Even if everyone’s getting more into healthy living, eating organic and exercising frequently, it doesn’t hurt to have contingencies in case of medical emergencies. When it comes to choosing the best place to live, one of the biggest factors to consider is the healthcare that the country offers. If a country is able to offer a mix of excellent public and private medical services and benefits, then it’s worth considering living there.
This list is measured by life expectancy and healthcare cost, totaling an overall efficiency score. Most of these countries are predictably, first world nations, but there are a few surprises on the list.
10. Sweden (62.6 efficiency score)
Aside from the clean, fresh air, Sweden is also one of the countries that offers great healthcare to their people. The system is government-funded, funding 97% of medical costs, while the individual takes care of the remaining 3%. Though dental care isn’t funded by the state health care system, it’s at least partially subsidized, but absolutely free for children aged 0 to 19!
9. Switzerland (63.1 efficiency score)
Apart from being one of the most beautiful countries in the world, Switzerland also has the highest life expectancy rate, as of 2012: 80.5 years for men and 85 years for women. This is undoubtedly due in part to the country’s healthcare system. It’s covered for the most part by the government, but also partially by its citizens through personal health insurance, which all residents and citizens are required to get.
8. South Korea (65.1 efficiency score)
One of the main health concerns that the South Korean government has to tackle is environmental pollution, which leads to an increase in illnesses of the locals. To address this, a universal health care system was established and it provides equal and fair medical benefits to nearly 100% of South Korean citizens.
7. Australia (66 efficiency score)
The wonderful weather and laid back lifestyle make Australia a great place to live, but one of the other reasons many people from developing countries are seeing Australia as the land of milk and honey is because of its very efficient healthcare system. With a universal healthcare system, the federal government foots around 75% of the citizens’ medical bills, while the 25% is funded by private health insurance. While dentistry, optometry, and ambulance fees aren’t covered by the government, financially struggling citizens who carry a Low Income Earner card are subsidized generously.
6. Italy (66.1 efficiency score)
Beating Australia by just .1 point is Italy, which has a mixed public-private healthcare system. With a life expectancy of 82 years old, hospitalization and surgeries are free by both public and conventional private hospitals. And the best part about the system is emergency medical care is completely free for all residents, both legal and undocumented, making Italy a very humane country in terms of its people’s well-being.
5. Spain (68.3 efficiency score)
Aside from an excellent state-run healthcare system, Spain is also known to have very competent doctors, well-trained nurses, and top-of-the line hospital facilities. Prescription medicines are paid for via the co-payment system, in which the residents are required to pay for a small portion of their medicines, while the bulk is covered by the state.
4. Israel (68.7 efficiency score)
Ranked fourth in the world in terms of efficiency, Israel’s healthcare is deemed a fundamental right for its people. It’s universal and requires all Israelis to participate in medical insurance with the option for the individual to purchase their own respective healthcare policies to increase whatever coverage they already have. The government-run system is one of the most technologically advanced in the world with state-of-the-art facilities and well-trained doctors and nurses. And the icing on the cake? It’s fast becoming a popular destination for medical tourists!
3. Japan (74.1 efficiency score)
Like almost all efficient health-care systems, Japan provides universal healthcare coverage, which subsidizes a large portion of the medical expenses of the individual. An employed citizen usually gets additional private coverage from his employer, but Japan is greatly considerate of its citizens who are struggling with wages and unemployment. Medical fees are waived for the homeless and low-income households who are receiving government subsidy.
2. Singapore (81.9 efficiency score)
Singapore’s healthcare system is apparently very difficult to replicate. It’s efficient in terms of both financing and benefits, a rare combination that renders the system excellent. Aside from the government’s system, the private healthcare in Singapore is equally efficient, so its citizens get more than adequate care, whether it’s from the public or private sector.
1. Hong Kong (92.6 efficiency score)
By and large, Hong Kong is considered to have the best healthcare in the world, due in part to its well-developed medical system. Its life expectancy rate is one of the highest and infant mortality rate one of the lowest in the world and this is largely due to the government’s advocacy on good healthcare. The system is dual-track, meaning medical services are offered by both the government and private sector.