A study of data from 195 countries from 1990 to 2015 published recently in the medical journal The Lancet, ranks Switzerland’s healthcare system third. The analysis looked at mortality rates from causes that should not be fatal in the presence of effective medical care. It considered both healthcare access and quality and was designed with the aim of normalising for local environmental and behavioural risks.
Researchers looked at mortality rates for 32 different causes of death and then computed an average score to come up with an overall ranking. These causes of death were chosen because they respond to intervention. Healthcare Access and Quality Index scores range from 0 to 100.
Switzerland’s overall score of 92 puts it behind only Andorra (94) and Iceland (95). Switzerland scored 100 in five causes of death. The country’s lowest scores were for leukaemia (72), hodgkin’s lymphoma (72) and testicular cancer (75).
The United States, which the OECD ranks as having the most expensive healthcare, was ranked 11th equal with Estonia and Montenegro, behind 33 other countries, with a score of 81, showing a disconnect between money spent and outcomes. The US scores relatively poorly on lower respiratory infections (60), ischaemic heart disease (62) and chronic kidney disease (62). Click here for a ranking of the leading nations.
Switzerland’s ranking is the same as its cost ranking. In 2015, the OECD calculated average annual spending of US$ 6,935, the third highest and well behind average US healthcare spending of US$ 9,451. Luxembourg was second with US$ 7,765.
Down at the bottom of the Healthcare Access and Quality Index ranking were Somalia (34), Afghanistan (32) and Central African Republic (29). These countries scored poorly on saving people from infectious diseases such as tuberculosis.
The study found that nearly all countries covered improved from 1990 to 2015, although the gap between the worst and best increased from 62 to 66.
The Lancet publication (in English)