Not all health care is equal, and some countries outpace the rest when it comes to delivering high-quality care to residents. Pixabay, public domain

There are a lot of factors that go into defining high-quality healthcare. How well doctors prevent disease, how diseases are being eradicated, vaccine administration, emotional counseling and so much more are all factors to be considered. Some nations do these things better than others. Here we take a look at five countries who do a better job than most at healthcare.


If you have cystic fibrosis, Canada is the place to be. A new study in the Annals of Internal Medicine reports that people with this genetic disorder, which causes mucus to build up in the lungs and other organs, might be able to get 10 more years of life if they are treated in Canada as compared to the United States. According to the study, more patients in the northern country received organ transplants, which would be one factor contributing to the difference in outcomes.

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Some people haven’t even heard of this small country in Europe, but it was recently ranked No. 1 in “basic physical and mental health, health infrastructure, and preventative care” on the 2016 Legatum Prosperity Index, which is a measure of the strengths and weaknesses of dozens of world nations. In just the health category of the index, the countries that immediately followed Luxembourg were Singapore, Switzerland, Japan and the Netherlands.

South Korea

This Asian country may have only been ranked 19th in health on the Legatum index, but a recent study revealed South Korea has made gains in the last few years such that it now has the longest life expectancies in the world. Life expectancy relies in part on lifestyle choices and other factors, but the quality of available health care also plays a role in how long people live.

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Not having access to mental health care can be a big barrier in the way of treatment. In Germany, according to the most recent tally from the World Health Organization, there are about 30 outpatient mental health facilities for every 100,000 people and one mental hospital for every 300,000 people. Those facility numbers may not seem like a lot when they are put next to population counts, but they are pretty high compared to many other countries. The United States, for example, has just two outpatient facilities per 100,000 people and one mental hospital for every 400,000 people.


Mother and baby could find refuge in Portugal where there are only three infant deaths per 1,000 live births, according to statistics from the World Bank. It represents one of the lowest number worldwide, in the countries for which there is data from 2015. There are several countries that managed to match this or get infant mortality even lower, to just two deaths. However, out of the countries listed with their infant mortality rates from 1960, Portugal represented one of the biggest gains — it had 85 infant deaths per 1,000 live births in that year.

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