HSBC’s recently-published global expat survey has revealed
some intriguing results about healthcare around the world. The survey of over
10,000 expats arguably provides the most detailed and impartial view of
international healthcare, including both the cost and quality of expatriate
healthcare around the world.
Understandably ensuring that you receive the best healthcare
possible when travelling or relocating is of paramount importance, especially
if you suffer from any kind of underlying medical condition which may require
professional monitoring or treatment. Ageing travellers are also more likely to put
an emphasis on healthcare services when selecting an expat destination, so as
to ensure that ‘Western’ levels of medical care are on hand if, and when,
So after all these thousands of responses, the most obvious
question pertains to just which country ranks highest for healthcare? For those
expats keen to ensure that their medical needs are taken care of in the highest
quality manner possible, which country should really be top of your list?
The answer, according to HSBC’s survey, may surprise you.
It’s not the USA, Canada or Australia; always popular expat destinations.
Instead, the country offering the best healthcare is in fact Taiwan. Even more
interestingly the country convincingly beats the next ranked countries by some
considerable distance and offers far-and-away the best expat healthcare.
The survey aimed to examine two core factors related to
healthcare for expatriates; namely the quality of care on offer and the
affordability of this care. Expats in Taiwan report that they spend
considerably less on medical care than they did in their home country;
something that almost seven in ten expats there agreed with. This is double the
average finding evened out across the whole survey.
The results for the quality of care are almost as impressive;
60% say that the healthcare they enjoy in Taiwan is of a higher quality than
they experienced at home, compared with only 40% as an average across the
Lastly, expats in Taiwan report that actually registering
with local medical authorities on arrival, so as to gain access to the health
care system is simplicity itself, a figure agreed with 70% of expats in the
country. It’s easy to see why Taiwan has ranked so highly then as a result of
this trifecta of benefits.
It should be said that Taiwan’s score for quality,
cost-effective healthcare far outstripped any other country by a considerable
margin. This was most certainly not a
close race and the graph we have seen of the results shows just how far out in
the lead Taiwan really is. That said, which other countries also stand out for
the cost and quality of their healthcare systems for expats?
The UK, Japan, Thailand, Japan and Saudi Arabia all rank
highly and so should be considered strongly by those expats who rate the
quality of the healthcare system as a key factor when selecting a country to
relocate to. All of them offer a high quality of care, though in some cases it
is the overall cost of this care for expats that causes these secondary
countries to be ranked so far behind the winner.