Ireland tops new global healthcare system rankings, Singapore in 21st spot

Singapore was placed on the 21st spot while the UK came 30, the US on 35.

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Ireland has topped the new global healthcare system ranking released by The Lancet. The ratings were based on how each country dealt with avoidable or treatable diseases.

Ireland grabbed the number one spot with 88.4 points (out of 100). It was followed by Iceland, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, Australia, Finland, Spain, The Netherlands, Luxembourg, Japan and Italy. Researchers used a Healthcare Access and Quality (HAQ) Index, based on death rates from 32 causes that could be avoided by timely and effective medical care, known as "amenable mortality."

Singapore was placed on the 21st spot while the UK came 30, the US on 35. Central African Republic, Afghanistan, Somalia, Guinea-Bissau and Chad filled the bottom of the list. According to the report, Singapore scored low in Lower Respiratory Problems (only 39% of those diagnosed were cured), Hodgkin's Lymphoma (63%), Hypertensive Heart Disease (53%), Diabetes Mellitus (52%), Tuberculosis ( 79%), Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer (75%), Ischaemic Heart Disease (74%), Cerebrovascular Disease (77%) and Gallbladder and Biliary Diseases (79%).

Ireland, Austria, France, Belgium, Canada, Slovenia, Greece and Germany also surpassed Singapore on the list. While Ireland scored well in all fields, it lost in few categories like Hodgkin's Lymphoma (58% of those diagnosed were cured), Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer (59%) and Lower-Respiratory Infections (71%).

"What we have found about health care access and quality is disturbing," Dr Christopher Murray, senior author of the study and Director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington, said in a press statement.

"Having a strong economy does not guarantee good health care. Having great medical technology doesn't either. We know this because people are not getting the care that should be expected for diseases with established treatments," he added.

Interestingly, last year, Singapore claimed the top spot in Lancet medical journal's health and living standards report along with Iceland and Sweden. It was based on the health goals set by the United Nations. According to the research (that was conducted in 183 nations), Singapore scored an overall 85.3 on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) index followed by Iceland (85.5) and Sweden (85.3).

This article was first published on May 22, 2017