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Good healthcare is essential and should be at the top of any expat’s list in terms of necessities rather than luxuries as you consider what country to immigrate to. Here are five countries that rank highly in terms of medical facilities, caregivers and payment options.

Countries with the best healthcare

France

France has ranked as one of the top systems for years, as per the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) reports. As a country, it spends more on healthcare than any country in Europe. France’s healthcare system is partially funded by obligatory health contributions placed on employees’ salaries. The government funds the other portion.

When a patient accesses any healthcare, they have to pay a percentage of the medical expenses themselves.

This combination of state and private funding ensures that nearly everyone in France is covered, regardless of their age or social status. To be eligible for health cover in France, an expat has to

  • Be living in France for more than 183 days per year
  • Hold a valid residency visa or permit
  • Pay contributions towards social security.

Italy

Italy always falls into the top 10 countries with fantastic healthcare in terms of the annual WHO report. The Italian healthcare system consists of public and private sectors. The public portion is run by the National Health Service known as the SSN and is managed on a provincial level – which means there can be differences in services as you move from region to region. The state portion of the healthcare is funded by direct taxation and indirect taxation via VAT and excise on petrol.

The SSN provides residents with free or very low-cost medical services and this includes lab tests, access to GPs and specialist care in some cases. To access the services of the SSN as a non-EU expat you need to have residency status and an Italian Identity Card.

Malta

Malta also falls into the WHO top 10 for high standards of medical care. Its public healthcare system is funded by taxes and is free to all local and EU citizens. You can also sign up for private healthcare if you wish to do so. If you are a non-EU expat residing in the country, you are required to sign up for private healthcare. Exceptions being British and Australian passport holders as there is a reciprocal agreement between these countries.

Andorra

This tiny nation situated in the Pyrenees Mountains between France and Spain ranks highly in most global healthcare surveys and evaluations, including the one conducted by the WHO. Andorra is a very rich country and its healthcare system almost mirrors the one in France.

The entire public healthcare system is funded by social contributions – even those people who earn the minimum wage have to pay their contribution. Andorra has some of the most technologically advanced hospitals in Europe and 10 of them are state-funded – ensuring you receive excellent care as a patient accessing the public healthcare system.

Singapore

Singapore has such high healthcare standards that it attracts plenty of medical tourists. The Ministry of Health regulates both the public and private healthcare systems. The government ensures that basic services are affordable to all through price controls, compulsory savings and payroll deductions.

Under the national health insurance plan, each person accumulates funds, which can be tracked individually or pooled to include a family. No medical service is available for free within the public sector to prevent over-use of the state’s healthcare services and facilities.

If you’re thinking of immigrating and would like any advice about ensuring the ‘health’ of your financial migration, leave your details and we’ll help you on the path to financial freedom in your new home.
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