Saturday, February 17th, 2018

World Health Organization’s Ranking of the World’s Health Systems


Some people fancy all health care debates to be a case of Canadian Health Care vs. American. Not so. According to the World Health Organization’s ranking of the world’s health systems, neither Canada nor the USA ranks in the top 25.

Improving the Canadian Healthcare System does not mean we must emulate the American system, but it may mean that perhaps we can learn from countries that rank better than both Canada and the USA at keeping their citizens healthy.

World Health Organization Ranking; The World’s Health Systems
1 France
2 Italy
3 San Marino
4 Andorra
5 Malta
6 Singapore
7 Spain
8 Oman
9 Austria
10 Japan
11 Norway
12 Portugal
13 Monaco
14 Greece
15 Iceland
16 Luxembourg
17 Netherlands
18 United Kingdom
19 Ireland
20 Switzerland
21 Belgium
22 Colombia
23 Sweden
24 Cyprus
25 Germany
26 Saudi Arabia
27 United Arab Emirates
28 Israel
29 Morocco
30 Canada
31 Finland
32 Australia
33 Chile
34 Denmark
35 Dominica
36 Costa Rica
37 USA
38 Slovenia
39 Cuba
40 Brunei
41 New Zealand
42 Bahrain
43 Croatia
44 Qatar
45 Kuwait
46 Barbados
47 Thailand
48 Czech Republic
49 Malaysia
50 Poland
51 Dominican Republic
52 Tunisia
53 Jamaica
54 Venezuela
55 Albania
56 Seychelles
57 Paraguay
58 South Korea
59 Senegal
60 Philippines
61 Mexico
62 Slovakia
63 Egypt
64 Kazakhstan
65 Uruguay
66 Hungary
67 Trinidad and Tobago
68 Saint Lucia
69 Belize
70 Turkey
71 Nicaragua
72 Belarus
73 Lithuania
74 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
75 Argentina
76 Sri Lanka
77 Estonia
78 Guatemala
79 Ukraine
80 Solomon Islands
81 Algeria
82 Palau
83 Jordan
84 Mauritius
85 Grenada
86 Antigua and Barbuda
87 Libya
88 Bangladesh
89 Macedonia
90 Bosnia-Herzegovina
91 Lebanon
92 Indonesia
93 Iran
94 Bahamas
95 Panama
96 Fiji
97 Benin
98 Nauru
99 Romania
100 Saint Kitts and Nevis
101 Moldova
102 Bulgaria
103 Iraq
104 Armenia
105 Latvia
106 Yugoslavia
107 Cook Islands
108 Syria
109 Azerbaijan
110 Suriname
111 Ecuador
112 India
113 Cape Verde
114 Georgia
115 El Salvador
116 Tonga
117 Uzbekistan
118 Comoros
119 Samoa
120 Yemen
121 Niue
122 Pakistan
123 Micronesia
124 Bhutan
125 Brazil
126 Bolivia
127 Vanuatu
128 Guyana
129 Peru
130 Russia
131 Honduras
132 Burkina Faso
133 Sao Tome and Principe
134 Sudan
135 Ghana
136 Tuvalu
137 Ivory Coast
138 Haiti
139 Gabon
140 Kenya
141 Marshall Islands
142 Kiribati
143 Burundi
144 China
145 Mongolia
146 Gambia
147 Maldives
148 Papua New Guinea
149 Uganda
150 Nepal
151 Kyrgystan
152 Togo
153 Turkmenistan
154 Tajikistan
155 Zimbabwe
156 Tanzania
157 Djibouti
158 Eritrea
159 Madagascar
160 Vietnam
161 Guinea
162 Mauritania
163 Mali
164 Cameroon
165 Laos
166 Congo
167 North Korea
168 Namibia
169 Botswana
170 Niger
171 Equatorial Guinea
172 Rwanda
173 Afghanistan
174 Cambodia
175 South Africa
176 Guinea-Bissau
177 Swaziland
178 Chad
179 Somalia
180 Ethiopia
181 Angola
182 Zambia
183 Lesotho
184 Mozambique
185 Malawi
186 Liberia
187 Nigeria
188 Democratic Republic of the Congo
189 Central African Republic
190 Myanmar

Source: World Health Organization


128 Responses to “World Health Organization’s Ranking of the World’s Health Systems”
  1. Blake Taylor says:

    France’s excellence in health care delivery is probably due to two major factors: 1) it is extraordinarily open and communicative with patients and families which reaps significant patient safety benefits; and 2) it has far more doctors per capita so physicians want patients and patients get a choice.

    • J Squared says:

      I lived in France and you can go to a pharmacist and be diagnosed for common ailments and walk out with an Rx in 15 mins. Bad ass!

    • Dr. Mobasheri says:

      French have a real Universal Healthcare System and unlike we Americans are not stupid to call it Socialistic Healthcare System. As much as military industrial complex for its own benefits unjustly frightened us from Socialism, Private Insurance Industry for same goal, with using same tactic an same word, frightening us from Universal Healthcare System, and as much as we were stupid in believing MIC bull shits, we are stupid in believing PII bull shits. Of course a corrupt and criminal party like Republican Party in harmony with a do nothing but talk too much, but as much corrupt party like Democratic Party helping them as much as they can, but main factor is our own absolute ignorance and stupidity.

      • Heather says:

        Universal health care is socialized medicine.

        • George says:

          And why exactly is that bad? Sorry, when the US is ranked so low, despite the highest health expenditure in the world, maybe you need to let go of ideology and actually look at some evidence.

          • Heather says:

            Under socialized medicine population health and minimizing public health care costs always trump what’s best for individual patients. It’s one thing for a person to voluntarily give up their freedom to a health care collective promising free health care for all. But it’s a whole different thing if that person or group of persons summons the power of government to forcibly remove the freedom of others.

          • Helen says:

            I totally disagree with Heather… The evidence is apparent in the rankings…. Private healthcare is far more frightening than socialized and far less effective: when health has a profit making motive, you will never reap the benefits of excellent healthcare. The only problem you have with socialized healthcare is that it fully depends on the motivations of your government and how apathetic the population are when it comes to legislative changes that curb things that were previously considered rights. Im from the UK and i can say that the NHS was fantastic though it has declined since tony blair first started to cut its funding… This has been exacerbated under david ham head cameron! But i would much rather have the NHS than an american style alternative… Nixon even said that the US healthcare system had a profit making motive, i do worry that we, in the UK are heading in the same way…. I have much empathy for americans who have suffered or lost prople as a result of that system. Everyone should have the right to healthcare.

          • Heather says:

            The profit motive helps drive innovation and excellence in health care.

            People from countries around the world travel to the US for health care.

            It’s wrong to force citizens to depend on the motivations of their government for access to health care. Everyone should have the freedom to spend their own money on their own health care in their own country.

          • Jon says:

            no the profit motive does not inspire innovation, if that be the case with the way we spend and go for profit we would have the number one health system, with a much lower negative outcomes, and way better access to care. To profit off of illness is a sick sad, and disgusting way to run a system. If the government is to make decisions on how healthcare is run then that would work best in a country with no parliament and direct voting. if we use the democratic processes we founded this country on (in Ideology) then the government would have to run it the way the people want it.

          • Heather says:

            What’s wrong with the profit motive? Every employee in a public health care system personally benefits from the profit motive. The only difference under a public health care system is that the government controls the profit motive and decides which groups and corporations will benefit the most. Democracy works best with a limited government otherwise the biggest groups end up calling the shots for the rest of us.

          • Robert says:

            Heather: Private healthcare DOES NOT “drive innovation and excellence in health care” – it makes doctors over-prescribe (for commission on medicine) and request useless tests that are not needed, just because it will make the hospital more money.

            China does not really have any national health service (I’ve lived there so have experience of the system) and spent around $3,500 on tests and x-rays/CTs/etc in the best hospital in a 2nd tier city only for them to tell me that they didn’t know what was wrong and I should visit another hospital.

