Premium for regular health insurance for elderly residents can be as high as Dh15,000 per annum; under the EBP, it's Dh2,500 Image Credit: Istock

Dubai: The UAE was ranked with the best health care sector in the Middle East, while also faring high scores on a global scale.

An annual Bloomberg analysis that was carried out in almost 200 countries ranked countries according to a health-efficiency index to rank with average life-spans of at least 70 years, gross domestic product (GDP) per-capita exceeding $5,000 (Dh18,366) and a population of 5 million.

Hong Kong and Singapore held the first two spots, with Spain’s health care system ranked at third place.

In the global survey, the UAE was ranked at 10th place, and scored higher than Norway, Canada and Sweden.

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The UAE attained an efficiency score of 59.7, higher than the US’s 29.6 that was ranked at 54th position, with the life expectancy of UAE residents at 77.1 and health care expenditure of GDP at 3.5 per cent.  

Compared to residents of Mexico which had an average life expectancy at roughly the same level with the UAE – the government spent more than double on healthcare per capita at a cost of $1,402 (Dh5,149) versus $535 (Dh1,965).

Saudi Arabia was the next Gulf country on the list, after dropping eight positions since last year’s report, and was ranked at 46.

“Costa Rica, Ireland, Lebanon and New Zealand were added to the final index this year, having reached the population threshold - all now ranking among the top 25,” read the report.     

Thailand showed the most improvement by jumping up 14 places to 27, as per-capita spending declined 40 per cent to $219 (Dh804) while life expectancy increased to 75.1 years.   

Bloomberg’s Health Care Efficiency Report 2018

Rank Economy Efficiency score Life expectancy Relative cost % Absolute cost $
1 Hong Kong 87.3 84.3 5.7 2,222
2 Singapore 85.6 82.7 4.3 2,280
3 Spain 69.3 82.8 9.2 2,354
4 Italy 67.6 82.5 9.0 2,700
5 South Korea 67.4 82.0 7.4 2,013
6 Israel 67.0 82.0 7.4 2,756
7 Japan 64.3 83.8 10.9 3,733
8 Australia 62.0 82.4 9.4 4,934
9 Taiwan 60.8 79.7 6.2 1,401
10 UAE 59.7 77.1 3.5 1,402
11 Norway 58.9 82.3 10.0 7,464
12 Switzerland 58.4 82.9 12.1 9,818
13 Ireland 58.2 81.5 7.8 4,757
14 Greece 56.0 81.0 8.4 1,505
15 New Zeland 55.6 81.5 9.3 3,554
16 Canada 55.5 82.1 10.4 4,508
16 France 55.5 82.3 11.1 4,026
18 Portugal 55.4 8.11 9.0 1,722
19 Finland 54.7 81.5 9.4 1,722
20 China 54.6 76.1 5.3 426
20 Mexico 54.6 76.9 5.9 535
22 Sweden 53.2 82.2 11.0 5,600
23 Lebanon 53.0 79.4 7.4 645
24 Poland 52.7 77.5 6.3 797
24 Costa Rica 52.3 79.6 8.1 929