This list evaluates the top 10 countries with the best health care systems. The criteria are based on mortality rates, life expectancy rates and also accessibility.
According to Forbes magazine, 99.5% of Swiss Citizens have health insurance. All those who can afford to buy insurance, do so. For those who cannot access private health care insurances, the government subsidizes them. This prevents all individuals from spending more than 10% of their income on health care. All in all, everyone has to have a minimum requirement for health care. There is no option; it is mandated by the government.
When it comes to expenditures, a Harvard study identifies that the government spends 11.4% of the GDP on Health Care.
In 2000, WHO ranked France first in terms of providing the best overall health care to its citizens. French citizens enjoy universal health care that is funded by the government through income taxes. Approximately 75% of health costs are covered by the government. Additionally, there are private care facilities which allow citizens to receive surgical procedures at additional costs. These facilities are optional and are meant for those who have money. The prices set by the private physicians are fixed thanks to the government. Overall there are 3.37 doctors per 1000 people.
Italy has one of the best public-privatized health care systems. Based on life expectancy rates and infant mortality rates, the country is quite healthy. Men and women live to about 80 years of age on average.
Health care insurance is mandatory in Italy. Employers are required to pay for employee health insurances. If someone cannot access privatized health care, they can apply for the state run health plan. Everything, including drugs and medicine, outpatient care and dental care, are subsidized.
All inhabitants in Sweden have equal access to health care. The system is taxpayer funded and is decentralized. Given that Sweden has one of the best health care systems, the life expectancy rose to 79 years for men and 83 years for women in 2008. The responsibility for the health care system lies in the federal government, county councils and the municipal government.
Interestingly enough, if you are not able to work and live in Sweden, employers pay for your wages up to 14 days.
Taiwan is one of the few Asian countries to have one of the best health care systems. In 1995, it implemented universal health care. All citizens are covered by the insurance, paid out by the government. The country was able to cut costs while still covering 40% of the population when first introducing the reform. They also implemented the Smart Card, which entails all information about patients’ medical history. This cuts back on administrative work.
Germany has the world`s oldest universal health care system, dating back to 1883 and the Bismarck era. Originally applying to the lower-income families and certain employees, it now is offered to almost all inhabitants. Civil servants and those who are self-employed and earning more than 3000 euros are exempt from coverage. They still can utilize private health care insurances to receive their benefits. In 2004 it was ranked # 30 in terms of its life expectancy rates.
All those who live in Norway are covered by the health care system funded by taxpayer money. Norwegians can opt out of the government system and buy a private insurance. There is a government list of GPs that Norwegians can choose from. The GP acts as an access point to specialists covered by the Health Care system. As in other countries, there are flaws. The waiting times are larger in hospitals and medical centres. Many Norwegians thus go to other countries to receive their care.
Israel also has one of the best universal health care systems. In 1995 the National Health Insurance Law was introduced. The law made membership to one of four Health Maintenance Organizations compulsory. Additionally, this law outlines uniform benefits packages and a list of basic health care services covered by the organization the citizen is enrolled in. All in all, Israel is a technologically advanced country. Given this, their hospitals are equipped with state of the arc equipment. As of 2010, there are 3.36 doctors/1000 people.
Britain has a socialized health care system. The government pays citizens to have insurance and pays doctors to run hospitals and medical facilities. National Health Services allocates funds through tax payer money.
Canada has had a universal health care system since the 1940s. Tommy Douglas, the father of universal health care, came up with the idea. All Canadians with OHIP cannot be turned away because they do not have money to cover basic health needs. Although there are some flaws and waiting times are long, no one is left out. For services which are not covered by OHIP, Canadians can opt for insurance packages which cover most premium services such as dental care. All in all, the government of Canada prohibits doctors from establishing private clinics for basic care needs.
Forbes Magazine, Why Switzerland Has the Best Health Care System, www.forbes.com