Countries with the best medicine

How can we decide if medicine is good or bad? About couple of years ago I found very interesting statistics, but only recently had time to investigate it in details.

Countries with people having the longest life

So, we can roughly guess that if lifespan is big, then the medicine should be probably good too. Also, as soon as lifespan is also affected by lots of other variables like - climate, food, ecology, lifestyle, income and so on - we can decide that they are probably good too.

But, the fact that lifespan is a sum of many variables has a drawbacks:

  • it doesn't show the variable we are interested in (level of advancement of medical technologies) in details.
  • it's taken over a long period of time and show average over that long period, it doesn't show recent changes in details.

There's other indicator called "Child mortality 0-5 years-olds". It's also a sum of many variables, but as far as I know the medicine has much greater impact on it than on the lifespan. And it's collected over shorter period of time, so it can highlight recent changes in more details.

Assumption that it has stronger correlation with medicine based on that there are always some level of child mortality, and, one of the most efficient way to prevent it - is to have advanced medical technologies available.

If we unite those two previous graph in one we get sense of both - long-term variables affecting lifespan and recent state of medical technologies.

Countries in the lower right corner have the life-friendly environment and best medical technologies.

How much does it cost?

I believe a rough guess of how much does these technologies costs can be made using picture below. It show how good medicine is and how much has been spend on it.

Yet, it's very rough and doesn't take into account lots of things like social benefits, insurances and so on.


I used the 'medicine' term instead of broader 'healthcare' because in this article I want to focus primarily on technologies, and ignore issues like social security, availability, cost, insurances and so on.

Statistical data taken from there are also lots of other interesting stats, very useful tool. You may also watch presentation by Hans Rosling.