Access to health care varies across countries and communities and is largely influenced by social and economic conditions and health policies implemented by governments. In regards to health care, the primary concern for the people within a country is the cost involved in providing and receiving it.
How Countries Finance Health Care Costs
In most developed countries, health care is financed through taxes, private insurance, or subsidized by private organizations. The United States uniquely uses all of these payment methods in its health care system. Other countries participate in a single-payer system, in which essential healthcare costs are paid for by taxes collected through government programs.
Countries With the Highest Health Care Costs in 2022
Currently, the most updated data for health care costs by country is from 2021. Still, as in years past, The United States spends significantly more on healthcare than any other developed country. Despite this fact, the healthcare outcomes for residents are not noticeably different from other developed nations.
There are several reasons things that may factor into higher health care costs in the U.S., from high drug costs to extensive administrative fees. The fact remains that The United States spends at least 40% more on health care per person than any other country in the world.
The top 10 countries with the highest health care costs are:
- The United States - $12,318
- Germany- $7,383
- Switzerland - $7,179
- Norway - $7,065
- Austria - $6,693
- Denmark - $6,384
- Sweden - $6,262
- Netherlands - $6,190
- Canada - $5,905
- Ireland - $5,836
How COVID-19 Impacted Health Care Costs
Overall, health care costs are expected to rise as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the lasting impact of policies enacted during it. While individuals worldwide deferred their health care visits and treatments during the pandemic, the return to care facilities quickly recovered. The greater concern is the increased demand for mental health services. Subtance abuse and suicides were already trending upward among younger age groups and the pandemic has substantially accelerated that trend. Mental health services alone are expected to significantly raise health care costs in 2022 and beyond. Additionally, increased testing, treatments, and COVID-19 vaccinations will continue to push medical costs to new heights.