Developed nations spend a large portion of their GDP on healthcare. Most of them offer universal health coverage to protect their people against the high costs of treatment. But healthcare in some countries has become so expensive (the US is just one example) that people are forced to choose between healthcare costs and other essential expenses. Here we take a look at the top 10 countries with the highest healthcare spending.
Ranked: Countries with the highest healthcare spending
According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), there is a direct correlation between greater spending on health and higher life expectancy at birth. The ranking below is based on data from OECD for the year 2017, the latest year for which data is available.
Denmark spends 10.4% of its GDP on healthcare, which is one of the highest in the world. According to OECD, per capita spending in the country was $5,183 in 2017. While healthcare cost in the Scandinavian nation is already near the all-time high, it is only expected to grow in the future as its population ages.
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9- The Netherlands
The average healthcare expenditure in the Netherlands was $5,386 per capita in 2017. The country has a life expectancy of 81.6 years, one of the highest in the world. The Netherlands spends 10.5% of its GDP on healthcare. More than 99% of its citizens have health insurance. Most people in the Netherlands, including the elderly, have a positive perception of their health. No wonder it is one of the happiest countries on the planet.
Austria is one of the healthiest nations on the planet, thanks in part to a well-developed healthcare system. The country has a life expectancy of 81.3 years. Austria spends 10.4% of its GDP on healthcare, which stood at $5,440 per capita in 2017. Obesity rate in the country is also pretty low at less than 13%.
This country with a population of 6.5 million spent an average of $5,449 per capita on healthcare in 2017. Compared to other developed nations, it spends a relatively modest 7.8% of its GDP on healthcare. Ireland has a life expectancy of 81.5 years.
Sweden ranks among the richest, happiest, and healthiest nations in the world. The country spent $5,511 per capita on healthcare in 2017. That’s close to 11% of its GDP. More than 80% of its citizens are reported being healthy. Sweden has a life expectancy of 82.3 years. It has one of the world’s lowest infant mortality (2.4 per 1,000 births) and maternal mortality (4 per 100,000 live births) rates.
Germans have a life expectancy of 80.7 years. The country spent $5,728 per capita on healthcare in 2017. According to the World Economic Forum, Germany spends 11.3% of its GDP on healthcare, behind only the US and Switzerland. More than 20% of the country’s population is above 65 years of age.
Norway spends 10.5% of its GDP on healthcare. According to the OECD, the Scandinavian nation spent $6,351 per capita on healthcare in 2017, which is the fourth highest in the world. It has a life expectancy of 82.4 years. There are four doctors and 17 nurses per 1,000 people in the country. Less than 10% of its population is obese.
Life expectancy in Luxembourg has gone up from 69 years in 1970 to 82.4 years in 2016. The affluent nation spends 6.3% of its GDP on healthcare. As per OECD, Luxembourg spent $6,475 per capita on healthcare in 2017. The government is a major contributor to healthcare expenditure, accounting for more than 80% of the total expenses.
Switzerland spends 12.4% of its GDP on healthcare. Per capita expenditure was $8,009 in 2017. The national obesity rate is about 10% and life expectancy is 83 years. Swiss people have access to the best of everything from healthcare to education.
1- United States of America
Any discussion about healthcare is incomplete without pointing out how broken the US healthcare system is. The country spends 17.2% of its GDP on healthcare. According to OECD, it spent $10,209 per capita on healthcare in 2017. Despite such heavy spending, life expectancy in the US is 78.8 years, the lowest in this list. Healthcare in the US is expensive because of the high administrative costs and ridiculous prices of drugs.