25 Countries with the Best Hospitals in the World

·9 min read

In this article, we will be taking a look at the 25 countries with the best hospitals in the world. To skip our detailed analysis, you can go directly to see the 10 countries with the best hospitals in the world.

Across nearly all developed countries in the world, universal healthcare is available to its residents, with the only main exception being the United States. In the U.S., healthcare has been privatized, to the benefit of companies engaged in the industry and the detriment of people actually requiring healthcare. While many would consider healthcare and access to hospitals a basic right, that's not the case in the U.S. where health insurance is mainly tied to a person's employment and without insurance, the costs are exorbitant to the point that people are forced to live with pain rather than be able to seek treatment.

However, on the other hand, the U.S. is definitely one of the countries with the best hospitals in the world, and several hospitals in the country are famous across the world for the service they provide, not to mention being the center of major developments in medicine. After all, several of the biggest pharmaceutical companies in the world are based in the U.S., including some of the companies that came up with the Covid-19 vaccine in record time to enable the world to come out of a pandemic in a relatively short period of time, saving tens of millions of lives and possibly hundreds of millions, if not billions, of infections.

25 countries with the best hospitals in the world
25 countries with the best hospitals in the world

Pixabay/Public Domain

Healthcare is one of the biggest industries in the world, and has had relative success in 2022 compared to the broader market. The healthcare sector, including some of the largest healthcare companies by market cap such as Cigna Corporation (NYSE:CI) and Elevance Health Inc. (NYSE:ELV). Meanwhile, according to JPMorgan, healthcare companies are quite optimistic about industry performance in 2023, with around 48% of all executives interviewed providing an optimistic outlook, a huge improvement compared to the overall industry average of 22%. Further, 91% of respondents believed that their revenue would either be maintained or increased even as a majority expect a recession in 2023.

While major companies, especially in the tech industry, have been laying off tens of thousands of employees including Meta Platforms, Inc. (NASDAQ:META), Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), the healthcare industry has maintained optimism in this respect as well, with the vast majority expecting either to maintain their current staff levels or even expect to add to headcount. Working capital optimization is also among the most important considerations for many healthcare companies to maximize cashflow.

The importance of hospitals in the fight against constantly evolving diseases cannot be understated, with hospitals constantly undergoing innovations with help from the healthcare industry. This is why hospitals are continuing to adapt to existing as well as new challenges. According to David Bates, chief of general internal medicine and primary care at Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital "We had to very rapidly convert beds to ICU beds, and close large sections of the hospital, then come up with staff to cover those beds. There were also great challenges with managing our supply chain for things like ventilators and personal protective equipment."

After all, hospitals were heavily impacted because of Covid-19, but unlike other industries, the impact was because of much higher demand than supply, with many being overwhelmed by the number of patients requiring intensive care. Staff had to work around the clock even as lockdowns were imposed in most nations, because hospital staff were deemed to be integral. The pandemic also caused global supply chain issues and hospitals and the healthcare industry in general was not exempt from it. Hospitals have been able to learn from this though and the Director of the Department of Internal Medicine at University Hospital Zurich, Dr. Christoph Meier said "Many lessons could be learned from COVID, such as recognizing the efficacy of virtual meetings, valuing the importance of hospital hygiene and emphasizing the importance of generalists over siloed specialization. The biggest challenge was the joint setting of individual priorities for a common goal."

This is especially important for some of the biggest hospital stocks out there, including HCA Healthcare, Inc. (NYSE:HCA) which owns and operates close to 190 hospitals in addition to around 2,000 various sites of care, and Tenet Healthcare Corporation (NYSE:THC), which owns 65 hospitals and more than 450 healthcare facilities. As Covid patient numbers have started to fall across the world, revenues across hospitals have been impacted negatively, while there has also been a shift in patients trends, with more outpatients than inpatients as compared to the previous year. Since inpatients generally require extensive treatments and tests, not to mention surgeries, this shifting trend has also resulted in revenue declining. In the Q4 2022 earning calls for Universal Health Services, Inc. (NYSE:UHS), one of the largest hospital stocks, the company's CEO said "During the fourth quarter, our acute care hospitals experienced a decrease in the number of patients with a COVID diagnosis treated in our hospitals as compared to the prior year quarter. As a percentage of total admissions, COVID diagnosed patients made up 7% of our admissions in the fourth quarter of 2021, but only about half of that percentage of admissions in the fourth quarter of 2022. This decline in COVID patients resulted in reduced revenues due to the lower acuity and less of the incremental government reimbursement associated with COVID patients."

