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Universal Health Care around the World

Universal Health Care around the World
Country nameUniversal health care systemStart year of universal health careNote
AfghanistanNA
Åland IslandsNA
AlbaniaNoThe health care system is heavily dependent on humanitarian aid and money sent home by emigrants, and the ongoing brain drain is depleting the country of its most valuable human resources. Yet despite the difficulties, the basic infrastructure for health care delivery is being maintained and rationalized. The success or failure of the reforms will depend on the country's continued stability and its economic recovery.
AlgeriaPublic universal health care through other means
American SamoaNA
AndorraPublic universal health care through other means1966The Andorran health care system is based on a social insurance model. Citizens' health care rights are recognized by the constitution. Health care services are provided and financed by both private and public sectors. About 92% of the population is covered by the CASS (la Caixa Andorrana de Seguretat Social -the Andorran Office of the Social Security).
AngolaNA
AnguillaNA
AntarcticaNA
Antigua and BarbudaNA
ArgentinaPublic universal health care through other meansHealth care is provided through a combination of employer and labor union-sponsored plans (Obras Sociales), government insurance plans, public hospitals and clinics and through private health insurance plans.
ArmeniaNo
ArubaNA
AustraliaTwo Tier1975Australia is committed to public financing and substantial public delivery in health care. The health system offers universal access to health care, regardless of ability to pay, through the government administers the compulsory national health insurance program, Medicare, which is financed through general taxation and a health tax levy. This provides the entire population with subsidized access to the doctor of their choice for out-of-hospital care, free public hospital care and subsidized pharmaceuticals. Government provides a baseline of care, and in which a significant percentage of individuals purchase additional health insurance or premium direct health care.
AustriaPublic universal health care through other means1978The Austrian health care system is characterized by the federalist structure of the country, the delegation of competencies to stakeholders in the social insurance system as well as by crossstakeholder structures at federal and Länder levels which possess competencies in cooperative planning, coordination and financing. There has traditionally been regulated competition between service providers for patients and contracts with the social insurance institutions, but not between the health insurance funds themselves. The sectors of the health care system have customarily been characterized by different stakeholders and regulation and financing mechanisms. However, in recent years there have been increased efforts to introduce decision-making and financing flows which are effective across all sectors.
AzerbaijanPublic universal health care through other means1991The current structure of the health care system was one of the least effective in the Soviet republics, and it deteriorated further after independence. As a result, the country experienced outbreaks of diseases that had once been controlled, and others, such as tuberculosis, began to increase; the health system faced near complete collapse.
Bahamas, TheNA
BahrainSingle-payer1957
BangladeshNA
BarbadosNA
BelarusPublic universal health care through other means1991Belarus has managed to maintain a health care delivery system that provides a comprehensive package of care to the entire population, which is generally free at the point of delivery.
BelgiumPublic universal health care through other means1945The Belgian health system is based on the principles of equal access and freedom of choice, with a Bismarckian-type of compulsory national health insurance, which covers the whole population and has a very broad benefits package.
BelizeNA
BeninNA
BermudaNA
BhutanSingle-payerThe Royal Government of Bhutan maintains a policy of free and universal access to primary health care. As hospital facilities in the country are limited, patients with diseases that cannot be treated in Bhutan, such as cancer, are normally referred to hospitals in India for treatment. Such referral treatment is also carried out at the cost of the Royal Government.
BoliviaNA
Bosnia and HerzegovinaPublic universal health care through other means
BotswanaNA
Bouvet IslandNA
BrazilPublic universal health care through other meansThe universal health care system was adopted in Brazil in 1988 after the end of the military regime's rule. However, free health care was available many years before, in some cities, once the #27 amend to the 1969 Constitution impose to the municipalties the duty of applying 6% of their income in healthcare.
British Indian Ocean TerritoryNA
British Virgin IslandsNA
BruneiSingle-payer1958The people of Brunei Darussalam enjoy free medical and health care provided via government hospitals, health centres and health clinics.
BulgariaPublic universal health care through other means
Burkina FasoNA
BurmaNA
BurundiNA
CambodiaNA
CameroonNA
CanadaSingle-payer1966In Canada, national health insurance (Medicare) is a public program administered by the provinces and overseen by the federal government. Medicare is funded by income taxes and sales tax revenues. All Canadian citizens have health care.
Cape VerdeNA
Cayman IslandsNA
Central African RepublicNA
ChadNA
ChilePublic universal health care through other means
ChinaPublic universal health care through other meansThe New Rural Co-operative Medical Care System (NRCMCS) is a 2005 initiative to overhaul the healthcare system, particularly intended to make it more affordable for the rural poor. While health insurance coverage is increasing, especially in rural areas, many people are underinsured and continue to face high out-of-pocket costs. While the health insurance schemes, particularly in rural areas, report high coverage, benefits are often limited to catastrophic illness; inpatient medical services frequently require pre-payment and reimbursement can be as low as 20%-30% of the total bill.
