The 10 healthiest countries in the world are the ones with the longest healthy life expectancy at birth, lowest pollution, the percentage of a country’s population with access to improved drinking water and sanitation, infant mortality rates, the rate of prevalence of tuberculosis, the density of physicians per 1,000 people and undernourishment rates.
So which countries rank on this most prestigious list?
Australia has an good health care system that requires insurance companies to charge policyholders the same premiums regardless of their status or past. It has low rates of stroke, heart disease, and high blood pressure and they do this with a diet that features red meat. However, its relatively high TB prevalence and highest rates of skin cancer in the world keep is away from ranking higher.
Austria’s federal government formulates health policy directive and public hygiene standards are high. The country spent an estimated 8.2% of GDP on health care annually as of 2004 and in recent years, has expanded its public health facilities. Virtually every Austrian has benefits of health insurance. In principle, anyone is entitled to use the facilities provided by Austria’s health service. The costs are borne by the social insurance plan, or in cases of hardship, by the social welfare program.
From 2006 to 2008, surveys ranked Denmark as “the happiest place in the world”, based on standards of health, welfare and education. The most important area of responsibility for the new regions is the national health service. The regions of the country are not allowed to levy taxes, and the health service is primarily financed by a national 8% tax combined with funds from both government and municipalities.
Healthcare spending in Italy accounted for more than 9.0% of the national GDP in 2008, slightly above the OECD countries’ average of 8.9%. However, Italy ranks as having the world’s 7th best healthcare system, and the world’s 10th best healthcare performance, which places it on the 7th overall position.
Smoking in public places including bars, restaurants, night clubs and offices has been restricted to specially ventilated rooms since 2005. Nowadays it is mostly prohibited indoors.
The French healthcare system was ranked first worldwide by the World Health Organization in 1997 and then again in 2000. Care is generally free for people affected by chronic diseases such as cancer, AIDS or Cystic Fibrosis. Average life expectancy at birth is 77 years for men and 84 years for women, one of the highest of the European Union. There are 3,22 physicians for 1000 inhabitants in France, whereas average health care spending per capita is US$4,719 in 2008. As of 2007, there are approximately 140,000 inhabitants (0.4%) of France who are living with HIV/AIDS.
Even if the French have the reputation of being one of the thinnest people in developed countries, France—like other rich countries—faces an increasing and recent epidemic of obesity, due mostly to the replacement of traditional healthy French cuisine by junk food in French eating habits, which settles it on number six today.
The German health care system, one of the best in the world, provides one of the highest physician densities on the list and Germany’s clean air make it one of the best countries to live in. The amount of money that the country spends on health care annually is notifiable – 10.6% of the annual gross income. Also, Germany has a society full of people who take part in regular physical activity. That’s a recipe for good health. Germany has the world’s oldest universal health care system, with origins dating back to Otto von Bismarck’s Social legislation in 1883. Currently the population is covered by a basic health insurance plan provided by statute, which provides a standard level of coverage. The remainder opt for private health insurance, which frequently offers additional benefits.
Switzerland has the second-highest health spending per capital of all the countries considered and has one of the world’s highest physician densities and longest healthy life expectancies. This system permits access to a broad range of modern medical services. However, its air pollution levels are a bit higher than the others in the top three.
This small Scandinavian island in the North Atlantic is the healthiest country in the world due to its long healthy life expectancies, low pollution levels, high density of physicians per capita, and low TB and infant mortality rates.
The largest of the Scandinavian countries – both in area and population – Sweden has some of the cleanest air in the world. In Sweden, only 3 children are stillborn out of every 1000 births, and there are only 4 cases of tuberculosis for every 100,000 people, making it the second healthiest country in the world. It also ranks high in life expectancy and in safe drinking water. Public healthcare is well funded and is based on the knowledge that happy people are healthier.
Japan is known for producing some of the longest living individuals in the world. And what can some of these long lived individuals and an entire country with impressively long lives be attributed to? A big part of the health here comes from the healthy diet rich in fish and seaweed. And the government sponsors exercise programs too. The Fukushima terrible events did affect part of population’s health, but this didn’t actually make the country less organized when it comes to the Health Care system.
Also see the countries that rank lowest on this list. (countries with worst health)