A recent report finds France, Uruguay and Malaysia rank as the top three countries that provide the best and most affordable healthcare in the world.
France comes in first, finds InternationalLiving.com’s annual Global Retirement Index. This is because many French healthcare professionals in major cities speak English, and France has both public and private-sector healthcare. The public healthcare system is available to those who pay, or used to pay, into France’s Social Security system. This system offers excellent benefits, paying the bulk of the cost for a range of medical services that includes doctor’s visits, hospital stays and prescription medications.
The private healthcare industry in Uruguay, which comes in second, consists of a number of independently operated healthcare organizations. They vary in size from a single clinic to networks of hospitals and clinics.
“The most popular private healthcare option in Uruguay is a ‘hospital plan,’ whereby you make monthly payments directly to an individual hospital or network that provides your care; everything from routine check ups to major surgery. The cost is extremely low compared to private healthcare options in the U.S.,” says David Hammond, InternationalLiving.com’s Uruguay correspondent.
In addition to hospital plans, there are private health insurance companies, including Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Uruguay, that provide a broad range of insurance plans.
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Malaysia placed third. It has gained fame as a medical-tourism destination as its healthcare is among the best and cheapest in the world. Medical expertise here is equal to or better than what it is in most Western countries.
“At this time, foreigners cannot access the public healthcare system here, but the low cost of healthcare and the range of health insurance options, means that paying for healthcare is no hardship,” says InternationalLiving.com’s Asia correspondent, Keith Hockton.
“Healthcare costs are so low that you can pay out of pocket for many standard procedures. A regular doctor’s visit costs $16 and a dental check-up costs $9,” he adds.