            About 6 months later I moved to Spain (public health service) – went to hospital and found out I have a malignant tumor and needed an operation urgently to remove it.

            Private healthcare also demands that the doctors can charge whatever they like and if you don’t like/can’t afford then you don’t get treatment.

            There should always be the choice of public and private, but it should be the right of every citizen to have access to basic healthcare.

          • Heather says:

            A free market offering choice, competition, and price transparency does drive innovation and excellence by increasing quality and reducing price. Misdiagnosis can happen in private or public health care. Doctors who place profits ahead of providing high quality medical services to their patients can be found practicing in private and public health care systems (i.e. fraudulent Medicare claims). In a free market these doctors would soon find themselves out of business, but here in Saskatchewan doctors are paid by Medicare regardless of the quality of care provided.

            Public health care demands that doctors help ration care to save the system money. Here in Saskatchewan the regional health authorities allocate money to diagnostic tests and surgeries. If your regional health authority can’t afford it then you don’t get treatment which is why we have government-mandated waiting lists.

            The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms doesn’t guarantee a right to benefits from a government program like Medicare – nor should it. What is unjust in a free and democratic society is that a government monopoly on health care not only infringes on our legal “…right to life, liberty and security of the person…” but leaves no option for escaping the harms caused by this infringement.

          • David says:

            Is there a rubric to the rankings. If you look at patents on medicinal items, Israel is first, and American is 2nd. If the rubric has 20% of its value on being affordable (whatever that means), and 20% on survival rates, then I disagree. I’d rather be alive and broke than dead with money. If there is a high percentage on low costs, but no reference to innovative discoveries, I also disagree. In short, without the rubric for judging systems, this “ranking” is meaningless.

          • Adam says:

            It’s strange how Americans trust private profit driven organisation’s over their own government. When we use the private sector in the UK it’s very rarely has a good outcome. You’re government tries to do the best by its people or we vote them out. In the UK you can still have private healthcare and pay insurance and about 11% of people do. This is choice in the US if you get cancer the chances you will go bankrupt. In the European countries all your treatment is paid for, prescriptions are often free for a number of years after diagnosis. In most European countries the life expectancy is higher than the US and we spend much less than the US. People need too look at the facts and move away from their suspicions of socialised. Trust me if I’m ill I don’t worry about money I just go to the doctor, no it’s not perfect but it’s better than going bankrupt.

          • Iam says:

            These comparisons are for the most part meaningless, yet we keep trudging them out as if there was some gem to be revealed. All of the data comes from self-reporting entities. There’s no standardization and there’s very little commonality. That’s why you’ll see similar national health care systems have significantly different rankings. If outcomes were measured consistently, we’d see consistency in the rankings. (no one every explains why we don’t because that wouldn’t further an agenda) I’ve seen one “study” ranking UK as #1, which this ranking has them quite a bit further down the list. So why the disparity? I don’t suppose it would be that there are certain incentives that certain providers receive based on certain data? (Naw that would harken to much back to the days of the USSR.) The US usually ranks lower in these studies because there is less incentive to hide data-sets or pad stats on outcomes. Do we not see some correlation between the incentives provided by governments as part of reimbursement and the outcomes that get reported? Is there any disincentive in those very same countries for skewing self-reported data? I know people will want to believe what they want to believe, but to rely on these data sets as being meaningful for policy positions is to build your house out of a deck of cards. (remember My Cousin Vinny? seems like P.T. Barnum is alive and well.)

          • Dr. W Sumner Davis says:

            It’s bad because our government says it’s bad (for profit). A society of sheep that think they are individuals.

        • Steve says:

          No true… these are just political terms… the question and debate is deeper than politics. notably, is healthcare a basic human “right” or a “privilege?” I’m an american living in France and can tell you the french system works because the french see healthcare as a human rights issue. Right or wrong, good or bad, this is the french mentality. This debate in the US will only be resolved when we can answer this question. Free market capitalism favors healthcare as privilege and its in the blood of every American (republican, democrat, etc.) Like it or not, this is who we are… This is how our society was built. The french see paying taxes to support their healthcare system as totally reasonable. Taxes are an anathema to almost every American.

          • W H Owen says:

            Where to start?

            ‘Taxes are anathema to almost every American’? Please. It’s the ridiculously low tax rates of the 1% and the hugely unequal business taxes that favor large corporations that are anathema to any American with a brain, including not a few of the 1%.
            Government is an essential component of Democracy. Taxes are like dues to be a member of the democracy. Do I want my life run by huge corporations? No, I want a government that can control those corporations whose only duty is their executives and their largest shareholders. Your outlook is strictly a Republican outlook. It may be shared by some Democrats, but not many. I’m 66. I grew up with an anesthisiologist at each and of the dinner table. I was for National Health Care then and I am for it now, even more so. My sister-in-law is a Harvard MS family doc who is extremely discourage with the devolution of US healthcare into the mess that it now is. To whatever degree the ACA struggles it is largely due to 60 yrs+ of Republican intransigence and the disfunctional system that very few Europeans would sacrifice their access to their system to be part of ours. Relatively few Canadians live in Seattle and very few Europeans. Healthcare is one of the reasons. I know now what an extortionary, corrupt system we have created by pretending that free market’s are good to begin with and that we ever had a free market in US healthcare. Free markets do not exist where pricing is not transparent. Healthcare is the most expensive thing in most Americans lives but nobody, including the doctors knows the price of any medical service. So if you wanted to compare prices from one place to the other, or given the extreme costs in the US, send out your procedure for bids. I don’t think so.
            Once again this is a system that has been completely taken over by huge corporations.
            Secondly when you restrict the number of physicians both internally and externally (from outside the US) it is absolutely NOT a free market. This has been going on since I was a kid in the 50s at least. France has 50% more physicians/capita than the US.

          • Dave says:

            Heather isn’t thinking. There are many thing wrong with her story. Most basically, whereas she reveres competition as a trait of capitalism as most of its defenders do, every capitalist from day one strives and struggles to eliminate competition, and by eliminating competition they have brought us to a place of less choice due to 6 major Big Banks, 5 manufacturers of household appliances, a handful of major health insurance companies, and on and on. And the profits that she praises and defends mean health insurance companies, to increase profits, are motivated to find innovative ways to pay out less in benefits while charging more for premiums.

          • Heather says:

            I think competition leads to more choice for consumers. The banking and health care insurance industries are both heavily regulated which ultimately impacts consumer choice. Thank goodness I still have options for banking and buying various household appliances. I can’t say the same about my health insurance – Saskatchewan residents can be fined up to $50,000 for failing to register with the provincial government’s medical care insurance program.

        • Jim says:

          No, it is not. You should learn vocabulary.

        • Alan says:

          Heather, you and people like you are the problem. The GOP has you buffaloed with their scare tactics.

        • michael says:

          Wrong. Bismark model in Germany is completely privatized and there is universal coverage.

        • Tara says:

          of course, only a Republican would dig their heels in to protect the WORST health system in the developed world. The American “your-money-or-your-life” health non-system consistently ranks DEAD (no pun intended) LAST or next to last in all positive measures (quality, accessibility, affordability, outcomes, healthy lives) but it makes a FEW VERY RICH to deny other access to affordable care – so, to Republicans, it’s the “best” system in the world and must be protected!

        • Matt says:

          Call it what you want but it does work better than our current system

        • Katie says:

          And that seems to be a very good thing in this case. In America, we are made by the government to have insurance on our cars, our public schools are paid for by taxes, our public libraries, too. The list is rather long, and we haven’t all been put in chains. Time to recognize the new world, folks. Universal coverage just sounds better to those who are so paranoid about socialism. It’s just a word.

          • Alex says:

            Socialism is not just a word in Venezuela.

