Countries with the best healthcare in the world

The countries with the best healthcare in the world are Singapore, Japan, Switzerland, South Korea and Norway. We take a look at what else ranked well

Singapore has been revealed as the country with the best healthcare in the world according to the Legatum Institute, a UK-based think tank and charity focused on lifting people out of poverty.

Now in its 13th year, the institute’s Prosperity Index ranks countries with regards to prosperity and development based on 12 sub-indexes, or ‘pillars’, one of which is health.

Evaluating healthcare

The Prosperity Index sources data from a number of organisations including UNICEF, the World Health Organisation, the International Labour Organization and the United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS to assess the quality of healthcare systems in 167 countries.

It measures the extent to which people are healthy and can access the necessary services to maintain good health including treatment, care systems, preventative measures, provisions for mental health illness, risk factors and mortality rates.

Countries-with-the-best-healthcare-in-the-world-map
Legatum Institute Singapore has the best healthcare in the world

best healthcare in the world

The following 10 countries have been assessed as providing the best healthcare for their population.

  1. Singapore
  2. Japan
  3. Switzerland
  4. South Korea
  5. Norway
  6. Hong Kong
  7. Iceland
  8. Denmark
  9. Netherlands
  10. Austria

“For a nation to truly prosper, its citizens must have good health. Those who enjoy good physical and mental health report high levels of wellbeing. An effective health infrastructure is critical for sustaining per capita income. Poor health keeps people from fulfilling their potential.”

Baroness Philippa Stroud, CEO of the Legatum Institute

The Legatum Institute draws on years of data to evaluate which countries have improved the most. A number of factors contribute to improving healthcare in a country.

These factors include:

  • Behavioural Risk Factors
  • Preventative Interventions
  • Care Systems
  • Mental Health
  • Physical Health
  • Longevity

One obvious factor is longevity (life expectancy). The life expectancy of people in Zimbabwe has increased by more than 15 years in the last 10 years, more than any other country.

Countries-with-the-best-healthcare-in-the-world-improvements
Legatum Institute Rwanda has the most improved healthcare

Types of healthcare

Countries around the globe take vastly different approaches to providing healthcare to their population. Many developed countries have universal government-funded healthcare (also known as single-payer healthcare).

In this system, healthcare is available to all citizens regardless of their income or employment status. This system is used by Australia, Canada, Norway, Singapore and the UK.

Another popular option is to use a universal public insurance system where the government usually withholds part of workers’ wages which goes towards healthcare insurance. This system is used by China, France, Japan and South Korea.

Several nations, including the Netherlands and Switzerland, use a universal private health insurance system. Low-income citizens who cannot afford insurance are then subsidised by the government.

A final group of countries, which includes the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia and the USA, uses a non-universal insurance system.

In this case, some citizens have private health insurance, some may receive subsidised public healthcare while some are not insured at all.

best healthcare in the world: complete rankings

The health pillar of Legatum’s report measures a country’s performance in three areas: basic physical and mental health, health infrastructure and preventative care.

NB: Some countries and territories have been excluded due to insufficient data.

