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The Cost of Healthcare Index

Healthcare Krensavage Partners

Index compares the cost and accessibility of healthcare in different countries by analyzing levels of general healthcare expenditure, insurance contribution rates and medical costs – including the cost of a Covid ICU night.

  • Overall annual expenditure on healthcare is highest in the US at $10,921 per capita, ahead of Switzerland ($9,666) and Norway ($8,007).
  • Average medicine prices are highest in the US, costing 1309.48% more than the dataset median, followed by Mexico (+153.92%) and Switzerland (+143.00%). Turkey has the cheapest medicine prices at 70.21% less than the dataset median.

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  • The average nightly cost of caring for a Covid patient in intensive care, incorporating labor costs, equipment, testing and drugs, is highest in the US ($20,939), followed by Norway ($11,590) and Switzerland ($9,297).
  • Citizens in the US contribute the most to healthcare schemes through taxation and compulsory health insurance (700.62% more than the dataset median), followed by Norway (+509.22%) and Switzerland (+472.16%). Citizens in Nigeria contribute the least at 98.85% less than the dataset median.
  • In the US, the average nightly cost of caring for a Covid patient in intensive care is $20,939, the highest in the study.

Dallas, USA, May 2022 - virtual care and patient engagement company Bridge Patient Portal have released a study in partnership with Medical Web Experts that reveals and compares the raw cost of healthcare services in different countries around the world. As a company that uses technology to reduce the cost of care and improve patient outcomes, they were motivated to carry out the study to better understand how healthcare systems and costs vary from country to country by looking at the actual cost of healthcare services - whether paid for by governments, insurance companies or out-of-pocket by citizens. They did this by assessing levels of healthcare expenditure, insurance contributions, and different healthcare costs. As well as general healthcare costs such as medicine prices and outpatient care costs, they also analyzed how much it costs to treat a Covid patient in intensive care in each country.

How The Study Was Conducted

The study began by assessing every country in the world, before the final list was cut to 60 countries with reliable and comparable data.

Next, the researchers analyzed healthcare expenditure in each country by looking at the total annual healthcare expenditure per capita on things such as social security, inpatient and outpatient care, and medical goods. Following this, they identified the percentage of people in each country that have access to essential healthcare services.

The health insurance landscape in each country was then assessed. Firstly, the researchers looked at how much of a country’s total health expenditure comes from voluntary health insurance. Then, they compared the amount citizens in each country contribute to healthcare schemes through compulsory health insurance and taxes.

Finally, the researchers studied the cost of healthcare in each country. They started by analyzing levels of out-of-pocket expenditure by households on healthcare. Next, they calculated the average nightly cost of treating a Covid patient in intensive care. They then identified the average annual cost of general outpatient care per capita, before concluding the study by comparing the prices of common medicines in each country.

The resulting index provides a thorough analysis of the cost of healthcare in each country, incorporating both general and Covid-specific expenditure.


The table below on the left reveals a sample of results for the 10 countries with the highest annual healthcare expenditure per capita. The table below on the right reveals the countries where the cost of caring for a Covid patient in ICU is highest. Both tables are in USD.


This is a sample of the full dataset, which you can find here:

The table below on the left reveals a sample of results for the 10 countries with the most expensive medicine prices. The table below on the right reveals a sample of results for the 10 countries with the least expensive medicine prices. The data is displayed as a deviation from the dataset median; medicine prices in the USA are 1309.48% more expensive than the dataset median, while in Laos they are 92.84% less expensive than the dataset median.


About Bridge Patient Portal

Bridge is an enterprise patient portal and engagement solution that empowers patients with self-service tools to better manage their care. The platform is client-branded and ideal for health organizations seeking to replace their existing online portals or connect to disparate EHR environments with a single, EHR-neutral patient portal platform, available on desktop, iOS, and Android. Founded in 2012 and headquartered in Dallas, Texas, Bridge has installations in many of healthcare’s leading practices, hospitals, and health systems nationwide.

About Sweet Spot

Based in Berlin, Sweet Spot is a data-driven content agency made up of data journalists, research analysts and content editors, that is responding to the growing challenges facing the media industry as it adapts to the digital world. The agency promotes fact-based, informative and compelling journalism by connecting data-driven journalists with excellent datasets from research agencies and industry patrons.

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