10 of the Top Healthcare Systems in the World

The World Health Report 2000 ranked the world’s health systems. The great thing about the said rankings is that the best ones can provide a model for countries that may want to redesign and improve their current systems. Here is a look to the ten of the top healthcare systems in the world and what we can learn from them.

1. France


France’s healthcare system is anchored on universality. It is designed to provide coverage to all. Health care is accessible to all citizens regardless of social status. Health contributions are mandatory. The government pays most of the costs of medical care while private insurance supplements the rest.

2. Italy


Healthcare system in Italy is also universal and is considered as a right of the citizens. The Servizio Sanitario Nazionale makes free or affordable healthcare accessible to citizens. This covers general aspects like doctor consultation and lab work among others.

3. San Marino

San Marino

San Marino’s state-funded healthcare system is designed to provide low-cost services to its citizens. Equal access is the cornerstone of the system. The country also has its share of the best qualified medical personnel.

4. Andorra


Andorra and France healthcare systems are strikingly similar. It is built on the social contributions from employers and employees. Some of the hospitals in the country are among the most advanced and technologically equipped in Europe.

5. Malta


Citizens of Malta have access to free healthcare. Insurance contributions at the national level provide the funding to make the system work. As such, Maltese people have access to public healthcare services in health centers and hospitals.

6. Singapore


Singapore healthcare system is also anchored on universality. The government work alongside the private service providers in ensuring that citizens have access to affordable quality healthcare. The system is built on reaching that balance between the state and individual responsibility to have accessible and affordable healthcare.

7. Spain


Spain’s citizens are guaranteed healthcare coverage through its constitution. People have access to health care in both state-funded and private hospitals. Uninsured patients can get equal access to medical treatment.

8. Oman


Oman has a universal and high standard of healthcare for its citizens. The country has been investing on health services in the past years. There are many medical facilities where citizens can access the healthcare they need.

9. Austria


Austria provides free basic healthcare services. Citizens have a choice to avail of government-funded healthcare or pay on their own. Payment for the healthcare system is based on income.

10. Japan


The Japan system makes it compulsory for citizens to have a health insurance. This is usually done through employers. Another option is through a national healthcare system.

Common Health Care Issues and Their Challenges


Global healthcare issues present challenges that directly affect billions of people. Healthcare policies and systems vary in many countries. And for most of the global population treatments and medications remain inaccessible. Here is a glimpse to some of the common healthcare issues that impact many people worldwide.

Healthcare costs

Rising costs is making it harder for more people around the world to access quality healthcare. It is not only a problem for those living in poverty. Many average families are finding it harder to afford the hospital care, treatment, and medications among others. Health check-ups are likewise becoming more expensive, especially to those who are uninsured. The use of medical devices that may be needed for diagnosis or treatment is increasingly becoming more expensive, which add to the total costs patients have to face.

Access to quality health services

Accessibility of quality health services is one of the challenges many countries face. The quality of the healthcare most people get often hinges on their ability to pay for it. For this reason, it is difficult more many people to get the most from the health care system. Many health conditions are left undetected and untreated. The steep costs of health services, the limited availability, and insufficient health insurance are among the things that prevent people from receiving the health services they may need.

Allocation of resources for healthcare

Primary health care also offers the best way of coping with the ills of life in the 21st century: the globalization of unhealthy lifestyles, rapid unplanned urbanization, and the ageing of populations. These trends contribute to a rise in chronic diseases, like heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes and asthma, that create new demands for long-term care and strong community support. A multisectoral approach is central to prevention, as the main risk factors for these diseases lie outside the health sector. – World Health Organization, 14 October 2008

Significant portions of resources are allocated for curative services. While the curative aspect of healthcare deserves a huge chunk of the budget, it is also important to provide for prevention. Programs that promote healthy lifestyle and preventive measures in minimizing risks of chronic diseases also deserve attention. Primary healthcare play a significant role in educating people on how to prevent some illnesses which could reduce the need for hospital care or treatment.