          • msbets says:

            Fast forward to today August 3rd 2017……… tell that to the UK baby, the hospital held that baby hostage……….WOULDN’T ALLOW IT TO COME TO THE US, FOR TREATMENT, EVEN THOU THE PARENTS HAD RAISED MONEY TO COME, SO YOU SOCIALIST CAN TAKE YOUR UNIVERSAL CARE AND SHOVE IT WHERE THE SUN DON’T SHINE.

        • Marcia says:

          Medicare is socialized medicine. Medicaid is socialized medicine. Healthcare for vets is socialized medicine. As someone on medicare I can attest to the fact that it’s a great system, though it certainly has problems. I had far more problems, however, when I was dependent upon profit-motivated companies to provide me with health insurance. I have absolutely nothing against profit-motivated companies, especially as I’m a business owner myself. They just aren’t a very good solution to providing coverage when the demand for healthcare has a very low level of elasticity. We need to stop thinking in terms that create knee-jerk reactions and start thinking about what works best.

        • JR says:

          Road construction and maintenance, railroad systems, law enforcement, fire protection and many. many other services are socialism, too. So is the U.S. system of tax exempting religious institutions so far as providing fire, police and other public services is concerned. I don’t hear “socialism” opponents protesting that.

        • David says:

          “Socialized” medicine is a term only used in the USA. It’s meaningless elsewhere. The USA has an army, a navy, and an airforce, but doesn’t describe these as ‘socialized defence’. We recognise threats to our nation’s health as a threat to our nation. But doctors, drugs companies, medical equipment manufacturers, continue to operate privately and for profit. The UK’s NHS is not socialized. It was ‘nationalised’ during the war when our cities were being bombed. It’s just like defence.

          The UK, like most European countries have a degree of private practice – which performs less well than the NHS. The example lower down of a UK patient refused an operation in the US, was a patient expecting the UK to fund care from taxation. There are plenty of examples of US patients refused care by their insurer.

      • Eric says:

        Just curious why we want to place more financial responsibility in the hands of a government that continues to go in debt and can’t guarantee the taxes paid towards Medicare social security will every be available to anyone under the age of 40? To expand government control over already government regulated areas seems insane. Balance budget and reduce national debt before adding more responsibility and money to a incompetent government, regardless of party. If this doesn’t seem sensible, please send me your money and I’ll take care of your money as well as government is now.

        • Dale says:

          You make a valid point. We are being scammed upside down and sideways in the U.S. While many “governments” can implement a cost effective healthcare system, the U.S. can’t and putting it in the hands of government would probably make it worse. Consider the cost per citizen right now in the U.S. is $9400/person, and we’re ranked 37th. The top five countries cost around half that. The Medicare world (government healthcare) costs $14,500 for each person it serves. Medicare costs certainly suggests that healthcare in the hands of the U.S. government would only cost more and run less efficiently than it’s current shameful state.

    • andy1555 says:

      The World Health Organization said that Columbia has one of the worst health care systems in the world yet, they ranked them #22 because they had equal access to that terrible system. The USA was ranked number 1 in quality but was ranked #37 because quality only counts 10% toward the rating. Typical of liberal think.

      • Matt says:

        I think you misread that a bit. The US system is ranked 24th, so it’s pretty good but definitely not ranked #1. When you combine that with the fact that we are the most expensive and rank horribly in the accessibility categories, I think 37 is almost generous.

        • Beth says:

          The US health care system is so screwed up it makes it impossible for most people to retire because of the high cost of insurance–even the new Obama care is unaffordable. Third world countries have better health care systems than us. I can only attribute it to the greed of the people who run this country. As said earlier, our government treats health care as a privilege for those who can afford it. Why should we have to “shop” for an insurance that is “best” for us? Why aren’t all of the plans the same, so that no matter what you need to see a doctor for, whether a cold or cancer, the overall cost you pay per month for this service is the same for everyone! That is equality! That is the way health care should be! And don’t give me that socialist crap!

          • pat says:

            you nailed it Beth. I am a healthcare practitioner and most of my constituients share the exact sediments …kudos

          • Chris says:

            “Third world countries have ‘better’ health care systems than us.” Alright Beth, I challenge you to go have your heart transplant in a third world country if you ever need one.

            The WHO rankings are completely devoid of any common sense. Ranking third world countries higher than the US is completely ridiculous. Don’t just believe any biased statistics you hear. Look more closely. Use your brains people.

          • Deb says:

            Why in the world should it be the same across the board? Why should a group of nuns have to pay for birth control/child birth expenses? There is a case going on right now where a nunnary is being charged tens of millions over that. Why should a single (or not) male be responsible for mammograms and other female care? Why should a woman be responsible for a man’s prostate trouble? And why in the world should I be responsible for a smoker’s lung problems or an addict’s treatment?

          • Adrian says:

            I extremely disagree with the push for privitisation in my home country of Australia. Many years have gone past where I have had no need for the medical system. The barely noticable standard amount deducted from my income tax to contribute to our countries healthcare is something I’m more than happy to do for my fellow countrymen, regardless of personal usage. Take care of the people around you, simple! I don’t buy into the ploy of ‘I didn’t use this, I don’t do that, so therefor..’ game. In my opinion it has been cunningly exploited by privitisation advocates as justification to leave their brothers and sisters out in the cold. A business has a primary goal to make more money than it did the year before! that and caring for people in need don’t mix too well. The motivations behind systems of care, governance and infrastructure right across the board in most places need to be addressed. Everyone pays their percentage, one that is adequate for research too. By that system the need for profit is taken out of the equation, reducing cost. Medical advancements made in reserched tech. advancements can then also be implemented at cost. With patients not needing insurance approval or lump sums of cash to get what they need to survive or have quality of life, the knock on effects to society and the way we think about caring for others is a step in the right direction we all need.

      • tom says:

        I’ve been to 77 different countries, experienced (through my work) healthcare offered in at least 20, France, russia, iceland, denmark, australia to name a few, the USA has (b4 obamacare) the absolute, hands down – no completion, most advanced healthcare to offer to it’s poorest citizens. obama care has created what was once a classless system into a class system of healthcare- wait in line, panel decides your procedure to be performed by fewer docs/specialists.

        • Heather says:

          Many doctors are now opting out of socialized medicine in the USA and offering fee for service directly to their patients. This is the only way to save the doctor/patient relationship and the practice of medicine.

          • Diane says:

            To Heather:

            The USA does NOT have SOCIALIZED medicine, but according to the rankings the countries that do HAVE socialized medicine are at the top of the list and the US is #37. Where do you live?????

          • Heather says:

            Hi Diane,
            Socialized medicine is known as Medicare in Canada and Medicare and Medicaid in the United States.

          • Barbara says:

            I don’t understand your comment that the government decides the quantity and quality of your healthcare. You are free to go to any doctor you want, as many times as you want. The quality is somewhat regulated – there are very few medical education systems in the world that Canada will accept doctors from without requiring further medical education.

            Some provinces restrict how many patients a doctor can see in a day to try to improve care.

            Most doctors are fee for service – they get maybe $25 for a simple office visit, more for a procedure etc. Some are paid on a capitation basis – each patient in their roster worth so much per year – and if that patient sees another doctor, their family doctor may be charged for it (incentive to keep their patients healthy!) Some specialized clinics are paid directly by the government, and not ‘per patient.’

            No one has more access to healthcare than anyone else in Canada. Everyone is free to choose to buy their healthcare elsewhere. You pay privately for plastic surgery, or fly to Thailand for breast implants, or the Philippines for faith healing or the States for whatever you want. .

      • Devon says:

        So you don’t think that quality should be weighted by access?? So what if a country of 1000 people had all of the worlds best doctors and only 500 people had access to them?..200 people?..5 people!? The others would just die, or go bankrupt getting the proper care.. Access is clearly a HUGELY important variable in the equation – and each country has vastly different rates.

