The Top 10 Healthcare Systems in the World 2023
There can be many reasons why we move abroad to live in another country. But the quality of the healthcare can make or break a relocation. Even with international health insurance, expats will need to know their health and wellbeing will be cared for while they’re abroad.
Using recent data from CEOWORLD, the top 10 healthcare systems in the world have been found. 110 countries were ranked according to their healthcare provision, including the medical infrastructure and professionals, availability and cost of medicine, and government readiness.
Below, we investigate these top 10 countries with the best healthcare systems, to see what makes them the best in the world.
Taiwan tops the list of best healthcare systems in the world this year. Taiwan implements a single-payer healthcare system, managed by one public agency. It’s mandatory for all Taiwan residents to enroll in the national healthcare scheme, including visitors staying for longer than six months.
The healthcare system in Taiwan is praised for being incredibly efficient. The country is able to keep administration costs low, meaning only about 6% of GDP is spent on healthcare. Even so, the provision is thought to be of good quality. The national health insurance covers most things, including preventative care, mental health, and medicine.
Healthcare professionals and facilities operate privately, so individuals in Taiwan have the freedom to choose where they go for their treatment. They simply need to show their national health insurance card and the organisation will claim payment from the national health administration, sometimes with a co-payment from the individual, depending on their income. Those on a low income will have their healthcare completely subsidised, but costs will even be capped for those on higher wages.
South Korea ranks second on the list of best healthcare systems in the world. The country provides universal healthcare, available to every resident, including expats who have been in the country longer than six months.
Healthcare facilities in South Korea are modern and efficient, with quality, advanced equipment and highly-trained professionals. The administration is efficient, utilising tools such as electronic medical records, coordinated care and streamlined processes to save costs and produce better results for individuals. The healthcare in South Korea is of such high regard, it has recently seen a surge in medical tourism looking to benefit from the quality provision.
South Korean healthcare provides comprehensive services, including dental checkups, prescription medication, rehabilitation services, palliative care and mental health. It also includes traditional Korean medicine.
Australia comes third in the rankings for best healthcare system in the world. It’s thought to have one of the most comprehensive healthcare provisions in the world, including everything from preventative care to complex, specialist treatments.
Australia’s healthcare system has been lauded for its efficiency, with healthcare professionals being able to easily navigate the system to get the best results for their patients.
Australia offers both public and private healthcare, with the public system available to Australian citizens and permanent residents. Approximately half of Australians have private healthcare. The Government encourages those on particularly high wages to purchase private healthcare, in an effort to reduce costs and stress in the public system.
The private healthcare system in Australia is not allowed to discriminate based on the health of the individual – so someone with health issues would not pay more than someone with no health issues. This has resulted in a more equal and fair system, and makes private healthcare much more affordable for a lot of people.
Canada ranks fourth in the top 10 healthcare systems in the world. It mainly implements a publicly funded system, known as Canadian Medicare, which is available to all citizens and permanent residents.
The system provides comprehensive care, including preventative care, medication, and most recently, dental care. In Canada, individuals will typically see their GP first, who will then refer them for specialist care or consultations. This has been thought to make the system more efficient and reduce unnecessary visits. The Government also invests in educational programmes to raise awareness of and aim to prevent certain diseases and health issues.
Medication in Canada is generally cheap and healthcare professionals are highly trained and provide high-quality care. One issue here is that there can be a sparsity of healthcare professionals, especially in more rural areas.
Sweden comes fifth in the rankings of best healthcare systems in the world. It generally operates on a regional level, although the national government puts forward the overall policy. This allows each region to tailor its healthcare provision to what is most needed in that specific area, helping to streamline processes and make the system much more efficient.
Public healthcare in Sweden is not completely free, but it is generally seen as very affordable. The government will provide heavy subsidisations for those who require frequent or ongoing healthcare and has an annual cap on costs on fees for the individual. Anything over this cap will be paid for by the government.
Swedish healthcare is comprehensive, including things like hospital stays, outpatient services, prescription medication, rehabilitation, and home-based nurses for those who require them.
Ireland has the sixth best healthcare system in the world. The public healthcare system is free for those who qualify for a Medical Card, but highly subsidised for those that don’t qualify. There are caps on out-of-pocket payments, with the rest being paid for by the government, as a way to prevent people getting into debt to pay for their healthcare. Even so, nearly half of Irish residents have private healthcare, one of the highest percentages in Europe.
Irish healthcare is of a high standard, with well-equipped medical facilities and highly trained staff. There are some issues with wait times in the public healthcare system, which may explain why so many people opt to go private. However, the number of healthcare professionals has increased 25% in the last decade, according to the Irish government.
The Netherlands has the seventh best healthcare system in the world. The country does not provide publich healthcare – every resident must have their own private healthcare insurance. However, medical care is still made accessible to everyone.
The Netherlands Government can dictate what must be included in basic healthcare insurance plans, but they do not manage the system. Basic insurance plans include outpatient care, medication, hospital stays, maternity care, and some therapies, such as physio or speech therapy.
The standard of healthcare in the Netherlands is very high and wait times are generally short, although sometimes costs can be expensive. However, regardless of what type of treatment and ongoing care you need, you will only ever have to pay your monthly premium and any deductibles.
Germany has the eighth best healthcare system in the world. It combines private and public offerings, with a focus on comprehensive services and accessibility for users. Health insurance is mandatory in Germany, and residents can either choose statutory insurance, usually for those on a lower income, or private insurance, for people on higher wages or self-employed.
Whichever insurance type a resident has, they’ll have the same access to medical services, such as primary care, preventative care, specialist consultations, and prescription medications.
German healthcare is high-quality, and individuals have flexibility to choose which provider they wish to receive treatment from. Out-of-pocket costs for many treatments and things like hospital stays are capped, with the excess paid for by the government.
Norway comes ninth in the top 10 healthcare systems in the world. The vast majority of people in Norway utilise the public healthcare provision, and very little people choose private. This is a testament to the quality of the public healthcare system, which provides treatment of a high standard.
However, the public healthcare provision in Norway is not completely free for everyone. The majority of people have to pay an annual deductible that amounts to around £200. Once this is paid, they will be eligible for free healthcare for the year.
Public healthcare is of good quality and includes things such as emergency treatment, maternity care and general healthcare. Some specialised treatments will require an extra deductible from the individual.
Israel has the tenth best healthcare system in the world. Israel operates a universal healthcare system and all Israeli residents are entitled to healthcare. Many residents supplement their free healthcare with private insurance, in order to access a wider range of treatments.
Israel’s healthcare is of very high quality and is one of the most technically advanced. It utilises digitation for records and operates advanced equipment in the healthcare facilities. This results in more efficient and streamlined processes, as well as better treatment for patients. Medical staff are highly trained and highly educated, although there can sometimes be shortages of medical professionals, especially in recent years, due to retirements.
Public healthcare in Israel includes diagnoses and treatment, preventative care, hospital stays, surgery, mental health and fertility treatment, as well as many other types of treatments.