What are the world's largest healthcare systems?
Something that I am amazed rarely gets discussed in the universal healthcare discussion is the fact that the US operates three successful and, by many metrics, popular and appreciated universal health systems: Medicare, Medicaid, and the VA. I finally sat down to pull together some simple stats to compare these systems.
I could make separate lists for single-payer vs. single-provider, but there are enough hybrid models and variations that it's probably interesting enough to just make a single list with qualifiers.
I'm limiting systems to those which cover all costs for all people. So for example in the case of the countries which have mixed public/private insurance, people in those systems have the option to only use the public offering, and get almost all their needs covered by it.
This list is probably very incomplete!
- Brazil - single-payer/provider - 220MM
- US All Systems - single-payer/provider - 128MM
- US Medicaid - single-payer - 75MM
- United Kingdom - single-payer/provider - 66MM
- France - public/private-payer mix - 65MM
- South Korea - single-payer - 51MM
- Spain - public/private-payer mix - 47MM
- US Medicare - single-payer - 44MM
- Canada - single-payer- 37MM
- Nordic Countries - single-payer/provider - 27MM
- Australia - public/private-payer mix - 25MM
- Taiwan - single-payer - 24MM
- US VA - single-provider - 9MM enrolled (2014)
- If I'm wrong about anything here, please let me know! I just whipped this together with an hour of research.
- There are a few large systems where I didn't have time to figure out what percent of people's needs were covered. Examples are Pakistan and Russia.
- Japan seems to have a very well regulated and effective healthcare system, but also seems to have a large portion of the population on private insurance, so I chose not to include them in the list.
- There is no wikpedia page about single-provider healthcare systems. The concept of single-provider is seen as a subtopic of single-payer.
- I couldn't find a comprehensive list comparing healthecare systems in the world, on wikipedia or anywhere else.