. How’s our infrastructure doing now. What were once paved roads are reverting back to cart paths sometime in the future but some roads now are just not worthy of the name anymore. Our bridges are falling down. How about renewable energy. We want to burn up the planet with the fossil fools in charge of fossil fuels plus nuclear which is going to pollute large swaths of land making them unlivable. What is Germany and many other countries doing to fix the world at least attempting to make it livable while the US is the gangsta removing any and all mentions of climate change at the G20. It can only get worse! I think that we have gone way past the point in which humanity has any real chance of survival on this planet in the future! Maybe a couple of billion years from now a wiser species may emerge on this planet or maybe some alien life will come to this empty of life planet and make it their own!

          • Yes, I personally experienced “healthcare” in Germany. I went to the doctor because I was pregnant and suffering INTENSE pain. The doctor from the superior German health system informed me that I wasn’t pregnant (REALLY?) and dismissed me. Two days later I was in an American hospital having a miscarriage and emergency surgery. So much for that filet mignon healthcare they serve in Germany. And yes, I’m VERY familiar with their taxes and all that other BS, and I’m definitely not going to debate you about global warming because it’s changing the subject, and you’ve obviously bought into the BS that al gore is selling. A man that can barely pass EARTH SCIENCE thinks he knows something, and the useful idiots are lapping it up. Now go get you some more koolaid and find a rock to play with.

          • Yet they wouldn’t change it for anything. Figure out why. Want a thousand horror stories from the U S?

          • Actually, Germany has been easing away from the socialist medical program they have and shifting it more like the original US private system.

          • ‘Health insurance is compulsory for the whole population in Germany. Salaried workers and employees below the relatively high income threshold of almost 50,000 Euros per year are automatically enrolled into ..
            Like most other countries, they give people the option of buying private ins.
            There are no facts that show our system it better than in any other country….no matter how hard you try.
            The middle class of Germany has far more money than the middle class here….as does every other developed country’s middle class.

          • Stop arguing with Jo. She knows it all and has the uncanny ability to pull stats and facts right out of her head.
            You’re going to lose this fight, lindsncal. Jo says so.

          • The simple fact is that Americans have been brainwashed by liberals and the media that Germany has FREE healthcare, and they take six week vacations. No, NOT FREE, they pay taxes out the arse for all this “free” stuff.

            I remember when visiting a doctor or the hospital in the US was something that people could afford because the government wasn’t underwriting the insurance companies, and people for the most part lived within their means and put money aside for emergencies. No longer. We live in a society full of infantile adults who refuse to take responsibility for themselves and then cry to their congressman. Don’t think the government has any influence on costs…just look at how high going to college has increased since the government started backing student loans. That was the green light for universities to jack up tuition costs because the government prints more fiat money and US taxpayers get screwed with the bill.

          • You give yourself away with ”Americans have been brainwashed by liberals”
            You show us all where you get your info from.
            ‘In the U S: 34% had no money set aside for an emergency, while 47% said their savings would cover their living expenses for 90 days or less.’
            An estimated 38 million households in the U.S. live hand to mouth, meaning they spend every penny of their paychecks. Surprisingly, two-thirds of them earn a median income of $41,000.
            ‘Medical Bills Are the Biggest Cause of US Bankruptcies’
            ‘Bankruptcies resulting from unpaid medical bills will affect nearly 2 million people this year—making health care the No. 1 cause of such filings’
            Germany and the rest of Europe…bankruptcies from medical bills: 0

        • Indeed taxes are lower in the US. Yippee!
          I have seen many sleeping on the streets and they pay no taxes.
          They are truly blessed whilst the rest of the world is being taxed off the streets and into homes with beds.
          For shame.

  4. Insurance coverage is not Heath care! The USA has the best Heath care providers in the world. I have worked for medical equipment companies and all of the latest and best innovations are created in the USA. You have been led to believe that “insurance” coverage is health care and it is not. When the people of the world want the best medical doctors, they come to the USA. If you want a false sense of security, because you have “insurance coverage” then you can look at Europe, but when the Europeans want the best care, they come to the USA. If people want more affordable care, then they go to Thailand or India.

    • If you guys ever learn to read, you’re going to be really embarrassed.
      You repeat corporate ‘talking points’ you don’t understand

      • What talking points? Read the “Affordable Care Act.” Did it make healthcare affordable? No it did not. It should have been called the “Insurance Requirements Act” because it was a bill that just mandated insurance and minimum requirements. If we want health care to be lowered then we need to remove the insurance companies from the system. Just look at heath-care items that insurance does not cover like Lasik surgery, braces, cosmetic surgery and glasses. All those costs have declined in price over the years, because we have to pay for them out of pocket. We need to use the same strategy for all other services and watch the costs go down to a point where people can pay out of pocket.

        • “Did it make healthcare affordable?”
          Yes, for millions of people who didn’t have any before. And…costs will never go down to a point where people can pay out of pocket.
          What we need is single payer from Medicare like every other country in the world.
          Republicans refuse.

          • Insurance costs only went down for people with pre-existing conditions. For the majority of young and heathy people, the insurance costs all went up, to help pay for the sick. It like like getting good drivers to pay for people with DWI and speeding tickets. ACA prevent insurers from asking about past history. Imagine what would happen in the auto insurance industry if they could not ask about your driving history. The good drivers would have to pay for the bad drivers, which is exactly how ACA works. The healthy pays for the sick. ACA was an insurance reform act, not a heath-care cost act. If we want real costs to go down, then we need more doctors in the system. We need more real competition for services. Just pushing around who pays the costs and who insures us, does not drive down the costs. Only competition will drive down real costs.