        • Charles Hurley says:

          The capitalist approach certainly does stimulate research, but not necessarily for effective cures. Often times it creates marketing for ineffective cures, that the company holds patents on and has the means to promote. Other times it creates ailments and syndromes to fit products it has on the shelf. The mere fact that Cuba,an impoverished nation, ranks very near to the US in effective healthcare, belies the capitalist argument. Politicizing healthcare is it’s biggest impediment.

          • roger broughton says:

            I think it breaks down to health care for profit. The motivation will always be to improve the bottom line. So the underline story is to supply cheaper healthcare but in reality, it’s simply less coverage.and victims are simply chronic complainers

            Genetics should make health care better yet for insurance companies they regard this as a new cash tool. Your genetics will help identify the possible probability of your future health care failure and you will be assessed on these risk also.

            Canada’s health care is not perfect but at about 11% of GDP compared to the US at over 18%, better longevity(close to 3 years) and a lot fewer birth deaths. It seems simple decision with just those few stats “longer life, lower cost”

            Having live in Europe and the States I know for many Americans it may be hard to believe that everything they make or do isn’t the best in the world. I am a baby boomer and it was easy to believe it and it was for most things for a long time . And I I admire greatly our neighbors from the south so this isn’t bashing the US either,

            But it is painfully evident to me that the two party system with it’s inability to purge the deadwood has contributed to the polarity we now see.

            It is not what is required but simply what is politically feasible or possible. What can be done that will appease the electorate without negatively affecting our fund raising for the next election which is always two years away.

            Bad power and mostly greed are killing my southern friends and for the most part, all we can do is watch. If I can make but one humble suggestion in planning the future for next generation: If you want to make America great again consider giving the same reverence to health care and education as you do the second amendment and gun control. And if you don’t believe that look at America after WW2 with the VA, the GI Bill, and the Marshall plan.

            And one more thing when TV news show the latest escapade of the Kardashians switch to the BBC and get a different take on major events and question what you hear . One version is never enough.

  2. Paolla says:

    Do you have a source of this ranking? Thanks.

    • admin says:

      This information is available on the World Health Organization’s website at
      The ranking is contained in Annex Table 10 available here

      • April says:

        Admin – This is not the source for the data you cite. On the “Annex 10 Table” Canada ranks 30th and the United States is 72nd. There are a variety of tables in the WHO report which rank the countries on different criteria, thus moving the order around. Which table are you citing here, as it is not the “Over All Performance” table. Thanks.

        • admin says:

          The citation is correct. Perhaps you read the table too quickly.

          • Adam says:

            Hi Admin,
            How the HELL is NZ behind America? NZ has GREAT healthcare. We don’t require insurance and we have free care paid for by taxes in emergency situations, or if you need an operation. The only drawback is the waiting time for surgeries but, beyond that, at least we don’t have to pay insurance companies a cent.

            America, on the other hand, are slaves to the healthcare system(although I’m looking forward to see what the ACA does).

            Looking forward to learning something new,
            - Adam

        • andy1555 says:

          The World Health Organization said that Columbia has one of the worst health care systems in the world yet, they ranked them #22 because they had equal access to that terrible system. The USA was ranked number 1 in quality but was ranked #37 because quality only counts 10% toward the rating. Typical of liberal think.

          • Milton says:

            Andy1555, where do you get your info??? The WHO did not say Columbia has one of the worst!! In fact, they have one of the best. I know people from the US that go there specifically for their healthcare. You know little about this, based on your last comment you must be a conservative that falsely believes that the US has the best of everything. Open your eyes, get off your mother’s couch and experience the world.

      • Lillian Gayhardt says:

        This is from the year 2000. Anything a little more ‘current’?

        • Klm says:

          Why? Has our system, or any other, changed much? ( dont say ours has, ACa isnt active yet.)

          • Taliashire says:

            Oh yes it is…..just wait until the employer mandate kicks in January 2015. Talk about all hell breaking loose. Then you will understand that the ACA has very little to do with health care.

  3. CARL REVINE says:

    Of course everyone thinks they are as or more important than the next guy. We are a fast food society which expects everything now, regardless of how hungry you are. As someone who has experienced both health care systems (the US and Canada) first hand I can tell you, the wait times are not much different. However, in the US if you have private insurance, you will be greeted with open arms like your checking into the Hyatt Regency. In Canada you are greeted with disdain and told to sit down. In the US the floors are shinny buffed with an expensive machine daily using some kind of toxic cleaner and wax. In Canada the floors are dull but clean having been cleaned with some environmentally safe cleaner but without the special polymer based coating. Canadians are mostly treated like cattle. The quality of health care is not much different depending on your condition. The US has centers of excellence which do advanced research and are well funded. In Canada there is advanced research on a much smaller scale. In the US if you don’t have insurance you avoid seeing the doctor unless your on your death bed, in Canada people fill Emergency rooms with relatively minor complaints, or you see you GP on a regular basis. The treatments in Canada are more standard and well tested and endorsed by Health Canada, even stricter then the FDA. As for the so called rationing, it’s not really rationing, it’s prioritizing based on the urgency for treatment, if it can wait it will while the resources are committed to the people who can’t wait. in the US resources are committed to the people who can pay others are directed to free clinics.

    • Wrabbit007 says:

      This is all true – but only for the wealthy Americans. I’ve been to free clinics, and they are nothing like what you describe here. In Canada, at least everyone has a fair and equal chance to seek treatment. You don’t have to be nobility or a lottery winner to get health care like you do in the U.S.

    • colin says:

      garbage- if they live just as long and have infinitely less money issues concerning healthcare costs.. then that makes us worse. WE all know should know whats so moronic about your points. Lets follow your logic and give some examples 1. Because in America we have wide roads, so we all have must have great cars. 2. Because there are more big house in America than most countries, then we all must have decent housing, 3. Since we have the most doctors, we all must have decent healthcare. 4. We have the biggest buildings then we must all be doing great. Weak argument 5. since we have the longest penises , the women in america have the best sex. ( sounds ignorant doesn’t it.) 6. Since we have more freedoms, then there must be less people breaking the laws and less people per capita in jail. 7. Since we have more people, we should have more tax revenue. 8. We believe in god, so therefore we must be right.

      • Heather says:

        When Canadian politicians and bureaucrats leave the country to seek medical care they go to the United States.

        • mary says:

          When politicians and bureaucrats in the USA seek medical care, they go to the best facilities and doctor’s available. One has to be a very wealthy Canadian to seek care in the USA. Those who have no health insurance in the USA go to ER when they are often in dire situation and would never get a knee replacement if needed. No one in Canada goes without health care.. Everyone gets what they need though elective requires wait.

          • Heather says:

            When Canadian politicians leave the country to access free market medicine they go to the USA. Many Canadian patients, who are not wealthy, are forced to leave Canada to access medical care in the USA. Everyone in Canada has government health insurance but not access to medical care. Right now close to 20,000 patients in Saskatchewan are being forced to wait on lists for medically necessary surgery.

          • Crystal says:

            I am from Vancouver, BC and had to wait 18 months to have a tumour removed from from my abdomen. I was in excruciating pain for 2 years, in and out of hospital and on lethally high doses of morphine. I am a nurse. Stage 4 cancer ( the worst) were the only patients ahead of me on the surgical list.
            That is how bad the situation is here. I have goverment insurance but also pay $3000.00 per year for extended insurance through my employer for life, disability, dental & prescriptions.

          • Karen says:

            Am Canadian and knowthe system … I know people who have needed surgery and did not get it (so they continue in pain) … know people who are suffering while waiting MONTHS just to get an appointment with a specialist … know people who have been on a gurney for days in emergency because there were no rooms available (not exagerated by the way, 3 nights in emergency in the hall way) … People in Canada go without the health care they need all the time! I believe it´s different from province to province … Now living in Mexico, and – based on personal experience – Mexico should be ranked high in the medical facilities and doctors.

