American are said to spend more on health care than anything else. Unfortunately it is also said that as much most of them pay through the nose when it comes to health, they do not rank well when it comes to efficiency.
American health care is the most expensive in the world, with 17.7 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) spent on healthcare. This is significantly more than other developed countries. Australia, for comparison, which spends the least, spends only 8.9 percent.
For the costs involved, you might assume Americans enjoy the best health care in the world, but this would be a mistaken assumption. According to a new report released by the Commonwealth Fund, the US ranks last or near-last in all aspects of health care, from access and equity to efficiency.
One of the countries that has a great health care system in place is France. You pay upfront and then get your money from the state within a week.
Under France’s state-run equivalent of the NHS, the majority of patients must pay the doctor or practitioner upfront. The state then reimburses them in part or in full. The patient has freedom to choose which doctor or service to visit.
All health transactions centre on a smartcard, the Carte Vitale. A GP visit costs €23 (£17), the Carte Vitale is swiped and the money is paid back into the patient’s bank account within five days. In general, the state reimbursement rate is between 70% and 100%. The poorest people and the long-term sick are covered 100%.
The surprising fact is that according to a report released by World Health Organization back in 2000, the countries that have the best health care systems are those that one will assume don’t.
Costa Rica’s public health insurance system is available nation wide to all legal residents and citizens.
Dominica’s health care is administered by the state run Ministry of Health. Private health care is available however, usually offered as an employee benefit to expatriates.
Denmark’s public health care system is decentralized, with local authorities making and executing local health care policy. The Ministry of Interior and Health issue rules and regulations that the authorities must follow.