Best Healthcare by Country: Detailed Analysis of Top 30 Nations in 2023

Best Healthcare by Country

Access to quality and affordable healthcare is one of the key benchmarks of the development and well-being of a nation.

With advancements in medical technology and increasing investments, healthcare systems around the world are striving to provide universal coverage, while ensuring positive health outcomes.

In this article, we analyze the top 30 countries providing the best healthcare based on various factors like life expectancy, cost, access, outcome, quality and other determinants.

Methodology

To identify the top 30 countries, we relied on data from the World Health Organization (WHO), OECD, World Bank, Commonwealth Fund and other reputed sources.

The key factors considered include overall health expenditure as a percentage of GDP, life expectancy at birth, infant mortality rate, physician and hospital bed availability per 1000 people, vaccination coverage, cancer survival rate, quality of services and patient experiences. National health outcomes and successes in dealing with pandemics like Covid-19 were also taken into account.

Top 30 Rankings

 Spain

With a universal public health system that provides free medical care to all residents, Spain ranks atop for its healthcare outcomes and quality of services. It has one of the highest life expectancies at birth of 83.5 years and low infant mortality rate. The health spending is around 9% of GDP.

 Italy

Italy’s national health service ensures equal access for all citizens with high resident satisfaction. It has a strong primary care infrastructure and high doctor availability. The life expectancy is 83.1 years while per capita spending is $3,175 achieving very good health outcomes.

 Iceland

This Nordic country has a highly decentralized universal healthcare system funded through general taxation. It provides excellent primary care and has only 149 people per physician. With life expectancy of 83 years, Iceland consistently delivers high-quality care to its small population.

Norway

Norway is another top performer with strong public health infrastructure and universal coverage of medical costs. It has abundant health resources with 2.8 hospital beds and 3.9 physicians per 1000 people. Universal access to healthcare contributes to high life expectancy of 82.3 years.

Switzerland

Though not a member of the EU, Switzerland has a quality private health insurance system that ensures access and choice. It has a life expectancy of 83.4 years with high resident satisfaction over healthcare services and choice of doctors. The per capita spending is quite high at $7,418.

6-10. Sweden, Netherlands, Australia, Finland, Denmark

These developed nations achieve universal healthcare coverage through robust tax-funded public systems and also allow for private options. With high resources, long life expectancy over 81 years and low out-of-pocket costs characterize their people-centric systems.

Singapore

The Asian tiger has a unique state-supported private health insurance model achieving high outcomes at 40% lower costs than the US. It has ample resources, disease control and health promotion programs resulting in 82.5 years life expectancy and low mortality rates.

Germany

Germany is known for its sustainable statutory health insurance system providing equal access and choice of doctors. The universal Bismarck model achieves 82.1 years of life expectancy while per capita spending is reasonable at $5,986 though private options also exist.

Canada

With its single-payer public Medicare system, Canada provides universal access to necessary care free of charge for all residents of the country. It ensures equitable outcomes across populations with an average life expectancy of 82 years through adequate supply of doctors and hospitals.

United Kingdom

The UK’s universal National Health Service model ensures healthcare as a fundamental right for all legal residents with no out-of-pocket costs at point of delivery. Despite limited budgets, it achieves positive outcomes like 81 years life expectancy through preventive programs and chronic care management.

15-20. Austria, France, South Korea, Israel, Luxembourg, Japan

These developed economies achieve universal coverage through tax-funded public insurance programs along with encouragement of competition and private options. High investments result in long life expectancy exceeding 81 years on an average besides effective disease control and health promotion.

United States

While the US spends exorbitantly on healthcare at 18% of GDP, access is problematic due to lack of universal public coverage. Though high-income groups receive quality care, average life expectancy is 78.9 years owing to issues of affordability and resultant lower access amongst vulnerable groups. The hybrid public-private system has high costs and uneven outcomes.

Ireland

The Irish Republic provides universal access through a mixed public-private model of voluntary health insurance supplemented through tax revenue and out-of-pocket payments. It achieves positive outcomes including 81.1 years of average life span despite lower spending levels compared to Western European peers.

Hong Kong

Hong Kong’s healthcare system combines government funding with mandatory health savings accounts and private medical insurance resulting in universal coverage. The blend of public and private spending along with adequate facilities and doctors ensures 82.1 years of average life expectancy.

Taiwan

This East Asian jurisdiction operates a single-payer National Health Insurance program providing affordable universal coverage. The healthcare infrastructure and access is strong achieved through management of costs and prices. Life expectancy stands at 80.7 years.

Portugal

Portugal provides free universal healthcare to all legal residents through the National Health Service funded by general taxation. Despite operating resource constraints, its people-centric model achieves good healthcare access and outcomes including 81 years average lifespan through preventive programs.

Slovenia

As a member of the EU, Slovenia has a taxation-funded public healthcare system ensuring universal and comprehensive coverage. It delivers efficient primary care through a family medicine model. The average life expectancy is 81 years showing quality outcomes.

New Zealand

This South Pacific country has a universal public healthcare system along with private options. Public funding through taxes and out-of-pocket payments purchases necessary services for all residents. It achieves high life expectancy of 82.3 years through health promotion emphasizing primary and preventive care.

Cyprus

The Mediterranean island nation provides universal healthcare through a National Health System funded by general taxation and social insurance contributions. With a developing infrastructure, it achieves 78.2 years average life span and control over key health issues despite lower spending compared to wealthy peers.

Malta

As an EU member, Malta has developed an efficient publicly-funded health system ensuring services are available free of charge at point of use for citizens and registered residents. Access to resources has helped lift life expectancy to 82 years and achieve most health targets.

Czech Republic

The central European country operates a universal healthcare system through public health insurance. It delivers primary, outpatient and inpatient care through a mix of public and accredited private providers managed by regional authorities. Life expectancy of 78.9 years represents achievement of its people-centric model amid fiscal constraints.

Conclusion

Overall, most developed nations achieve universal healthcare through public funding models supplemented with private participation and achieve excellent health outcomes. Life expectancy exceeding 80 years on average represents their collective success.

Affordability, access, prevention focus and resource investments distinguish the leading systems especially in Western Europe from others. While every country faces its own challenges, the analysis brings out best practices that can inform global efforts towards the provision of equitable and quality healthcare as a basic human right.