The Health Care category in the Index considers the cost of care and the quality. Also considered are the number of people per doctor, the number of hospital beds per 1,000 people, the percentage of the population with access to safe water, the infant mortality rate, life expectancy, and public-health expenditure as a percentage of a country’s GDP.
France comes in first in this category as the best country in the world for health care.
Many French health-care professionals in major cities speak English, and France has both a public health-care system and private-sector health care. The public health-care system is available to those who pay, or used to pay, into France’s Social Security system. This system offers excellent benefits, paying the bulk of the cost for a range of medical services that includes doctor’s visits, hospital stays and prescription medications.
The private health care industry in Uruguay, which comes in second in the Health Care category in the Index, consists of a number of independently operated health-care organizations. They vary in size from a single clinic to networks of hospitals and clinics.
“The most popular private health-care option in Uruguay is a ‘hospital plan,’ whereby you make monthly payments directly to an individual hospital or network that provides your care; everything from routine check ups to major surgery. The cost is extremely low compared to private health-care options in the U.S.,” says David Hammond, InternationalLiving.com’s Uruguay correspondent.
In addition to hospital plans, there are private health-insurance companies, including Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Uruguay that provide a broad range of insurance plans.
Malaysia placed third for health care in InternationalLiving.com’s Retirement Index. It has gained fame as a medical-tourism destination as its health care is among the best and cheapest in the world.
Medical expertise here is equal to or better than what it is in most Western countries.
“At this time, foreigners cannot access the public health-care system here, but the low cost of health care and the range of health-insurance options, means that paying for health care is no hardship,” says InternationalLiving.com’s Asia correspondent, Keith Hockton.
“Health care costs are so low that you can pay out of pocket for many standard procedures. A regular doctor’s visit costs $16 and a dental check-up costs $9,” he says.
For the full report on why these countries offer the best health care in the world, including a slideshow of images from the top five countries in the Health Care category, see here: Best Places to Retire Overseas for Affordable and Efficient Health Care.
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