Rank
(2019)
CountryScore2009±
1Singapore86.632
2Japan86.31-1
3Switzerland84.252
4South Korea84.2139
5Norway83.461
6Hong Kong83.14-2
7Iceland82.82-5
8Denmark82.8124
9Netherlands82.6178
10Austria82.5166
11Israel82.4110
12Germany82.38-4
13Spain82.110-3
14Malta82.03117
15Sweden82.0227
16France81.92711
17Italy81.87-10
18Australia81.89-9
19Luxembourg81.415-4
20Ireland80.93414
21China80.920-1
22New Zealand80.8264
23UK80.519-4
24Belgium80.514-10
25Canada80.2294
26Finland80.021-5
27Cuba79.9325
28Czechia79.823-5
29Cyprus79.725-4
30Portugal79.4333
31Taiwan79.418-13
32Slovenia79.2364
33Greece79.124-9
34Uruguay78.9384
35Thailand78.7405
36Costa Rica78.628-8
37Mexico78.235-2
38Seychelles77.930-8
39Malaysia77.65011
40Poland77.5477
41Uzbekistan77.35312
42Vietnam77.36119
43Slovakia77.1430
44Colombia77.0484
45Panama76.8461
46Argentina76.3515
47UAE76.145-2
48Qatar76.139-9
49Sri Lanka75.5490
50Jamaica75.541-9
51Kuwait75.5543
52Hungary75.46513
53Bahrain75.4585
54Mauritius75.4606
55Estonia75.37823
56North Macedonia75.142-14
57Croatia75.044-13
58Brazil75.055-3
59USA74.937-22
60Peru74.9622
61Oman74.852-9
62Turkmenistan74.659-3
63Ecuador74.256-7
64Turkey74.08117
65Bulgaria74.0749
66Azerbaijan73.79529
67Armenia73.7769
68Saudi Arabia73.3691
69Albania73.266-3
70Chile73.1733
71Romania73.063-8
72Serbia73.067-5
73Algeria72.970-3
74Tajikistan72.68915
75Venezuela72.557-18
76Belarus72.510226
77Trinidad & Tobago72.4770
78Nicaragua72.3868
79Cabo Verde72.29011
80Jordan72.271-9
81Paraguay72.1821
82Lebanon72.1875
83Honduras71.980-3
84Kazakhstan71.89814
85Dominican Rep.71.584-1
86El Salvador71.464-22
87Latvia71.3914
88Iran71.385-3
89Kyrgyzstan71.3945
90Georgia71.275-15
91Montenegro71.172-19
92Lithuania70.9975
93Bosnia & Herz.70.468-25
94Tunisia70.479-15
95Belize69.783-12
96Moldova69.2960
97Indonesia69.0992
98Guatemala68.993-5
99Cambodia68.911112
100Mongolia68.81000
101Philippines68.71010
102Libya68.492-10
103Russia68.31063
104São Tomé & Prínc.67.81040
105Rwanda67.511712
106Suriname67.01093
107Myanmar66.91125
108Bolivia66.91080
109India66.61189
110Morocco66.5105-5
111Egypt66.2103-8
112Syria65.988-24
113Bangladesh65.71141
114Ukraine64.8107-7
115Kenya64.51194
116Guyana63.9110-6
117Ghana63.6115-2
118Nepal63.01213
119Botswana62.113011
120Djibouti62.0116-4
121Iraq61.2113-8
122Senegal61.0120-2
123Laos60.91285
124Tanzania60.714117
125Eritrea60.3123-2
126Namibia60.21326
127Pakistan59.9126-1
128Zambia59.513810
129Gabon58.4125-4
130Ethiopia58.114515
131Sudan57.9124-7
132Comoros57.9127-5
133South Africa57.81330
134Zimbabwe57.515925
135Malawi57.11438
136Burundi56.51404
137Mauritania56.2129-8
138Burkina Faso56.11424
139Madagascar55.0122-17
140Uganda54.015010
141Congo53.8139-2
142The Gambia53.7131-11
143Mozambique53.21463
144Haiti52.8135-9
145Benin52.5137-8
146Eswatini52.415610
147Papua New Guinea52.1134-13
148Togo51.91480
149Yemen51.5136-13
150Niger50.71555
151Guinea-Bissau50.11510
152Angola50.0144-8
153Afghanistan49.9152-1
154Mali49.6147-7
155Côte d'Ivoire48.6153-2
156Dem. Rep. of Congo48.51582
157Guinea46.5149-8
158Cameroon46.4157-1
159Equatorial Guinea45.6154-5
160Liberia45.51600
161Somalia44.21610
162Nigeria43.41631
163Lesotho42.7162-1
164Sierra Leone42.21662
165Central African Rep.35.71672
166Chad34.9164-2
167South Sudan34.0165-2

The latest Legatum Prosperity Index can be downloaded here.


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