Finland has the best healthcare system in the world, according to U.S. News & World Report. The European country has a unique healthcare service that caters for all, meaning very few people require private health insurance. But how does Finland do it and how does the quality of their healthcare system compare to others in the Western world?
Finland’s universal healthcare system
Healthcare in Finland is seen as a right and natives have access to free healthcare at all times. The government regularly liaise with drug manufacturers to ensure that the cost of medication is as low as possible. There are also caps in place on out-of-pocket medical expenses to ensure that healthcare is accessible to all. However, earlier this year, the entire Finnish government resigned after their plans to cut healthcare costs were rejected. So, while very few Finnish citizens have private health insurance now, this may not be the case in a few years’ time.
Australia’s healthcare system
Australia came in 9th place in the U.S. News & World Report’s list. Some say that it’s healthcare system is confusing as it relies on a combination of both public and private care. Medicare is Australia’s public health care service. In the 2018-2019 financial year, Medicare-covered the cost of $8.1 billion GP appointments and fully subsidized health services totaling $335.8 million.
Despite this, The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Australians fork out $34 billion annually on out-of-pocket health expenses. As a result, millions of them depend on private health insurance to care for their family’s health. NIB health insurance insures individuals for health services not covered by Medicare so that they don’t have to worry about incurring high costs or delaying treatment when they fall ill.
How Germany compares
Coming in in 7th place is Germany’s healthcare system. Although it offers locals an extremely high level of care, the costs associated with it are high. All residents are required to have compulsory health insurance and additional insurance can be purchased privately. Monthly premiums account for 15.5% of an employed German’s salary, with 50% being paid by the worker and 50% coming for their employer. Self-employed individuals are responsible for the full 15% unless they work in an artistic field. In this case, the government foots 50% of the bill. A large number of self-employed workers in Germany, therefore, choose to take out a low-cost private policy that doesn’t involve them losing the full 15% of their salary each month.
The quality of healthcare across the globe varies considerably. While some countries, such as Finland, provide top-level at care at very little expense to their population, other nations offer crucial care at a significant cost.