Countries Offering the World’s Best Healthcare – Part Two
In Part One of our look at nations offering the best healthcare in the world we discussed Ecuador, Mexico and Uruguay. Now let’s see which nations made it into the top four!
France makes it to number four on the list because the universal, affordable healthcare it offers to all residents has long been considered among the best in the world. While the nation is starting to struggle with rising costs, high unemployment and an aging population, its healthcare system is faring better than many others in the West.
Although originally based on the UK healthcare system in the mid-1900’s it has been updated and improved over the years – but is still based on socialist ideals.
As with the UK National Health system, everyone contributes to funding the nation’s hospitals, healthcare professionals, medications and treatments through mandatory, monthly health insurance payments.
However, in France treatments have to be paid for by the patient up front, and they are then reimbursed within a few weeks.
Although the process has been simplified in recent years, there is quite a lot of red-tape to wade through, and navigating all the bureaucracy can be a bit frustrating, but many expats feel that these issues are outweighed by the high standard of care.
Over the last ten years Panama has become a major player in the global healthcare market and developed a great reputation based on its highly trained medical professionals and top of the range facilities/equipment.
Generally doctors in Panama are trained in the US and speak English to a good standard. The US Dollar is also an official currency, making paying for treatments easier. Prices for treatments are significantly lower than what you would expect to pay in the US or UK.
Specialist treatments Panama is particularly known for include dentistry, IVF, cardiology, plastic surgery and orthopaedics.
Hospitals which are popular with expats include: Clinica Hospital San Fernando, Centro Medico Paitilla, Hospital Nacional and Hospital Punta Pacifica.
Although Malaysia’s healthcare system is considered to be of a high quality across the nation, it’s particularly good in the country’s larger cities (Kuala Lumpur for example).
A large proportion of Malaysia’s doctors have been trained overseas, are able to speak fluent English and work in well equipped hospitals. Consultations are also relatively cheap.
While expats tend to go down the private healthcare route, dependable medical services are also offered by public hospitals. However, there is no national health insurance scheme in Malaysia so expats should be sure to take out adequate medical cover.
Areas in which Malaysia is known to excel include ophthalmology, gastroenterology, cardiology, dentistry and orthopaedics.
Pharmacies are abundant, and some medications which are available on a prescription-only basis in nations like the UK are readily available (though you should always check with your doctor before taking any medication).
Due to Malaysia’s location, it is also possible to visit specialists in Singapore and Bangkok with comparative ease.
Costa Rica is considered by many to offer the best healthcare in South America, and the nation is becoming a hot-spot for medical tourism.
Both the country’s public and private facilities are upgraded on a regular basis, consistently improving hospitals/equipment/training standards.
Treatment costs are often a third of what you could expect to pay in a Western nation, despite many doctors being trained in the US, Europe and Canada.
Most of the Costa Rican population receive treatments under the government-run healthcare system (the CCSS). Expat residents of Costa Rica can join the CCSS and benefit from free treatments, but anyone using the CCSS scheme has to make a monthly income-based contribution.
Residents can also take out health insurance from the state monopoly Instituto de Seguro Nacional.
However, most expats opt to go for private healthcare as it is of a fantastic standard but still affordable.
The most popular private hospitals among expats in Costa Rica include the CIMA hospital in Escazu, the Hospital La Catolica in San Jose-Guadalupe and the Clinica Biblica in San Jose.
Costa Rica is also often highly ranked in the World Health Organisation’s list of nations with the longest life expectancy.
On top of first-class healthcare, Costa Rica offers a slower pace of life, nutritious food and a comfortable tropical climate – so pretty much everything you could want!