          • CDS, RN, BSN says:

            Whomever told you that you are denied health care services misled you. Everyone in the US can walk into any ER and be treated. “If the patient deems it an emergency, it’s an emergency” is what our highly government regulated health care system requires of any hospital that accepts ANY govern mentioned funding, which translates if they accept Medicare or Medicaid they must recognize all “emergencies.” This includes all people, citizens, noncitizens, etc. They also must refer to a facility for any follow up needed if they do not have a PCP, AND one that will accept that particular patient’s funding or lack thereof. So before spouting off about people in the US not having access to medical care, learn the laws that govern us and causes our health care to be so expensive -we are paying via insurance premiums and your deductibleS for those that do not care for themselves.
            Hospitals must staff social workers/case managers to find funding for the undercovered. Not only that, outside of hospitals, meaning private practices, for profit businesses also must accept a certain percentage of patients that are nonfunded if they accept any government monies, ie Medicare, Medicaid AND the MC patients rates are at a significantly lower reimbursement rate.
            So before talking out of your ass, learn the regulations that guide our heavily regulated system – and BTW all these rules were established long before the broken and expensive Obamacare. Maybe he and his family (and their closest 200 friends) should quit spending ouR taxes on 10 vacations a year and weekly parties. That alone would pay for most of those who had no health care funds.

  4. AndreaH says:

    This report was published in 2000 with source data from 1997, so the data is now 14 years old. I wonder when they will publish more current rankings and how/if they will differ?
    I had a look and see that there has been another World Health Report, published in 2010, but I did not find any world-wide rankings for health systems.

    • admin says:

      Each of the WHO’s reports covers a specific subject. Their 2010 report is about the financing of health systems. Their next report will cover health research. I’m not sure if or when they will revisit health system performance but you’re right it would be interesting to see how current rankings would compare. Let me know if you come across any current studies or reports covering health system performance.

  5. BrunoM says:

    Well I say that I had bad experience in Canada or Ontario with the healthcare, it’s free but I have to say it’s not the best. I had to get stiches done and I had to wait for 13 hours to get myself treated by a doctor, and the nurses basically ignored me during that time and told me to sit down. And I basically waited for 13 hours by the doctor. Once I got thru the doctor, he was rude, same as the nurse that was standing by him. Well I got my sitches, but I had to pay for the medication and cruches. Finally I can’t find any family doctor, that I can go reguarly the once a year thing, or if I have some illness I can’t have a family doctor.

    Now I’ve been living in Brazil for 3 years now, and we have here two systems the private and public. Now I went thru both, the private I say was excellent no wait times nothing. Doctor treated me with respect and looked after me. Now for the public which people complained about it, well I had a biking accident nothing serious, but had to get also stiches. I was actuall closer to a public place than a private, so I went there. Didn’t have to have any ID just showed up, and as soon as I got there the nurse told me to go to the doctor’s office. I waited there for 2 minutes and the nurse showed up and looked at my knee, well he cleaned it up, and said the doctor will come and see you shortly, 10 minutes later the doctor showed up, and said well we have to give you anesthetic to your knee so we can remove all the small debrees in it, then also stich it up. Well he did it, and after stiching me up he bandaged my knee, and said to go to the other room to get a tetanus shot. He was really friendly, and told me some jokes. Finally on the other room the nurse showed up right away and gave me the shot. And told me to come back tommorow to change the bandage, and I went there for 7 days, to change it and after the 10th day they removed the stiches. I say I was impressed, and I don’t know why people complained about it, and I even told the doctor how it was in Canada, and he just chuckled. Well I know now where I can go and where I don’t have to spend a dime on medicines shots and doctors consultation.

    • admin says:

      It’s interesting to note that Brazil has both a private and public health care system. Public health care, whether it’s in Canada or Brazil, is not free. At least in Brazil you can exercise your freedom of choice in health care and pay to access medical services in the private system. Thanks for sharing your experiences.

    • Klm says:

      Reverse comparisons, with the US being slow, inattentive and rude but Canada being prompt cheerful and efficient are easily found. This is why statistics matter.

  6. Carl says:

    this information is dead wrong… Brazil is on 125 place? How come? They have socialized universal health care and Brazilians never had any problem reaching for doctors or treatment of any kind without being charged for… USA should the on the very bottom of the list, since besides being awfully expensive, they have all the technology but no experience or touch.

    • Vanessa says:

      I am Brazilian and I have to say you people had great experiences with our health care that do not correspond to the true thing. Indeed we have a universal health care system that is amazing in theory, but does not work how it should.

  7. Becky says:

    This list is somewhat BS…….but aside from that….lol……I dont have healthcare, and I live in the U.S.A. …..I go to Canada…….I have healthcare!!!…….Any questions?……. Something is better than nothing at all!!!

  8. Sal G. says:

    Why is Taiwan NOT on this list ? I’ve been treated all over the world. Ok, Taiwan is not as good as France but better than USA and just as good as Japan.

  9. Taylor says:

    Taiwan is not a part of the United Nations. The W.H.O. (World Health Organization) only rated members of the U.N.

  10. jordanian says:

    if saudi arabia is better than jordan, y are all saudis coming to jordan when they can be treated in their country for free!!!!

  11. Shawn says:

    “Improving the Canadian Healthcare System does not mean we must emulate the American system” thank you for saying this. Canadians have a tendancy to obsessively make comparisons with the U.S., especially on the topic of healthcare. both systems have their flaws, no doubt, but what bothers mw the most about the Canadian system is that you have NO CHOICE in how you are treated. You only have what the government is offering, and it’s often mediocre at best. Canada is supposedly of free country, we have the freedom to purchase whatever house, car, etc we want, but we have NO CHOICE on how our health will be managed. This essentially means that the government owns our bodies and decides how we will be cared for, this is exactly how the soviet union healthcare system was managed. To my knowledge there are only 3 countries in the world where you have no private options of health care: Cuba, North Korea, and Canada!

    • Kat says:

      Are you saying that you have no choice in physicians to see? Such as, you are forced to see only ONE person? Or do you have a choice in government doctors?
      In the USA, healthcare is not great. There is federal mandate that ALL physicians must follow certain rules and regulations lockstep and must not deviate, but so many physicians are so arrogant and greedy that they care more about $$ than us. I nearly died two times from medical errors. The United States leads the world in medical errors and patient deaths. We also get jammed into doctor offices because we are “just a number” with $$ signs. It is hard for me to get an appointment because the wait is so long anyway. We are lucky if you can see a doctor for regular appointment in a month, and ER typically takes 4 – 12 hours before a doctor will see you. If I do find someone I can trust here, I hang on to them as tight as possible, because good, caring competent doctors in the USA are not easy to come by. For some reason, so many US doctors seem to think their defecation does not stink.
      If you don’t like your heathcare in Canada, please let’s switch. I’m serious.

  12. P.B.Staunton says:

    It is problematic that we are talking about the “Canadian Health Care” system, when in fact there is no such thing. With notable exceptions where health care pertains to First Nations treaty guarantees, the federal government has a very limited involvement in health care.

    I have lived in several provinces, and can tell you from experience that Ontario has, by far, the best system within Canada. Living in Saskatchewan, well, I frankly have more confidence in the health care system of Zambia, where I also lived for a time. It’s a weird mix of socialism (no second opinions!), Baptist morality (my wife was actually asked why she wanted a routine ultrasound and questioned upon what conditions she would terminate her pregnancy), incompetence (botched test results, nurses overriding medical procedures ordered by physicians), and negligence (Ativan is perfectly safe for the first trimester baby!).

    It’s unfair to everyone that Canada is clustered all together, when incompetent provinces drag those numbers down.