Determine the countries with the best hospitals in the world was not an easy task, as there are little objective assessments out there. For our ranking, we initially obtained Newsweek's list of best 250 hospitals in 2022 and 2023, and then assigned a score to each hospital based on its ranking. For example, if a hospital ranked number 1 in one year, it was given a score of 250/250 = 1, while second placed was given a score of 249/250 = 0.996 and so on. We then added the scores of all hospitals in a specific country to obtain the country's score. We then used the average score of both 2022 and 2023 to calculate our rankings, with the ranking being based on highest score to lowest. So, let's now take a look at the hospitals you'd want to get treated at, starting with:

25. Thailand

Total score for hospitals: 0.348

The Bumrungrad International Hospital in Bangkok is the reason why Thailand has made this list. However, other hospitals in the country do provide a high level of care at a relatively lower cost, making it an attractive destination for people from other countries to seek treatment from.

24. Mexico

Total score for hospitals: 0.350

A lot of people in the U.S. go to Mexico for treatment, because the costs are significantly cheaper even after including travel and accommodation costs, while the level of healthcare is still relatively high. However, there is a danger because of the threat of violence, as seen in the recent case of an American going for treatment to Mexico, and two of the four people were killed and one was injured.

23. Colombia

Total score for hospitals: 0.382

You might be surprised to hear that Colombia is among the countries with the best hospitals in the world, but it does have one world-class healthcare institute in Fundación Valle Del Lili, located in Cali.

22. India

Total score for hospitals: 1.152

While India's healthcare system is nowhere near good enough to support its massive and consistently growing population, it is home to some top hospitals including All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Delhi.

21. Israel

Total score for hospitals: 1.782

Israel is home to one of the most technologically advanced healthcare systems in the world, as hospitals are equipped with highly trained staff and modern facilities. Sheba Medical Center in Tel Aviv is the highest ranked hospital in the country.

20. Norway

Total score for hospitals: 1.892

Norway is an extremely rich country thanks to its massive oil deposits, though it has used its wealth to improve the quality of life of its residents, which includes healthcare, and Oslo Universitetssykehus is its highest ranked hospital/

19. Belgium

Total score for hospitals: 2.056

Four of Belgium's hospitals are in Newsweek's top 250 hospitals list, making it one of the countries with the best hospitals in the world. The best hospital in the country is UZ Leuven, located in Leuven/Pellenberg.

18. Australia

Total score for hospitals: 2.492

Both public and private hospitals in Australia provide an excellent level of healthcare, with public healthcare resulting in extremely low costs for residents in the country. Medicare is the publicly-funded universal healthcare system in the country, which has been criticized recently for a declining level of quality.

17. Brazil

Total score for hospitals: 2.776

The country with the best hospitals in Latin America, Brazil's top hospital is Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein, located in Sao Paulo.

16. Sweden

Total score for hospitals: 2.834

Nordic countries have a strong presence in our list, and Sweden is no exception, with 6 entries in Newsweek's top 250 hospital list, with the top ranked hospital being Karolinska Universitetssjukhuset.

15. Singapore

Total score for hospitals: 2.882

Even though Singapore has a population of just over 5 million people, it's still one of the countries with the best hospitals in the world, with high competition in the industry leading to lower costs and a better patient experience.

14. Finland

Total score for hospitals: 2.942

Proper healthcare is guaranteed in Finland through its Constitution, with the country's best hospital being the Helsinki University Hospital.

13. Denmark

Total score for hospitals: 3.026

The best country for hospitals in the Nordics, with most of its high-quality services being financed through taxes and hence, providing high-quality services to all residents.

12. Austria

Total score for hospitals: 3.808

European countries dominate the list of countries with the best hospitals in the world, and even though healthcare is primarily public, options for private healthcare exist as well.

11. United Kingdom

Total score for hospitals: 4.226

While the National Health Service, the publicly funded healthcare system in the UK, has been lauded for its level of quality, many are complaining that the NHS is now overloaded which has led to a deterioration in said quality. Many nurses in the system are going on strikes to demand higher pay which has resulted in hospitals not being able to provide the level of service and treatment that they are known for.

Click to continue reading and see the 10 countries with the best hospitals in the world.

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Disclosure: None. 25 countries with the best hospitals in the world is originally published at Insider Monkey.