In 2020, healthcare systems around the world were heavily tested, with governments increasing their spending to provide the best services possible. As we enter 2021, many of us will be conscious about our health. Lenstore’s research reveals which countries are spending the most on their healthcare per capita but one question remains – how much does your government care about you?
When analysing the share of the economy attributed to healthcare, the United States had the highest percentage of gross domestic product spent with 9.2% reserved for health services. Norway and Denmark were the next top spenders, each spending 8.2% of gross domestic product on healthcare. But looking more into it, there is not a clear connection between money and quality of health services. Spain is of the countries that spend no that much on health, but offer in a worldwide range one of the best results reflected in life expectancy and health of the society. It is not just about the techniques but also about social aspects. In Spain the elderly participate in life and in general people eat a variety of food, mostly fresh and people suffer less isolation.
Germany is a big spender, but has not the best system
In Chile, on the other hand, only 4.4% of gross domestic product was spent on healthcare in 2020. But within the pandemic the country has managed to deal quite well with vaccines and the control of the virus by just applying organized schemes and health discpine. Hungary and Poland also only spent 4.6% on healthcare services, marking all three as the countries which invest the least in healthcare services. Nevertheless, we cannot interprete based on this that Polish or Hungarian people are worth of with their health systems. We have to keep in mind that it is always a balance between investment by tax payers and the outcome. The US is a highly inefficient system because people don’t live healthy: They suffer in general too much stress, eat too much fats and sugar and don’t walk enough.
Germany ranks 13th in the study, with 7.2% of its total GDP being spent on healthcare which is in one way good, but comparing it with Spain, we have to admit that the system is less efficient. The balance between tax expenses and outcome is worthening with the years due to a very dicentralized system and too many players. Not just the public healthcare also the private healthcare in Spain is one the cheapest and at the same time best in the world. Of course this is in part due to low salaries, but it is also related to very centralized system that controlls that patients much better than in Germany. Also digitalization is much more advanced than in other countries.
Health is also about food
When comparing the amount consumers spend on healthcare appointments against luxury items, the study shows how some countries value items such as Netflix and Playstation Live subscriptions over eye test appointments. In Germany, consumers are spending more than double their money on fast food, (€3,852.14) compared to dental checkups (€1,776.00) over a lifetime. Noticeable countries such as the UK are seen to spend more money on Netflix and Playstation subscriptions over the cost of eye appointments. Looking at the cost of appointments over a lifetime, where consumers are recommended to visit once every two years, the total cost tallies to €1,011.49. For those who have Netflix subscriptions in the UK, costs are deemed to be more than €2,000, over double that of an eye appointment. This trend is followed for countries such as Ireland, Spain and Australia, where the cost of Netflix and Playstation Live subscriptions far outweigh costs of eye test appointments. Most of the time it means that people sit more time in front of a screen instead of moving their ass.