  13. George Hossfeld MD says:

    Evertime I hear this quoted- that the US is anything but number one in national healthcare systems- I have to wonder about the judgement of most people. WHO puts these tables together by asking each country to fill out the statistics and takes them as reported without any effort to confirm. Therefore, when Uzbakistan reports a lower infant mortality than the US, WHO accepts that. Never mind that what the US calls a low birth weight infant (subject to many complications and high mortality) most of the world calls a stillbirth. In other words, these tables are not just worthless, but they are dangerously wrong. As an emergency physician of 32 years, I have cared for thousands of international people who have come to my ED from the airport. They vote with their feet. I know of people going abroad to have elective procedures done cheaper than in the US- all that government regulation does add much to the cost after all- but I never have heard of anyone who went outside the US for better healthcare. When elected officials and monarchs worldwide need medical care, they come to the US. It is expensive being number one. The first in technology, pharmaceuticals, etc comes with a big price tag.
    When someone reads reports like the WHO put out, they must exercise a little common sense and ask a few questions rather than blindly accept ridiculous statements. Incidentally, this same rubbish was used to argue for a national healthcare reform that has become a shameful boondoggle.

    • Heather says:

      The objective of the World Health Organization, as stated in their constitution, is health for all. They will “…take all necessary action to attain the objective of the Organization.” Since 1948 they have been working to socialize medicine worldwide.

    • Kat says:

      Actually, I have friends from abroad who love their own country’s national healthcare better than USA, and even travel back home for better procedures, and at lower cost. According to Commonweath survey, the USA now leads the world in most medical errors and patient deaths, which after my own experiences, I am not surprised. In the future, if I need major surgery, I am seeking help outside the USA.

      • Ben says:


        I’m from the UK and live in the states. The US health system is a nation wide scam and you’ve all fallen for it.

        The reason why not many people leave the states for health care is simple: the nearby countries have worse care. This I suspect has shaped American ideas of just how good health care can be. I wouldn’t leave the states to go to Mexico for example.

        Many counties have terrible socialized medicine, and many have great socialized medicine. The experiment has been done however, all the top health systems, not just by the metrics in this chart, are not mostly through private insurance companies.

        You seem confused about three things:

        1) Yes, many countries have socialized medicine and this is part of a vaguely more socialist view of the role of the state. Look at the data (not just from here of course), which thing is working better in general per dollar? What ever rational sounding argument can be given, the experiment has been done and repeated and the results are in. The name of the system is irrelevant, universal healthcare/socialize medicine doesn’t have to be a step towards any type of socialism in any other part of government. Nor is it part of any government take over. Americans seem less free than Europeans in many senses btw, for example I enjoy the freedom not to die from greed of an insurance company. It seems to me that you have simply fallen for scare tactics by people who only want to take your money by playing on your values.

        2) Universal health care doesn’t at all remove the chance of private insurance if you want it. Bupa is a popular choice in the UK for private insurance and you can also pay for specific procedures if you prefer or the wait will be shorter. Many people do this and we really just get the best of both while still all paying much much less (a third on average I think).

        3) In no sense do Americans get more “choice” about their doctors. Living in the US was my first experience of a doctor I couldn’t go to! Also, so what if you could choose if most people couldn’t afford all but the cheapest, that sort of choice is a total illusion. In France, the UK and Germany (these are the only ones I know, but I’m sure it’s true for many) you can choose your doctor freely, get second opinions and sue for any negligence (at much lower cost). Which doctors are “in plan” is way way more restrictive than the European system and if you don’t think it is, then just spend one year in France!

        If I were ill, I’d instantly leave to get free and better care in Germany, the UK or France. I am so grateful that I’m an EU citizen and can do this after seeing both systems first hand. I can only imagine what living with the fear of instant bankruptcy caused by serious illness would be like and sitting in the doctors office after hearing half what you need isn’t ‘in plan’, that you have a massive bill and hearing the doctor you should be trusting trying to sell you product placements that you obviously don’t need.

        Total. Obvious. Scam.

  14. Question from Europe says:

    I see that Canadian healthcare is on a relatively high position in the WHO ranking. I am interested if the healthcare system in Canada is founded only on a private basis or it is a social healthcare system. Are the doctors and hospitals merchants under the laws of Canada or they are a part of the state apparatus? Are the doctors state (civil) servants or they are private persons/merchants? My personal opinion is that it is not ethic to commercialise the healthcare and to transform the healthcare into commercial activity. According me the state has to guarantee optimal health services in favour to its citizens. I am from Eastern Europe (Bulgaria) where the healthcare is just a commerce and the life of the patients is not appreciated at all. The doctors and the hospitals in Bulgaria are commercial entities. Some of them are commercial entities with state (public) share but this cannot change the commercial essence. There is a big corruption in the healthcare of my country and the quality of the service is at the lowest point. Many people die because of lack of therapy or bad and incorrect therapy. So can you describe in brief is the healthcare of Canada commerce or it is in the state dominated public sector?

    • Heather says:

      Canada has universal health care which is socialized medicine. By way of legislation and regulations the government controls access to doctors and hospitals. Doctors are prohibited from setting their own prices and charging for medically necessary services. Patients are prohibited from paying doctors directly for medically necessary services. The government, as single-payer, decides the quantity and quality of medical services patients will receive. Certain individuals, groups and corporations are granted special privileges and benefits under socialized medicine.

      I believe that every individual should have the freedom to pursue their own health care interests. I believe that every individual should have the freedom to spend their own money on their own health care.

  15. Greg says:

    The WHO 2000 study is a hilarious piece of data construction. I like how part of their data comes from health surveys passed out to WHO employees. Something that any statistician knows can completely contaminate the data.

    People should really just stop using this study.

  16. Colleen says:

    The WHO report ranking health systems was widely criticized – and I believe even the WHO acknowledged it was flawed. The Wall Street Journal reported “Few people who cite the ranking are aware that some public-health officials were skeptical of the report from the outset. The ranking was faulted because it judges health-care systems for problems — cultural, behavioral, economic — that aren’t controlled by health care.” This is true.

    Both domestic and international evidence shows that parallel private systems cause longer wait times for patients in the public queue – because doctors have higher incentives to treat patients paying more in private clinics than the fees medical associations negotiate with public payers. Access to care in the private sector is based on ability to pay rather than need.

    Canada’s public system has challenges, especially in regard to non-hospital and non-physician services which are too costly for many people. And wait times for some services are too long. However a study in Alberta found that nearly 30% of the patients on wait lists for knee and hip replacements were no longer waiting – many had already had the surgery or had been able to address their problems with alternative treatments (eg., physiotherapy). The point here is that surgeons are not known to be good wait list managers. They have an obligation to refer patients who may want faster access to another surgeon but seldom do. And patients often don’t exercise the options available to them in the public system – for example, asking to see another surgeon.

    The wait list is a good issue to stir people’s sense of injustice but unfortunately the “solutions” identified by groups like the Fraser Institute and CIMCA lead us over a cliff. These are not “government wait lists” – they are the doctors’ wait lists.

    • Heather says:

      Access to medical care in the public system is not based on need. Which patients on surgical waiting lists don’t need surgery? Who decides need in the public health care system? Under a single-payer system the government controls the doctor/patient relationship. Politicians and bureaucrats decide how many surgeries will be performed annually, how many OR hours will be allocated to each doctors, etc. Waiting lists are wrong. Preventing people from paying for their own health care needs is wrong.

  17. Pam says:

    You are forgetting to list TAIWAN which has an excellent healthcare system, much better than most of the top 10 countries of your list. Or is it that out of ignorance you included in the Chinese’s system?

  18. Rogue says:

    The rankings are more than just socialized vs non-socialized medicine. The type of medicine practiced has a huge factor into this. If people are not going to the doctor because they are in a state of wellness, then you are not burdening the system.

