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The Best and Worst Countries for Emergency Healthcare

Clinic Compare, the UK’s leading clinic comparison website, has carried out new research to find out which country offers the safest and most reliable emergency healthcare, should you fall ill, for a definitive ranking of the best, and worst places to need urgent medical care.

To determine the ranking we investigated medical services in 144 countries by cross referencing data including competency of hospital staff, latest equipment, waiting times, cost to satisfaction ratio, convenience of medical centres and the number of doctors available to the population. Countries were then ranked from best to worst to gauge which nation provides the highest quality medical care for its population in the event of illness or injury.


French-speaking tax haven Monaco ranked in first position as the country with the best overall medical service, with one of the highest scores for the number of doctors available to the population; 7 per 1,000 people. A thriving economy with a strong healthcare system means residents in Monaco have much better access to medical care, explaining why the nation has the longest projected life expectancy of any other nation at 90.

One of the only non-European countries to make the top ten was Barbados - its national healthcare system covers all citizens and also came out with a high cost satisfaction score. The number of local multi-specialism clinics also landed the popular holiday destination first place for convenience of medical centres, making it one of the best places for healthcare in the world.

Noticeably absent from the top ten were the UK and the US who ranked 24th and 26th respectively. The US was leagues behind the UK in terms of cost satisfaction, since even with Obama’s insurance reforms, 29 million people still have absolutely no health cover in the US. This dissatisfaction with the expense of American healthcare brought the country’s overall ranking down considerably. Despite high levels of cost satisfaction, the UK was let down by lengthy waiting times - it came a disappointing 38th in this category as the UK’s average waiting time to see a GP is nearly two weeks.

Research showed Cameroon in central Africa to be the worst place to fall ill. Medical facilities were poor across the board and with fewer than one doctor per 1,000 people emergency services are extremely limited. Doctors and nurses who train in Cameroon often emigrate to higher paying countries with a lesser workload and as such life expectancy is low at around 56.

Agnese Geka of Clinic Compare says: “National healthcare is obviously a complex thing and there are many variables to take into account when assessing which country does it best. Our ranking takes into account as many important factors as possible and what I think it does do is provide context to discussions about funding and government investment such as those taking place around the NHS at the moment. It is perhaps no coincidence that the place that tops the list for the best healthcare resources is also home to some of the richest people in the world.”

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