LET’S TALK : Could T&T’s Healthcare Delivery Ever Be On Par with Top Ranked, Luxembourg’s?

by | Oct 1, 2018

Trinidad and Tobago’s 2018/2019 fiscal package will be read today in the parliament. There has been much speculation over what the nation can expect, however, Finance Minister Colm Imbert remained tight-lipped on the deliverables, ahead of the October 1st, presentation.

The country has always lamented governments, both past and present’s, need to better nationwide healthcare. Many argue that much more can be done to get Trinidad and Tobago on par with global healthcare standards.

Last year, the Legatum Institute, a London-based research institute released its 10th annual global Prosperity Index- a survey that ranks the most prosperous countries in the world. The organisation compares 104 variables to come up with its list, splitting those variables into nine subindexes. One of the big components of the ranking is how healthy a country’s people are. Health is measured by three key components by the Legatum Institute:

  1. a country’s basic mental and physical health
  2. health infrastructure,
  3. and the availability of preventative care.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the countries that have the best scores in the Prosperity Index, and therefore rank as the world’s healthiest, are generally big, developed economies with large amounts of resources.

Take a look at the top 16 healthy countries as discovered by the Institute:

16. Canada Canada’s 1984 Health Act entrenches in law the country’s system of free at the point of access healthcare, known as Medicare. Canada’s system is not perfect, however, and in recent years the number of Canadians going south for private care in the USA has grown.


15. Qatar — The best standards of health in the Middle East can be found in the wealthy nation of Qatar. The nation has recently taken steps to implement a universal health care system across the entire country.

14. France — Famed for the quality of its health services, it is not surprising to see France close to the top of the pile. The country’s average life expectancy is 82.

13. Norway — Norway, along with its Scandinavian counterparts, often comes close to the global quality of life rankings, and one reason is the health of its citizens. The country’s health care system is free for children under 16, but adults must pay for services. The country spends more per person on healthcare than any other country on earth.

12. New Zealand — New Zealand is one of the most active countries in the world, with the nation punching well above its weight in international sporting competitions. It has an average life expectancy of 81.6 years.

11. Belgium — With an average age of 81.1, Belgium’s life expectancy is just outside the world’s top 20. The country has universal health care, but also requires mandatory health insurance for all citizens.

10. Germany — Despite a love of beer and sausages, Germans are some of the world’s healthiest people. The country’s average life expectancy is 81.

9. Israel — Israel is the highest ranked of any Middle Eastern state on the Legatum Institute’s health sub-index, and the country has the 8th highest life expectancy on the planet, 82.5 years.

8. Australia — With great weather and low pollution, it is not surprising that Australia is ranked as the healthiest nation in the southern hemisphere. Its average life expectancy is 82.8, the 4th highest in the world.

7. Hong Kong — The tiny city-state of Hong Kong has 11 private and 42 public hospitals to serve its population of just over 7.2 million people. In 2012, women in Hong Kong had the longest average life expectancy of any demographic on earth.

6. Sweden — As with most quality of life and health rankings, northern European countries like Sweden score highly. Swedish men have the 4th highest life expectancy of any nation, living to an average of 80.7 years.

5. The Netherlands In 2015 the Netherlands gained the number one spot at the top of the annual Euro health consumer index, which compares healthcare systems in Europe, scoring 916 of a maximum 1,000 points

3. Switzerland — Rich, beautiful, and incredibly healthy. Switzerland has pretty much all anyone could want from a country. Its healthcare service is universal and is based upon the mandatory holding of health insurance by all citizens.

2. Singapore — Another small city-state to make the top of the Prosperity Index’s health sub-index. Singapore’s 5.6 million citizens have an average life expectancy of 83.1 years old.
1. Luxembourg — Nestled between Belgium, France, and Germany, the wealthy nation of Luxembourg tops the Legatum Institute’s health sub-index. The country’s average life expectancy is 82.