Christmas IslandNA
Cocos (Keeling) IslandsNA
ColombiaNA
ComorosNA
Congo, Democratic Republic of theNA
Congo, Republic of theNA
Cook IslandsNA
Costa RicaPublic universal health care through other means
Côte d'IvoireNA
CroatiaPublic universal health care through other means
CubaSingle-payer1959Cuba has a national health service. Services are available without charge to everyone. They are provided by salaried personnel in facilities run by the government.
CyprusSingle-payer1980
Czech RepublicPublic universal health care through other means
DenmarkPublic universal health care through other means1973Denmark has a universal public health system paid largely from taxation with local municipalities delivering health care services in the same way as other Scandinavian countries.
DjiboutiNA
DominicaNA
Dominican RepublicNA
EcuadorNA
EgyptPublic universal health care through other means
El SalvadorNA
Equatorial GuineaNA
EritreaNA
EstoniaPublic universal health care through other means
EthiopiaNA
Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)NA
Faroe IslandsNA
FijiNA
FinlandSingle-payer1972In Finland,Perceived imbalances between primary and specialized health care led to the Primary Health Care Act 1972, which introduced a network of primary health care centres, publicly owned and staffed, in charge of delivering integrated preventive and curative services.
FrancePublic universal health care through other means1974The health care system is regulated by two main players: the state – the National Assembly, the government and ministries – and the statutory health insurance funds. To a lesser extent, local communities play a role in regulating the system. The Juppé reform of 1996 clarified the roles of the state and insurance funds and reinforced the role of the regions.
French GuianaNA
French PolynesiaNA
French Southern and Antarctic LandsNA
GabonNA
Gambia, TheNA
GeorgiaPublic universal health care through other means
GermanyPublic universal health care through other means1941Germany uses a social insurance model. All citizens must have health insurance, which they purchase from one of more than 200 private, nonprofit sickness funds.
GhanaPublic universal health care through other meansIn Ghana, most health care is provided by the government, but hospitals and clinics run by religious groups also play an important role. Some for-profit clinics exist, but they provide less than 2% of health services.
GibraltarNA
GreecePublic universal health care through other means1983
GreenlandNA
GrenadaNA
GuadeloupeNA
GuamNA
GuatemalaNA
GuernseyNA
GuineaNA
Guinea-BissauNA
GuyanaNA
HaitiNA
Heard Island and McDonald IslandsNA
Holy See (Vatican City)NA
HondurasNA
Hong KongPublic universal health care through other means1993
HungaryPublic universal health care through other means
IcelandSingle-payer1990
IndiaPublic universal health care through other meansIndia has a universal health care system run by the local (state or territorial), governments. The government hospitals, some of which are among the best hospitals in India, provide treatment at taxpayer expense. Most essential drugs are offered free of charge in these hospitals.
IndonesiaNA
IranPublic universal health care through other means
IraqNA
IrelandPublic universal health care through other means1977
Isle of ManNA
IsraelPublic universal health care through other means1995In Israel, the National Health Insurance Law (or National Health Insurance Act) is the legal framework which enables and facilitates basic, compulsory universal health care.
ItalySingle-payer1978Italy has a public health care service for all the residents called "Servizio Sanitario Nazionale" or the National Health Service (NHS). It is publicly run and funded mostly from taxation: some services requires small co-pays, while other services are completely free of charge.
JamaicaNA
JapanSingle-payer1938Japan uses a "social insurance" system in which all citizens are required to have health insurance, either through their work or purchased from a nonprofit, community-based plan. Those who can't afford the premiums receive public assistance. Most health insurance is private; doctors and almost all hospitals are in the private sector.
JerseyNA
JordanNA
KazakhstanPublic universal health care through other means
KenyaNA
KiribatiNA
Korea, NorthPublic universal health care through other meansNorth Korea has a national medical service and health insurance system.
Korea, SouthPublic universal health care through other means1988
KuwaitSingle-payer1950
KyrgyzstanNA
LaosNA
LatviaPublic universal health care through other means
LebanonNA
LesothoNA
LiberiaNA
LibyaPublic universal health care through other means
LiechtensteinPublic universal health care through other means
LithuaniaPublic universal health care through other means
LuxembourgPublic universal health care through other means1973
MacauSingle-payer
Macedonia [FYROM]NA
MadagascarNA
MalawiNA
MalaysiaPublic universal health care through other means
MaldivesNA
MaliNA
MaltaPublic universal health care through other means
Marshall IslandsNA
MartiniqueNA
MauritaniaNA
MauritiusNA
MayotteNA
MexicoPublic universal health care through other meansPublic health care delivery is accomplished via an elaborate provisioning and delivery system instituted by the Mexican Federal Government.