    Fact is, any health care system will work just fine if its funded appropriately. Socialized medicine comes down to how much the government allocates and how efficient they are. It could work just fine, however, most governments really don’t care about the citizen.

    Some of the countries which rank higher than the USA use different remedies to treat ailments and their perspective on health is much different. France, the largest consumer of homeopathy, ranks 1st. The Netherlands, where 45% of the practicing physicians believe in homeopathy, ranks 17th. Some of these places use natural therapies which work to strengthen and tonify the body rather than suppress symptoms.

    The philsophy of what disease is and how to treat it play a greater role in the ranking than whether or not socialized medicine is best. Also, the system in the USA would just fine if Big Pharma wasn’t involved and people were ethical.

  19. Aaron says:

    Indonesian’s health care system is getting better over the years. With free public healthcare system makes people who are under poverty braver to go to hospital to get proper treatment.
    Although my family is far above the poverty line of Indonesia, we still get free healthcare coverage by paying the mandatory fee of $4 a month.

    Of course the quality, technologies, facilities and skills are far below France (we’re ranked 92nd), but this system has gotten better over the years. I hope my country will be on top 5 by 2030 for the sake of the people.

    • jack says:

      yea, im sure with 4 bucks a month your healthcare will be better than the top 5 in 2030 hahahaha
      also, you said the words, “free healthcare coverage by paying…” i hope you see the flaw in this…

  20. Nicolas says:

    For being a french living in USA

    The biggest differences are
    - unlike in France i am only covered for partners practitioners … so much for the choice.
    - it is actually much more expansive than in France, even if i compare the taxes and prelevements of my paychecks.Iin France they take an amount that is overall lower – in USA you are forced to take an insurance… and a bad insurance is more expansive than a good one in France
    - even though you are covered in USA you still have fat bills. in France i never met to have to pay consequents “copayments” when you are insured. For instance the remaining of the copayment in USA is the cost i would have to pay if i was not covered at all in France…
    - in USA not every one is covered and not everyone even goes to be checked because of they are afraid of being charged… and they are !
    - the same medicine pills (was antibiotics) is sold here 3 times as much as in France.

    so over all i have a bit bigger paycheck in USA but
    - bad retirement
    - bad medical coverage
    - college to pay for the kids
    => if you are single and get a degree you benefit living in USA
    if you have kids and a wife you are better in France.

  21. Rachelle says:

    I am trying to write an article about this for a class/my blog.

    Could you tell me how much, if anything, you have to pay to go to the emergency room (in different countries) as well as how much it costs to take an ambulance?

    Thank you so much for the help

    • Anthony says:

      Canada – $0. If I get hit by a car and are taken to the hospital by an ambulance for treatment, there is no charge. (Part of the taxes that everyone pays goes to covering those costs for people that require them, when they require them). Not truly “free” because it comes out of yearly taxes which everyone pays, but citizens generally receive no actual “bill”. There are certain circumstances when you can be charged for an ambulance, but typically it’s covered.

    • Celeste says:

      In Ontario, Canada.
      I didn’t have to pay anything when going to ER or for when I had my two kids. My husband didn’t have to pay anything when he had his heart attack or when he had his appendix removed. We did have to pay for the ambulance – $45. It all comes from our taxes.

    • Nancy says:

      I was traveling in Bolivia (3rd World Country according to U.S. State Dept), and went to ER. No waiting, no need to show ID, Doctor followed me into his office. Had to be hospitalized for 1 day (private room) with I.V., received medications in hospital and after discharge. Total cost was $125.00. This was a public hospital, conditions weren’t the best, but I received top notch care and would still rate it better than any HMO in the U.S.

  22. John williams says:

    The profit motive is what I say on television Hawking a new drug every other commercial. The maddening thing is that it’s like junk mail because every once in awhile you get a check so you have to go through the letters and the vast majority of it is just trying to take your money.
    There are and will be incredible medical breakthroughs in the next years to come but in the US only the folks that can afford it will be able to have good health.

  23. Anthony says:

    Here’s a REAL representation of healthcare in Canada (Toronto, Ontario). I’m going to try to be as brief as possible while considering points that others have made:

    Shawn & others of a similar mindset:

    If you are a Canadian citizen, health care is provided at “no cost” (taxes cover it). As well, you DO have many options to increase / modify the level of care you receive. This is done primarily by paying private insurance companies or taking part in a benefit program through your employer.

    As an Ontario resident, OHIP covers most of my (and all Ontarians) medical needs, and my employer covers all of my family’s basic (non-emergency) health and dental needs, even when we travel abroad. To give you some real, personal examples of the coverage:

    From OHIP (Province of Ontario health care within Canada – for those who don’t know):

    - I had kidney surgery and treatment for 1.5 YRS – at no out of pocket cost (This would cost hundreds of thousands in the US – true). Treatment was successful and I’m better now.
    - I’ve had 5 broken bones and about 100 stitches over the years – at no cost.
    - I’ve been to the ER many times and treated for everything from vomiting to systemic infections – at no cost.

    Additionally, through my employer, I CHOOSE to pay for extra benefits (through a private insurer) that pays for everything from braces for my daughters to dental surgery (I have 2 upcoming root canals @ $3000 – covered through my employer provided benefits) and whatever else.

    The fact is, in most situations, if you go to a hospital or even a walk-in clinic, they will treat you at “no cost”, however they will also PRIORITIZE the necessity of your treatment. If you show up to the ER with a leg cramp while there are people being treated for gunshot wounds, yes, you will have to wait. You WILL be treated though and again, it wont cost you anything directly (taxes) – even if it requires months in the hospital for you to get better.

    What seems lost on most people is that if you require immediate life-saving surgery , it will be covered and provided through the government. If you need an operation for something that is non life-threatening, you can be put on a waiting list (see above re priority) or make a decision to see a private professional, generally at your own extra expense, either in Canada or another country. As far as the list goes, those who need it first come first!

    I don’t understand how some people can complain about a system that provides top-level care without bankrupting families. Do those that don’t appreciate this know what it can be like without it? Many of you commenters come across as seeming very entitled without justification.

    If you want to be more financially responsible for your family’s healthcare, then pay a private insurer a premium amount and you will be treated similarly to those in the US.

    If you are unsatisfied and unwilling to try to contribute to Canadian society and rights of citizenship – leave.

    In this GREAT country, even the homeless get the same level of care if in need. It doesn’t matter about your status, you are treated equally whether or not you have insurance backing you. It’s a lot more “doing what’s right and preserving humanity” than “let’s save a life only if we can make a buck”.

    Lastly, prescriptions are generally not covered by the Gov., but medication and diagnosis while in the hospital is typically completely covered (anesthetic, pain meds, MRIs, etc…), and employer benefits almost always cover a large percentage (80%+) of prescribed medication and most other things.


    • Darren MacKay says:

      If you are an Injured Worker, it is a VERY DIFFENENT SITUATION.
      Many go Bankrupt, Families are Broken, they go homeless, and some commit suicide- because the WCB System is run by Employers.

      There is no Recourse, and YOU ARE NOT TREATED!

  24. Jim says:

    As I grew up, some 84 years ago, I was always under the impression we had the best Health Care in the world, as this is what we were told. During my aging years, I learned that maybe this wasn’t necessarily true. My gastroenterologist told me I had to have my colon removed to stop my consistent bleeding over a two year period. His Office was reluctant to have a second opinion from another doctor!
    While vacationing in FL, I was told they would no longer give me transfusions unless I had a colonoscopy by a doctor they recommended. I did this! He was able to fix the problems and I have not had any more bleeding in over four years. My wife was diagnosed for A Fib two years ago. The doctor knew she had to be treated for it, but neglected to do so. In three days, she had a stroke, and because of lack of proper treatment, she was dead in 30 days! I had plenty of evidence to bring suit against the Medical Organization. However, because of the ridiculously low award set by the WI Insurance Commission, no one would accept my case. The WI Insurance Fund that all Medical Services pay in to, have established such low awards, it is next to impossible to bring suit against them! And yet they have over a Billion Dollars in the coffers! It adds up fast when you hardly ever pay out! That is why the Medical facilities do not have the best equipment, procedures and Personnel, as that would take away from there bottom line! Government Officials and the one percent
    ‘ers are not worried about medical costs, as they more than make up for it in favorable tax rates.
    Health Insurance in the USA is a sham compared to other industrialized Nations!

