Monday, April 15, 2024

Countries with the Best Health Care – 2024 Update

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. Yes there are all kinds of things that may be making you sick that you would never even think of however this is still a surprising fact for most US citizens to find out. All that said, 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 this year. 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 – 2024 List

10. Japan

Japan has a high standard of healthcare, which partly explains the country’s long life expectancy. For one thing, the statutory health insurance system (SHIS) covers more than 98% of the population. Not only is it available for citizens, but it’s also free for foreigners and expatriates (given that they’ve stayed in the country for more than a year). A type of universal health care, it covers the majority of treatments including dental care, hospice care, and mental health care.

There’s also a separate system for the poor. That is, medical fees are waived for low-income households that are receiving a subsidy from the government. That’s not all, by law, hospitals must also be run as non-profit and managed by physicians.

9. Austria

Austria has a two-tier health care system that provides publicly funded care for all its citizens, as well as those from other EU countries—all they need is an European Health Insurance Card. Individuals also have the option of purchasing private health insurance.

Generally speaking, enrolment in the public health care system is automatic (the cost of public insurance depends on one’s income and is not related to an individual’s risk factors or medical history). Insurance is also guaranteed to pensioners, those receiving unemployment benefits, the disabled, students, and co-insured persons such as dependents and spouses. Those who are insured are given an e-card, which must be presented prior to treatment.

In terms of hospitals, they can either be privately run or state-run. The same goes for medical clinics.

8. Canada

Canada has a publicly funded healthcare system; it’s designed primarily to ensure that every citizen has access to “medically necessary and hospital services.” Guided by the Canada Health Act of 1984, the universal healthcare system provides medical coverage for 70 percent of Canadian’s healthcare needs; the remaining 30 percent, which includes eye care, dental care, and prescription drugs, is paid for via private insurance. Seniors, minors, and those with disabilities are also eligible for extended coverage.

As it is, the majority of Canadians receive their health insurance through their employers or secondary social service programs. The only drawback is that rural areas are not covered sufficiently compared to urban areas.

7. Germany

Germany is one of the most medically advanced countries in the world, partly due to the fact that it’s home to some of the best medical technology universities. Like most European countries, it has a universal system—one that has two main types of health insurance: public health insurance and private insurance. As of 2024 approximately 88 percent of those with health insurance fall into the former category.

Citizens are also offered three health benefits, which are co-financed by employees and employers; this includes accident insurance, long-term care insurance, and health insurance.

According to the Euro Health Consumer Index, Germany had the most consumer-oriented and most restriction-free healthcare system in the EU. In 2017, the country kept a record reserve of over €18 billion, making it one of the healthiest healthcare systems worldwide at the time.

6. The United Kingdom

The United Kingdom has one of the best universal, government-run healthcare systems in the world. It’s important to note, however, that it’s a devolved matter, with Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales, and English each with their own publicly funded system. Still, the performance of the National Health Service (NHS) can be measured across the UK for the purposes of making comparisons.

Not only does the public healthcare system provide primary healthcare and referrals, but hospitals also offer specialist services including those for mental health issues. Emergency air transport is also provided by air, military, and naval aircrafts in specific emergencies. That’s not all, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit, the UK also has the best palliative care in the world.

Despite that, approximately 10% of the population pays for private health insurance—typically for faster access to elective care

5. Singapore

Singapore’s healthcare system is unique in that it’s financed through a mixed system. More specifically, it’s done through a mixture of cost-sharing, national healthcare insurance, compulsory comprehensive savings, and direct government subsidies. Like most countries, there are two main systems: a publicly funded government-run universal system and a private healthcare sector.

In terms of the public health system, it’s run primarily by Medisave, a mandatory accounts system in which all permanent residents and working citizens must set aside a portion of their income, which they can then use to pay their medical bills. There’s also a Central Provident Fund that covers those who do not have sufficient savings for treatments.

4. France

France has a universal health care system that’s primarily financed by the government. According to the World Health Organization, they provide the “best overall health care” in the world. In 2017, they spent over 11 percent of GDP on healthcare, a figure that’s higher than any other country.

As it is, all citizens must pay mandatory health insurance. Generally speaking, the premium is deducted from an individual’s pay automatically. After paying for medical treatment a portion of the fees is reimbursed—usually 70 percent, though it can be as high as 100 percent, depending on the condition. The remaining amount is paid by the patient but can also be reimbursed if they have a complementary health insurance policy.

3. Australia

Australia has the second-highest healthcare system score and comes out at the top for health outcomes, according to the Commonwealth Fund Study. Since 1986, their universal Medicare system has covered the cost of hospital stays and other services such as physiotherapy, for Australian citizens, permanent residents, and some foreign visitors. To be eligible for on-the-spot coverage, patients simply need to present their Medicare card at the time of treatment.

Individuals are also encouraged to purchase private health insurance to cover services that are not covered by Medicare, such as dental care, cosmetic surgery, and vision care. Depending on the location, however, some are covered by territory or state governments.

2. Switzerland

Switzerland has a universal healthcare system that’s regulated by the Swiss Federal Law on Health Insurance. What sets it apart from other countries is that there are no free, state-run services. Rather, universal healthcare is achieved by compulsory private health insurance, though there is some government involvement in some cases.

As it is, health insurance covers the costs associated with most medical treatments, as well as hospitalization. However, there is an annual deductible that the patient must pay as part of the treatment cost. If an individual cannot afford their insurance premium for the basic health plan, the government will provide them with a cash subsidy to help pay for their insurance.

It’s worth mentioning, however, that there’s no charge in case of pregnancy, though one must pay a contribution to hospitalization service and room costs.

1. Denmark

The Danish healthcare system provides equal, universal, and free healthcare services to all of its citizens. This includes primary and preventative care, hospital care, specialist care, children’s dental services, long-term care, and mental health care. In fact, their healthcare system is more efficient than any other developed country in the world.

Senior citizens who are unable to live independently are also offered home care services for free, including personal care and practical care. Not only that but the government also provides home visits and preventative measures for those above the age of 80.

Outpatient prescription drugs, physiotherapy, optometry services, and adult dental care are also partially covered through government subsidies. In total, out-of-pocket payments accounted for 13.7% of total health expenditures in 2016, the majority of which covered corrective lenses, dental care, outpatient drugs, and hearing aids.

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


      • 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 nonsense. The part you left out is that it’s only the rich that can afford that. Thousands of people here without much money out of the country for their healthcare.
            There are no facts that show our healthcare system is better than any other developed country.

          • 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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