Global health care systems comparison - Statistics & Facts
Health care is integral to a country’s well-being. Most high-income, developed countries provide or mandate universal health coverage for their people. This usually means that at least 99 percent of the population has health insurance, and some countries provide it free at point-of-service with no co-payments, like the National Health Service in the UK. Generally, though, cost-sharing is a part of the coverage to discourage unnecessary treatment and overuse of health care. Nevertheless, out-of-pocket health spending is normally restricted, such as the 385 Euro (429 U.S. dollars) deductible a year in the Netherlands. This is much less than the average deductible for an employer-sponsored single coverage plan in the U.S., which was 1,763 U.S. dollars as of 2022. That is what an average person must spend a year before their insurance kicks in and is on top of the premium paid for their health insurance. It is no wonder the U.S. public believes the biggest problem the health care system in the U.S. is facing is the cost of accessing treatment.
Health systems ranking
The Legatum Institute Foundation's most recent rating of health and health systems placed Singapore's system at the top overall out of 167 nations. Japan and South Korea took second and third, respectively. The ranking is based on the Legatum health index, which assesses how well people are doing in terms of their health and access to healthcare resources that can help them stay that way, including mortality rates, sickness and risk factors, health outcomes, and health systems. Norway's healthcare system was ranked first overall among the high-income nations in a different Commonwealth Fund ranking. The Netherlands and Australia came in second and third, respectively, while Switzerland, Canada, and the United States took the last spots. The ranking is based on five performance categories including access to care, care procedure, administrative efficiency, equity, and health outcomes.
The United States
With its higher-than-average health expenditure but lower-than-average health outcomes, the United States is often portrayed as an outlier. It is also the only high-income developed nation without universal health coverage allowing some 8.4 percent of the U.S. population to be uninsured. Due to a highly individualistic culture, achieving universal health coverage will be a challenge in the U.S. as public opinions are split on whether it is the government’s responsibility to provide coverage for all Americans. The miserable performance of the United States compared to other high-income countries has shown that the health system, as it is, is not working. When global comparisons are made, the United States alone accounted for 42 percent of total spending on health globally, which was higher than the combined spending on health by middle-income countries and low-income countries. Each country has unique healthcare needs that contribute to its healthcare spending. Comparison can be challenging to make due to the different ways in which national health systems are financed. Globally, the expense of healthcare is on the rise, and each country must come up with its own solutions for making its health system financially sustainable.
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