Health and Prosperity: Country Rankings

Once shown the green light to a world more accepting of health risks, I expect adventure travelers to seek getaways for more extended periods than usual. There will be a literal and metaphoric flight to countries offering the best healthcare systems. The countries struggling the most today have inefficient systems and vulnerable populations not protected by public policy.

Many travelers and migrants will move towards countries with better healthcare and healthier populations. Sadly, the United States (#59) and India rank low (#109) amongst leading nations in a survey by the Legatum Institute to gauge prosperity based on the Health pillar: see p. 66

It doesn’t surprise me to see Singapore and Japan so highly-ranked given their disciplined societies and health-obsessed populations. Despite national or regional policies, some cities around the world will do more to ensure healthcare for all. I’m sure Austin, Seattle, San Francisco, and major European cities will deliver better health outcomes regardless of being stuck where investments aren’t made due to lack of budget or because of sheer political stupidity.

It will be fascinating to see what this survey looks like in a couple of years when everyone resumes travel. Access to healthcare will become a primary determinant for migrants and international students seeking a better quality of life. Countries and cities that don’t upgrade their healthcare systems will fall further behind.