Top 9 Health Care Systems in the World

Posted 10/17/11 on the Medical Billing and Coding Blog

There has been much debate in recent years about whether health care is a privilege or right. While securing coverage for every U.S. citizen has been a priority for years, people often overlook the overall quality — or lack thereof — of our health care system. Without question, improvements can be made. Problems such as delays in obtaining care and care coordination persist — according to SocGen’s Albert Edwards, it’s the most inefficient — and surveys have shown dissatisfaction from patients throughout the country. So, how does it stack up against other health care systems around the world? Ultimately, that’s to be decided by those who’ve studied and experienced a multitude of them firsthand. But here’s an informal list — in no particular order — of the world’s best based on positive facts and reviews.

  1. Japan

    The two primary factors working in Japan’s favor are its healthy population — a girl born today is expected to live to 86, according to a paper in the Lancet series — and low per capita health care costs. It’s not difficult to find competent, affordable care for an average citizen when problems arise, a distinction that differs from many other first world countries. Japan also boasts excellent recovery rates from most major diseases and a low infant mortality rate — three per 1,000 live births — which is less than half than the United States’ live birth rate of 6.8 per 1,000.

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Different Countries, Same Problem

Paul Levy

First published 4/25/11 on [Not] Running A Hospital

recent study* reported in Medscape Today summarized the likely factors leading to medical, medication and laboratory errors in eight countries — Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the UK and the USA. What is striking is the commonality across jurisdictions, irrespective of the type of health care organizational structure, including this conclusion: “Greater understanding by patients of the risks associated with health care could help to engage patients in participating in error-prevention strategies.” Here are some excerpts from the discussion portion of the article.

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International Federation of Health Plans 2010 Comparative Price Report: Medical and Hospital Fees by Country


This sobering report arrived on my desk today. The International Federation of Health Plans is comprised of “the leading global network of the industry, with one hundred member companies in 30 countries.” Each year they prepare a report that compares pricing for common services.

Continue reading “International Federation of Health Plans 2010 Comparative Price Report: Medical and Hospital Fees by Country”