  25. Jim says:

    Anthony, I appreciate your straight forward comments! I have argued these points with people many times in the US. Those that feel we are number one in all aspects in the US, largely because they have been successful in the US, will not investigate to learn otherwise! Their stock answer is, “If you don’t like it here, move where it is better!” This attitude will not help US citizens who want to improve our care, in all respects! Thanks for enlightening us on Canada!

  26. Quek says:

    The interesting thing about this ranking is that surgical outcome and patient outcome is simply not addressed. The ranking according to outcome would be of more interest. The US is ranked number one for surviving heart attacks and treatment of most types of cancer. Emergency medical care, the US is ranked number 1 for outcome. Nothing in this study talks about how the overall outcome is judged. It is a survey in how affordable or how socialized the system is.

  27. R. Chater says:

    Thou shalt not spend funds without a good R.O.I. The biggest and fastest growing religion in this country (U.S.) is the church of the holy dollar. This is not the way Europeans think.

  28. Sovereign Mary says:

    Yep, all praise to the World Health Organization’s deity — the New World Order wishing to obliterate all nation sovereignty for a global Big Brother cabal of nameless unelected faceless One World Order bureaucrats.

  29. Xolani says:

    many people are against universal healthcare. they like to bring socialism into the picture. the truth is health care should not be a burden to citizens who pay taxes. no one decide to get sick. no one want to be sick. people have responsibility to pay taxes, government have a responsibility to take care of their citizen, mainly when it comes to health care. no one should be going to hospital and come out of there followed by bills. no one should be deprived of medical health care on the basis that he can’t afford it. this is the same with education, children should not be deprived of education because they can’t afford it. Governments priorities are upside down in most countries. when medical health care is controlled by private companies, majority of people are left out of the system and that is not just. it is wrong. health care should not be for certain people. it should be for everyone equally.

  30. Jeff Lewis says:

    I think it’s best not to read as much into this list as people seem to be doing.

    Countries like San Marino and Andorra are also very SMALL countries with tiny populations. San Marino ha 31,500 people – smaller than most towns in Canada or the US. Andorra has around 85,000 people. One medium sized hospital would cover ALL their needs.

    A country like Canada, with 33 million people spread over a country the size of Europe has vastly different logistics and economics. A country like the US with 300 million people in a country just a little smaller than Canada, obviously has yet again different logistics and economic.

    Singapore and Malaysia use their medical system as a revenue source – selling medical ‘tourist’ packages tp foreigners with hotel accommodations, visa inclusion and extensive medical procedures at low cost. Not surprisingly, the citizens of those countries get a benefit from that.

    Trying to distill all that down to one number is almost meaningless.

  31. Marcus says:

    What is the criteria or rubric for these rankings please? If you have an agenda, your results can be anything you want. Who determines which criteria or characteristics get the highest scores? For example, if a country has the highest cancer survival rate for breast and prostate patients (USA) in the world and people in countries that give everybody “healthcare” die at a much higher rate, how many more points does that country get towards their ranking. Does the research use qualitative or quantitative methods and if qualitative, how much does the WHO give towards the ranking for someone that says they are “happy” with their healthcare, which has nothing to do with the actual system itself or the actual quality of the care. Are there deductions for the time people have to wait for health services in the various countries? If you don’t get deductions from your ranking for extended periods, why? Do the rankings include average life span, if so why? LIfestyle plays a major role in that and we here in the USA over-indulge at a higher rate because we have more than everybody else. I’m not saying that is a good thing, but there are a great many things the influence average lifespan that have nothing to do with healthcare. I’ll take these rankings with a grain of salt.

    • Rob says:

      Good questions Marcus. I would like to know those answers as well. I would also like to know when this list gets updated? Is it every five or ten years? One reason I am so interested is that I would like to know how much higher the USA now ranks since Obamacare has been enacted. One of the selling points is that being ranked 37th was not acceptable. Now that our government has decided to spend 1.8 Trillion dollars over a ten year period have we seen the results that were promised?

  32. mahid saad says:

    Bangladesh has the position 88 nnumber.It’s appreciable

  33. DGohel says:

    Canada’s health system is worst… my son had fever since 8 days and not getting down.. I visited Dr offer 4 times… doctors keep saying give advil..but finally my son had xray and found pneumonia… now who is responsible for my son’s situation…

    I am planning to leave the country.. I cant stay more here..

    worst ever experience…

  34. Paul says:

    I live in Australia we have a public health care system. It’s really this simple if you’re sick I look after you,if I’m sick you look after me. We as Australians pay a portion of our incomes towards the Medicare fund, so I think its fair to say we all look after each other.Like family?. However if you can afford to, there is the option of private health care which comes with certain privileges and tax breaks.Please don’t confuse socialism with communism. I truly believe the most livable countries, wether rich or poor have a healthy balance between socialism and capitalism.

  35. Richard M says:

    It’d be interesting to know what criteria were used to assess these different countries. Given the nature of WHO, you’re probably looking at the opinion of physicians. Patient opinions may differ considerably.

  36. Scott says:

    To me it’s immoral for companies to make a profit because people become sick. As far as socialised medicine goes we already have socialised medicine in the form of Medicare and Medicaid.

    Try getting a claim paid from some of these private medical insurance companies. It’s not in their interest to pay claims. The US military is run by the goverment. I’d argue that none of these services should be run by the goverment in a true capitalistic society. Fire Service, Police and the list goes on.

  37. Aldo says:

    The health system in US is just evil and abusive.
    I am a very healthy man that pays a bunch of money in health insurance and the very few times my wife or I went to the doctors I felt financially raped.
    To be honest the care its not from another planet good , is just good enough for the money you have to pay for .
    I think if you never have access to something different to compare it ,you buy what they say about this is the best of the best, the reality is that I have my parents living in Uruguay and I pay my Dad “insurance” which cost me less than 100 dollars + little co payments of 10 dollars etc……..once you pay that you are cover a 100% , is very affordable and for people that can not afford to pay that you have a public health system.
    I really feel like is a more humane way to treat a person with health problems………
    I am an American citizen and I love this country , if you work hard , you have a good working ethic you can have a great living and save money but do not get sick because your savings are going to disappear, and I am not talking about a very serious condition.
    Maybe I am writing too much and confusing people so let me clarify for you, health care in the US is super over priced and you have to accept that because there is no other way.
    My question for those who love this situation we have is…….
    What about you go to buy a car , they want to give you a VW and charge you the price of a Ferrari and try to make you believe that your VW it is in fact a Ferrari.
    What would you say??

  38. Jim says:

    Ireland has one of the worst health care systems in Western Europe. Hospital resources are desperately over stretched throughout the country with many doctors and nurses emigrating due to poor working conditions. I don’t how it is ahead of Germany and Sweden!!

  39. Mike says:

    This is hilarious. How anyone can defend the US medical system and state it’s somehow better then the #1 medical system shows what the problem is.

  40. Captain Obvious says:

    The World Health Organization clearly has some curious metrics in determining how to rank these countries simply due to the fact that the NHS in the UK had to suspend non-urgent care multiple times.
    Aside from demonstrating the obvious pitfalls of socialist medicine, this alone should push the UK waaaaay down on the list.

    For reference, please see:
    The Independent article dated January 2nd, 2018 as well as the Telegraph articles dated 8/8/2016 AND 2/3/2017


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