Every year, the London-based think tank the Legatum Institute releases the Legatum Prosperity Index which ranks 149 countries based on 104 different variables. The Index divides these variables into nine categories: Economic Quality, Personal Freedom, Education, Social Capital, Governance, Health, Safety & Security, Natural Environment, and Business Environment.
While the purpose of the Legatum Prosperity Index is to help nations increase their internal well-being, it also can give readers a detailed insight into the state of the world.
In addition, the Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship at MIT supports entrepreneurs and cultivates thought leadership, running on the principles of advancing a nation’s social and economic progress through business. Still, business is not the only factor that determines a country’s prosperity standing. Health is also a crucial element to study.
Healthcare is a tricky subject and one that each country around the world approaches differently. While what works in one country isn’t necessarily going to work in another, it is still interesting (and essential) to understand how it is formed elsewhere. After all, some nations can be observed doing a better job than others.
In this article, you are going to learn more about the Health pillar and the eight top-ranking countries, as well as their unique approach to healthcare. Keep reading!
Taking the top spot in the Health pillar is the island city-state of Singapore. Known for its efficient and widespread health care system, here, healthcare is supervised by the Ministry of Health and comprises a government-run universal healthcare system and a private healthcare sector.
This country performs best on Health (1st) and Economic Quality (2nd) and scores lowest for Personal Freedom (98th). In the overall Prosperity Index rankings, Singapore comes in at number 21 – a two-place increase since the Prosperity Index was started in 2007.
Covering about 99% of those living in the country, healthcare in Luxembourg has three crucial principles: mandatory health insurance, independent selection of healthcare provider for patients, and required compliance of providers in the set costs for the services provided.
Luxembourg is a top performer in Health (2nd) and Economic Quality (3rd), but scores lowest on the Education pillar (37th). In the past year, the European country rose four places in Social Capital, at the same time dropping eight places for Safety & Security.
Japan is revered for its comprehensive universal healthcare system which is freely available for Japanese citizens, expatriates, and foreigners alike. It is through this universal healthcare that medical treatment in Japan is provided.
Overall, Japan ranks 23rd in the Prosperity Index and has dropped one place since the formation of the Index. Its strongest pillars are Safety & Security (2nd) and Health (3rd), while its weakest is Social Capital (99th). In the past year, Japan’s most significant change has been moving up two places for Education (21st), although it has also moved down one spot for Natural Environment (39th).
In Switzerland, healthcare is regulated by the Swiss Federal Law. While there are no free state-provided health services, their policy states that private health insurance is compulsory for all persons residing in Switzerland.
Switzerland takes the fourth prize overall in the Prosperity Index rankings. What is more, the country has seen a five-place increase in the past decade. Switzerland’s highest scores come in Education (2nd) and Economic Quality (4th), as well as Health (4th), while its lowest pillar is Personal Freedom (21st). Since 2018, Switzerland has increased ten places for Natural Environment (10th), whereas they have fallen nine places for Safety & Security (13th).
Despite ranking 46th in the overall Prosperity Index rankings (the same position since 2007), Qatar lists number five for Health. This is due to the country having some of the highest healthcare spending in the Middle East and providing nationwide health coverage. That being said, the state also has remarkably high rates of obesity, diabetes, and genetic disorders.
In other pillar rankings, Qatar gets high ranks for Economic Quality (23rd) and scores quite low for Personal Freedom (104th). The most significant upward change, in the past 12 months, comes in the Education pillar (75th) with an increase of seven spots. The same number was dropped in Natural Environment (67th).
By offering a two-tier health care system, Austria ensures that all citizens can obtain publicly funded care, while also allowing them to opt for supplementary private health insurance if they desire.
Austria is high-ranking in both Health (6th) and Safety & Security (8th) and slightly lower scoring for Personal Freedom (25th) where they fell three places last year. However, Austria also increased by four positions in Safety & Security (8th). In 2007, Austria was ranked number 14 overall; today it sits at 15th in the overall Prosperity Index rankings.
Predominantly funded by the government, healthcare in Sweden is decentralized and financed through taxes collected by county councils and municipalities. However, private health care also exists.
Since 2007, Sweden has been at number six in the Prosperity Index rankings. Over time, its best pillars have been Economic Quality (5th) and Governance (6th), while its lowest ranking is in Social Capital (22nd). In the past 365 days, Sweden moved up three places in Education (16th) but also fell seven spots in the Safety & Security pillar (12th).
Norway’s method is different from that of other countries with top healthcare programs. In this country, all hospitals are subsidized by the public as part of the state budget. Medical treatment is free of charge for those under 16, while those above this age limit have to pay a deductible each year to remain eligible for an exemption card. Interestingly, despite ranking number eight for Health, since last year, Norway actually dropped three places in this pillar.
As the number one country in the overall Prosperity Index, Norway performs highly in all nine pillars. Over the past decade, Norway has risen four spots to take the top designation. Compared to last year, Norway increased an incredible 16 places in Safety & Security. Now, Norway excels in Safety & Security (1st) and Social Capital (3rd), while its lowest score can be seen for Business Environment, where it ranks 11th.
What do you think of the various healthcare programs that these countries have? Are they similar to the way healthcare operates in your country? Do you agree with the Legatum Institute rankings? Let us know your thoughts, opinions, and any relevant experiences you have in the comments below!