Which countries are getting healthcare right – and why UK only scores 60 out of 100

Healthcare is a hot topic around the world and most countries find their own to be a huge source of pride. But which countries are getting it really right?

ID Medical has scored OECD countries’ healthcare systems on metrics like the % of GDP spent on healthcare and the number of doctors, nurses & hospital beds per capita, to reveal which countries have the best healthcare systems. You can view their findings in this graphic here.

Japan came in as the country with the best healthcare system overall, scoring 72 out of 100. This beats the UK by a long shot, which was ranked 18th.

Japan has the highest number of hospital beds, doctors and nurses (per capita) of any of the countries analysed. The country also has the highest life expectancy at just under 86 years.

The UK scored a modest 60 out 100 and outranked the likes of Lithuania, Slovenia and Israel.

While the UK and Japan spend a similar proportion of GDP on their healthcare systems and have the same proportion of doctors, at 2 doctors for every 1000 people, it’s the number of nurses and beds that show where Japan outshines the UK.

Japan has 11 nurses for every 1000 citizens while the UK has 7 and as nurses are the backbone of any healthcare system it’s easy to see why Japan’s healthcare has the edge. But this is a drop in the bucket when taking into account the number of hospital beds both countries have. The number of hospital beds available is a key indicator as to how well equipped a healthcare system is to meet the needs of its public and with Japan having 13 beds for every 1000 people to the UK’s 2 beds, it’s clear where the UK is lagging behind.

In joint 2nd place are Germany and Switzerland, with a score of 71 each. While Germany has more hospital beds (663,9411) and doctors and nurses (1,402,755) overall, Switzerland spends more on its healthcare system (12.3% of GDP) and has a slightly higher life expectancy (81.84 years) making the two a tie for the silver spot in world healthcare.

Norway was named as the 5th best healthcare system in the world, with spending at 10.4% of GDP and an average life expectancy of 81.12 years.

When it comes to spending on healthcare, Italy takes the top spot, spending just under 19% of its GDP on healthcare.

To see the full results take a look at the graphic here.