5 Countries with the Best Healthcare in the World —InternationalLiving.com

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InternationalLiving.com names Malaysia as the best country in the world for healthcare, according to its just-released Annual Global Retirement Index.

Living in a sunny, low-cost, laidback destination overseas doesn't mean foregoing good healthcare. In many countries outside the U.S., the healthcare is excellent and affordable.

Malaysia received the top score in the healthcare category of International Living’s just- released Annual Global Retirement Index 2015, followed by Costa Rica, Uruguay, Thailand and Panama.

Malaysia offers excellent, low-cost healthcare, and some of the best-trained surgeons, dentists and specialists in the world. Medical expertise here is comparable – and sometimes better – than in most Western countries. Most of the professionals have either trained in the U.S. or the UK, or at the very least have completed their post-graduate studies there.

“Penang Island, popular with expats and medical tourists, delivers first-rate hospitals that offer excellent healthcare at reasonable prices,” reports InternationalLiving.com’s Asia correspondent Keith Hockton. “In fact, the island has two planeloads of medical tourists arriving every day, and when it only costs $20 to see a specialist, you can understand why.”

Costa Rica has a high-quality, government-run universal healthcare system for citizens and legal residents called La Caja.

Residents of the country pay into La Caja. The fee is 7% to 11% of the person’s monthly income, which provides coverage for a spouse as well as a dependent.

“After you pay your monthly fee, you receive free care,” says InternationalLiving.com Costa Rica editor Jason Holland. “Anything you need is available through a nationwide network of clinics and hospitals: doctor’s visits, medical testing, prescriptions, major surgeries, and hospitalization,” Holland says.

Medical care from private providers is also available in Costa Rica. It’s high quality, with all the latest equipment and techniques being used. Many medical tourists from the U.S. come to Costa Rica for procedures not covered by insurance in the U.S. or for procedures which cost a lot out of pocket back home, including cosmetic surgery, knee replacements, and more.

Thailand has a great reputation for affordable and easily accessible healthcare. Many expats living in Thailand say that the facilities are on a par with, and sometimes better than, what is available in their home countries.

Although the private hospitals tend to be slightly more expensive than the government institutions, both are still affordable. A consultation with a specialist will cost less than $15, and many medical tests and procedures are immediately available for a fraction of the cost they would be in other parts of the world.

As Panama is a small country, most expats don’t live more than an hour from a major facility. General consults at private hospitals and clinics range from $5 to $50. Retiree residents pay 20% less thanks to Panama’s Pensionado or pensioner program.

Public and low-income facilities are also widely available, and can charge 90% less than private facilities for everything from lab tests to hospital stays.

The full report on where to find the best health care in the world in 2015 can be read here: Where to Find the Best Healthcare in the World.

Editor’s Note: Members of the media have full permission to reproduce the article linked above once credit is given to InternationalLiving.com. Photos are also available.

Media Contact: For information about InternationalLiving.com content republishing, available source material or to book an interview for radio, TV or print with one of our experts, contact Associate Editor Carol Barron, 772-678-0287 (US), CBarron(at)InternationalLiving(dot)com or visit the Media Center. For automatic updates on the most current stories, follow International Living Media on Twitter.

For more than 30 years, InternationalLiving.com has been the leading authority for anyone looking for global retirement or relocation opportunities. Through its monthly magazine and related e-letters, extensive website, podcasts, online bookstore, and events held around the world, InternationalLiving.com provides information and services to help its readers live better, travel farther, have more fun, save more money, and find better business opportunities when they expand their world beyond their own shores. InternationalLiving.com has more than 200 correspondents traveling the globe, investigating the best opportunities for travel, retirement, real estate, and investment.


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