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Wide variation in private healthcare spend throughout OECD

Premiums in the US are twice as much as those in the UK

There is wide variation in the amount of money spent on private healthcare among the 35 countries that form the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), research suggests.

Medical travel insurance specialist Get Going Insurance looked at the highest and lowest healthcare standards throughout the 35 countries, and analysed the amount spend on private insurance premiums.

It found Norway has the most developed local healthcare service in the OECD, with approximately one doctor to every 45 residents.

In addition to its density of healthcare experts, a larger percentage of these choose to work in the public system, providing free services to all Norwegians.

This means Norway has the 11th lowest spend on private healthcare, with only $20.2bn spent by residents overall on private insurance premiums per year.

Switzerland has the highest density of doctors in its population for any OECD country, but many Swiss still pay for private insurance premiums, with an average of $67.4bn spent on premiums every year.

With one healthcare professional to every 48 residents, Danes have some of the shortest waiting lists in Europe, resulting in Denmark having one of the lowest spends on private healthcare, with only $33.4bin paid out per year.

The US is currently the only member of the OECD in which residents must have private insurance to access treatment.

US healthcare insurance premiums are the highest in the organisation, costing an average $9,892.30 per person – twice as much as those offered in Japan and the UK, where average healthcare spend per person ranges from $4,192.50 to $4,519.30 per resident.

Meanwhile, the US only has one doctor to every 118 residents.

Chile has the least developed healthcare system, with only one doctor to every 833 residents, meaning that accessing healthcare can often involve a long wait.