Micronesia, Federated States ofNA
MoldovaPublic universal health care through other means
MonacoPublic universal health care through other means
MongoliaPublic universal health care through other means
MontenegroNA
MontserratNA
MoroccoPublic universal health care through other means
MozambiqueNA
NamibiaNA
NauruNA
NepalNA
NetherlandsPublic universal health care through other means1966
Netherlands AntillesNA
New CaledoniaNA
New ZealandTwo Tier1938Primary health care is provided by primary health organizations, which contract with District Health Boards for the bulk of their funding. New Zealand's healthcare system is funded through general taxation.
NicaraguaNA
NigerNA
NigeriaNA
NiueNA
Norfolk IslandNA
Northern Mariana IslandsNA
NorwaySingle-payer1912The National Insurance Act guaranteed citizens universal access to all forms of medical care. Norway's health system is funded by progressive income tax, and from block grants from central government. Patients are free to choose their own physician and hospital, however, registration with local GP's who act as gatekeeper, will begin in 2001.
OmanNA
PakistanPublic universal health care through other means
PalauNA
PanamaPublic universal health care through other means
Papua New GuineaNA
ParaguayNA
PeruPublic universal health care through other means
PhilippinesNA
Pitcairn IslandsNA
PolandPublic universal health care through other means
PortugalSingle-payer1979
Puerto RicoNA
QatarPublic universal health care through other means
RéunionNA
RomaniaPublic universal health care through other means
RussiaPublic universal health care through other means
RwandaNA
Saint BarthélemyNA
Saint HelenaNA
Saint Kitts and NevisNA
Saint LuciaNA
Saint MartinNA
Saint Pierre and MiquelonNA
Saint Vincent and the GrenadinesNA
SamoaNA
San MarinoPublic universal health care through other means
Sao Tome and PrincipeNA
Saudi ArabiaPublic universal health care through other means
SenegalNA
SerbiaPublic universal health care through other means
SeychellesPublic universal health care through other means
Sierra LeoneNA
SingaporeSingle-payer1993Singapore has a universal health care system where government ensures affordability, largely through compulsory savings and price controls, while the private sector provides most care.
SlovakiaPublic universal health care through other means
SloveniaPublic universal health care through other means
Solomon IslandsNA
SomaliaNA
South AfricaPublic universal health care through other meansSouth Africa's health system consists of a large, under-resourced public sector (serving 80 percent of population) and a small private sector for high income earners (20 percent of the population). Primary health care is free to everyone but highly specialized services are available in the private sector to those who can afford it.
South Georgia and the IslandsNA
SpainSingle-payer1986The Spanish health care system is funded by payroll taxes through the National Institute of Health program (INSALUD)
Sri LankaPublic universal health care through other means
SudanNA
SurinameNA
SvalbardSingle-payer
SwazilandNA
SwedenSingle-payer1955The Swedish health care system is financed by both incomes tax and patient fees. County councils own and operate hospitals, employ physicians and run the majority of general practices and outpatient facilities. Other physicians work in private practice and are paid by the counties on a fee-for-service basis. Tuition for medical and nursing education is free.
SwitzerlandPublic universal health care through other means1994In Switzerland, compulsory health insurance covers the costs of medical treatment and hospitalization of the insured. The Swiss healthcare system is a combination of public, subsidized private and totally private healthcare providers, where the insured person has full freedom of choice among the providers in his region. Insurers are required to offer this basic insurance to everyone, regardless of age or medical condition. They may not make a profit off this basic insurance, but can on supplemental plans.
SyriaPublic universal health care through other means
TaiwanSingle-payerThe current health care system in Taiwan, known as National Health Insurance (NHI), was instituted in 1995. NHI is a single-payer compulsory social insurance plan which centralizes the disbursement of health care dollars. NHI is mainly financed through premiums, which are based on the payroll tax, and is supplemented with out-of-pocket payments and direct government funding. In the initial stage, fee-for-service predominated for both public and private providers.
TajikistanPublic universal health care through other means
TanzaniaNA
ThailandPublic universal health care through other means
Timor-LesteNA
TogoNA
TokelauNA
TongaNA
Trinidad and TobagoPublic universal health care through other means
TunisiaPublic universal health care through other means
TurkeyPublic universal health care through other means
TurkmenistanPublic universal health care through other means
Turks and Caicos IslandsNA
TuvaluNA
UgandaNA
UkrainePublic universal health care through other means
United Arab EmiratesSingle-payer1971
United KingdomSingle-payer1948United Kingdom has a National Health Service that provides public healthcare to all UK permanent residents that is free at the point of need and paid for from general taxation.
United Statesin transition20142010 legislation has laid the ground for one to be fully functioning by 2014.
United States Minor Outlying IslandsNA
UruguayPublic universal health care through other means
UzbekistanNA
VanuatuNA
VenezuelaPublic universal health care through other means
VietnamNA
Virgin IslandsNA
Wallis and FutunaNA
West BankNA
Western SaharaNA
YemenNA
ZambiaNA
ZimbabweNA
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