Global Healthcare Index

A look at healthcare systems around the world and in the United States

When thinking about moving to another place, healthcare is one of the most important things on your mind. Access to healthcare and quality of service varies around the world, and even within the United States.

While Medicare provides senior citizens with access to healthcare, a lack of providers can lead to long waiting times for appointments in different states, and healthcare spending can impact standards.

We wanted to find out the best countries in the world and states in the United States for healthcare, so looked at healthcare spending and healthcare providers among other factors.

The best countries for healthcare

1. France – Healthcare score: 8.26/10

France’s universal healthcare system is often referred to as one of the best in the world. With the highest overall spending on healthcare out of all EU member states, it’s no surprise that France ranks in first place on our list.

France has 44.73 hospitals per million residents, higher than any other country we looked at, aside from Australia, Japan, and South Korea. France also has 6.5 physicians per 10,000 of the population, beaten only by Italy.

France’s Logistics Performance Index healthcare score is 20, indicating good access to healthcare and low mortality rates, and healthcare spending per capita amounts to around $5,564.

2. Switzerland – Healthcare score: 7.73/10

Switzerland’s healthcare system is world-famous, commonly regarded as one of the highest quality healthcare systems in the world, renowned for its extensive network of practitioners and clean hospitals.

Switzerland ranks in second place in our study, with a healthcare spending of $7,138 per capita, beating every other country we looked at except the United States.

Switzerland has more hospitals per million residents than most countries on our list, at 32.77, and a better Logistics Performance Index health score than most countries we looked at, taking into account illness rates and access to healthcare.

3. Germany – Healthcare score: 7.65/10

In third place, Germany has one of the best healthcare systems we looked at.

With spending of $6,731 per capita on healthcare, it’s no wonder Germany has such a good reputation for its quality of healthcare.

Germany has 36.42 hospitals per million inhabitants and 4.3 physicians per 10,000 inhabitants. Germany has a Logistics Performance Index healthcare score of 16, higher than most countries on our list.

The worst countries for healthcare

1. Turkey – Healthcare score: 1.14/10

Turkey is the worst country for healthcare out of all countries on our list, scoring 1.14 out of 10 across all factors.

Turkey’s healthcare spending is $1,267 per capita, lower annual spending than every other country we looked at except for Mexico. There are just 1.8 physicians per 10,000 Turkish inhabitants, the lowest out of all countries on our list, and 18.62 hospitals per million inhabitants.

Turkey’s Logistics Performance Index healthcare score is 58.

2. Hungary – Healthcare score: 1.9/10

Hungary’s healthcare system is one of the lowest scoring on our list, over all the factors we looked at.

Hungary spends around $2,170 on healthcare per capita each year and has a Logistics Performance Index health score of 51.

There are just 16.68 hospitals per million inhabitants in Hungary and 3.4 physicians for every 10,000 residents.

3. Latvia – Healthcare score: 2.5/10

Latvia is one of the lowest-scoring countries on our list, scoring 2.5 out of 10 for the factors we considered.

Latvia’s yearly spending on healthcare per capita is $2,039 and its Logistics Performance Index health score is one of the lowest on our list, at 72.

Latvia has 31.87 hospitals per million inhabitants, and 3.3 physicians per 10,000 of the population.

The best states for healthcare

1. Massachusetts – Healthcare score: 8.55/10

Massachusetts has the best patient to dentist ratio, and patient to mental health provider ratio of all the states we looked at. There are 930 patients to every dentist and 153 patients to every mental health provider registered in Massachusetts.

The state also has one of the best patients to primary care physician ratios of all the states on our list, with 968 patients to every physician.

Healthcare spending per capita in the state amounts to $8,871 per year, one of the highest out of all states we looked at.

2. California – Healthcare score: 8.43/10

California has one of the highest healthcare spendings per capita of all the states we looked at, equalling $9,859 per year. The state of California also has more hospitals than any other state on our list except Texas.

There are 1,254 patients to every primary care physician, 1,149 patients to every dentist, and 268 patients to every mental health provider in California.

3. New York – Healthcare score: 8.25/10

New York also has some of the highest expenditure on healthcare in the country, amounting to $9,851 per year. New York has 187 hospitals in the state, including some regarded among the best in the country.

New York also has 1,194 patients for every primary care physician, 1,174 patients for every dentist, and 329 patients for every mental health provider registered within the state,

The worst states for healthcare

1. Alabama – Healthcare score: 1.79/10

Alabama ranks in last place as the state with the worst healthcare system, according to the factors we looked at.

Alabama has a healthcare spending of $6,452 per capita, one of the lowest annual spendings of all states on our list. There are 90 hospitals in the state, however, there are 1,534 patients for every physician, 2,005 patients for every dentist, and 923 patients for every mental health provider registered in the state.

2. Arkansas – Healthcare score: 2.2/10

Arkansas has a healthcare spending per capita of $6,804 and there are 52 hospitals located in the state.

Arkansas has the highest number of patients to dentists out of all the states on our list, with 2,103 patients to every dentist registered in Arkansas.

There are 1,507 patients to every primary care physician and 423 patients to every mental health provider in Arkansas.

3. Delaware – Healthcare score: 2.3/10

Delaware has a healthcare spending of $6,587 per capita, one of the lowest out of all states we looked at, and just 8 hospitals.

Delaware also has 1,334 patients for every primary care physician, 2,041 patients for every dentist, and 354 patients for every mental health provider.

Methodology

We wanted to find the best countries and states for healthcare. We looked at every country in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, except Denmark and Norway for which the relevant information was not available. We looked at all 50 United States states, not including the territories of the US, except Wisconsin and Wyoming, for which the relevant information was unavailable.

Healthcare spending per capita in USD was sourced from OECD Data on Health spending using information from 2020 or the latest available year. 

The number of hospitals per million inhabitants was sourced from OECD Stat using information from 2020 or the most recent available year.

The Logistics Performance Index health score was sourced from  Prosperity using information on health.

The number of physicians per 10,000 inhabitants was sourced from the World Bank using information from 2019 or the most recent available year.

Information on healthcare spending per capita was sourced from America’s Health Rankings, using information on state dollars dedicated to public health and federal dollars directed to states per person by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Health Resources & Services Administration (2-year estimate).

Information on the patient to primary care physician ratio, the patient to dentist ratio, and the patient to mental health provider ratio was sourced from Data USA on 04/07/22.

Was sourced from the American Hospital Directory on 04/08/22.