          • You can blame the republican congress for your complaints. They won’t, and didn’t, allow fixing any of it.

          • What are you talking about? ACA was passed by the Democrats, without a single Republican vote. When Obama was first elected, he had a supermajority in Congress in 2008. The Democrats could have passed anything they wanted, without a Republican vote and they did. The Democrats wrote the original ACA bill and they caved to the insurance companies and doctors and gave them what they wanted. Don’t touch the cost side and make the young and health people pay for it.

          • ”When Obama was first elected, he had a supermajority in Congress in 2008.”
            Look it up..he had a filibuster proof congress for 90 days. After that, he could get nothing done.
            Only Congress can make laws or spend money.
            2010. Mitch McConnell:.. Before Obama ever did a thing.
            “We Republicans remain resolute in our commitment to deny the Democrats anything that looks like an accomplishment.”
            And all your spewing about us having the best healthcare and they come here for it..is nonsense. The part you left out is that it’s only the rich that can afford that. Thousands of people here without much money ..got out of the country for their healthcare.
            There are no facts that show our healthcare system is better than any other developed country.
            None.

          • Obama had a supermajority until February 4, 2010. Over a year after he was elected. Obama had plenty of time to do whatever the Democrats wanted. When he lost the supermajority the Senate, they decided to do this “reconciliation” process that only needed 51 votes. ACA is the way it is all because of the Democrats who wrote it. They wrote and approved it along party lines. If it is bad, you have no one else to blame except the Democrats.

          • “Obama had a supermajority until February 4, 2010.”
            Of course you didn’t look up and just keep spewing bumper sticker ‘facts’.
            A supermajority is a filibuster-proof 60 or more Senate seats, allowing one party to pass legislation without votes from the other,
            Don’t forget: the president needed a supermajority because of the Republicans’ unprecedented use of the filibuster as an obstruction tactic — they’ve used it more than 400 times.
            But here’s the deal — the real deal — there actually wasn’t a two year supermajority.
            This timeline shows the facts.

            President Obama was sworn in on January 20, 2009 with just 58 Senators to support his agenda.
            He should have had 59, but Republicans contested Al Franken’s election in Minnesota and he didn’t get seated for seven months.
            The President’s cause was helped in April when Pennsylvania’s Republican Senator Arlen Specter switched parties.
            That gave the President 59 votes — still a vote shy of the super majority.
            But one month later, Democratic Senator Byrd of West Virginia was hospitalized and was basically out of commission.
            So while the President’s number on paper was 59 Senators — he was really working with just 58 Senators.
            Then in July, Minnesota Senator Al Franken was finally sworn in, giving President Obama the magic 60 — but only in theory, because Senator Byrd was still out.
            In August, Senator Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts died and the number went back down to 59 again until Paul Kirk temporarily filled Kennedy’s seat in September.

            Any pretense of a supermajority ended on February 4, 2010 when Republican Scott Brown was sworn into the seat Senator Kennedy once held.
            Do you see a two-year supermajority?

          • I lived thru that time and followed the Congress intently. Obama had the supermajority until Ted Kennedy lost his seat to Scott Brown. We may have had some nuances, but it does not change these facts. Congress only passed ACA with 60 Democrat votes in the Senate. The house refused to pass the Senate version. Ted Kennedy died and GOP Scott Brown was elected. The House decided to pass the Senate version, if they “promised” to change it using this reconciliation process, only needing 51 votes. That is why Obamacare is really the ACA and Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010. ACA was passed with 60 Senator votes and Reconciliation Act was passed with 51 votes. Look that up, if you can find it in the bias media. How can you say its the GOP fault, when ACA only had Democrats writing it and approving it.

          • A supermajority is a majority in the house, senate and the presidency. A veto proof congress is a 60 member majority. I can’t wait until liberals learn basic civics.

          • As usual, you destroy yourself with your own posts…and don’t have a clue how you do.
            keep it up.

    • And yet all this wonderful Best of Everything is not available to the majority of Americans.
      That is the real talking point here.
      America may be the best and greatest when it comes to people dying on the street, by any measure, and definitely even by the same argument of ‘best Health care providers in the world’. That must make those dying on the streets, alleyways and in their home beds, very grateful.

  5. The authority in this issue is the WHO, and they have ranked France, Italy and san Marino as the top three in that order. France is amazing I had a broken leg while visiting there, I have been told Spain has an amazing Healthcare system as well.

  6. Lots of excuses for the lack of health care provided in the USA for its people. Population and land mass excuses, yet supposedly the wealthiest nation on earth and still cannot provide universal health care. Australia, Canada and Russia have large land masses, and yet they provided quality health care to their people.

    • Australia’s health program is not even close to that of the USA. If you have a health issue there that cost $100,000 their “state run program” pays 70%, the supplemental insurance “you must buy” covers another 50 to 60% leaving you with about $10,000 to pay.

      In the USA that same patient would pay less than $500 if on Medicare and $0 if on Medicaid. May want to check your numbers before commenting on countries like Australia,

      Canada, UK.
      Also, if you are over 65 in those countries good luck getting your eyes taken care of in less than 12 months, or your by-pass, or your transplant, or your (you get the picture)……

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