Italy, the second Healthiest Country in the World

As the last Bloomberg Ranking’s analysis of global health report, Italy is the second healthiest country in the world. If the old italian proverb, “la...

Italy-second-healthiest-country

As the last Bloomberg Ranking’s analysis of global health report, Italy is the second healthiest country in the world. If the old italian proverb, “la salute prima di tutto” (“Health first”) is right, this is the perfect first Italian Good News of this 2016.

The Second Healthiest Country in the World

To rank the healthiest countries on Earth, Bloomberg created the health scores and the health-risk scores for countries with populations of at least one million. The health score is based on mortality rates in each country, while the health risk score is based on different factors likely to limit health, such as the numbers of young people smoking or the percentage of immunizations. You can see below the top ten chart.

Bloomberg-Helthiest-Country-in-the-world
Source: Bloomberg

According to the same analysis, Italy is the healthiest country in Europe. The Peninsula is ranked first among all the others European Nations and, as you can see below, even above Switzerland, a country famous for being the birthplace of the Red-Cross and for its well noun efficiency.

Bloomberg -Helthiest-Country-in-the-World
Source: Bloomberg

The third best Healthcare system in the world

Bloomberg 2014 Best Healthcare system
Source: Bloomberg

These records are a reflection of two Italian excellence. The first is Italy’s extremely efficient healthcare. In fact, in 2014 Bloomberg Rankings named Italy as the 3rd most efficient healthcare in the world. In one year the Italian universal health care system has moved from 6th to 3rd place.
Recognizing that an efficient health care sector is vital to the long-term fiscal health of a country, if is true that “health is wealth”, it’s encouraging to see that the Italian population is in good standing both in terms of health and of services that are provided to maintain that vitality.

The Mediterranean diet

The second excellence that helps the Italians to keep their life’s expectancy at 82 years old, is the worldwide famous Italian food.

As a matter of fact, the Mediterranean diet is likely to be an important factor in Italian longevity. Since after the WWII there has been a big improvement in the Italian diet, with much more fresh fish and a wider variety of foods. Fresh vegetables and fruit are commonly available and the use of olive oil in cooking, and less animal fats. Another good example is the Italian relation with alcoholic beverage. Traditionally, Italians have drunk wine with meals and avoided the sort of binge drinking that is commonplace in many country. However, many doctors in Italy warns this good habit is changing for the worse among the young.

Several studies have linked the Mediterranean diet with a reduced risk of heart disease. In 2013 a trial in the New England Journal of Medicine involving more than 7,000 people in Spain found that those who was given a liter of extra virgin olive oil every week for five years, had a significantly reduced the risk of stroke and heart disease, compared to an another control group who was simply advised to have a low-fat diet.


  • Joseph Mancini

    Ask former NY Mayor, Billionaire and founder of the report Michael Bioomburg if he rather be treated in an Italian Hospital or here in the states! Italy’s socialize medical System is comparable to our welfare system . That’s why everyone comes to the states for specialized surgery !

    • Valeria Agnolotti

      “Everyone” who????
      You probably have NO CLUE about specialized Italian hospitals, where foreigners from all over the world, including the US, come.
      And do not forget a LITTLE detail: in the US, if you have no private health insurance, they let you die.
      In Italy everything is paid by the state and they will cure you for free.
      Poor guy, you even do not know that in the US only rich people get good health care.
      In Italy EVERYONE gets the best treatment, even homeless people.
      This is welfare. Something US Americans have zero clue about.

      • Joe Maz

        GREAT, dear!!

      • Anthony Toscano

        Valeria you need to do more research on US healthcare and the rich!!!! My mom who is 91 yrs old has the best healthcare the country can offer and she is on a fixed income. Let me enlighten you a little more she had an internal issue that required surgery and I took her to the Cleveland Clinic arguably the best hospital in the world where there is usually a 30 day waiting time to see a doctor we were able to get her an appointment in 3days because of the health insurance she has!!!

        • Valeria Agnolotti

          Good for your mom. She does have a health insurance, right?
          Tell me about all the thousands of people in the US who don’t.
          The whole world knows about the battle Obama fought to give basic health care to all the poor people who cannot have it. And fighting all the private health care lobbies.
          You really have no clue.
          And…Cleveland Clinc the best hospital in the world??? Ahahah!! OMG!
          The worst problem many US Americans have: ignorance about the rest of the world. You do not even know that the rest of the world exists.
          If I asked you the name of the capital city for a random country, I am sure you wouldn’t have any clue.
          Ahahah!

          • Sarah Horton-Vicich

            Just because they don’t have insurance doesn’t mean they dont get care. County or city hospitals can not turn you away because of lack of insurance. Your facts are incorrect. We have medicare and medicade for less fortunate and Obama Care and private insurance.

          • Valeria Agnolotti

            Dear Sarah, I lived in Italy, the US, Brasil and Switzerland. And I never had fear of loosing my job and therefore my medical care in any country, except the US.
            In the US, you can be succesful in your job one day, and the other day you can loose everything and even become a homeless.
            This was the main reason for me to leave. No welfare.
            Did you know that in the UK it is full of America wome who come to give birth (for free, spoiling the local statal health care system), and then they go back to the US? This all to same some 15000 US dollars they should pay in you fantastic hospitals.
            Have you lived in other countries? Have you tried in person how better they are?

          • Sarah Horton-Vicich

            Unlike you i love my birth country and have no need to how better or worse they are. We have millions of medical tourist that come here to give birth so their children are american citizens. . Why would they come if it is so bad. Kudos to you for being in another country hope you enjoy it because the way you speak of the US. .clearly we are better off without you! Ciao

          • Valeria Agnolotti

            Ahahaha, OMG.
            I LOVE my birth country, which is Italy.
            I travelled a lot for my work (ever heard of expats?), to broaden my horizons, to learn new things and understand other countries.
            And one of the best leasons learnt is that A LOT of US Americans are totally ignorant about everything.
            No clue about geography, about other cultures, literature or whatever.
            But the worse: they have no clue about how bad things go in theor country.
            Rrad the replies of the other guys here, and try to get some knowledge in that empy head.
            Who comes to the US to give borth for their kids to get a US passport? Obviously people who come from poorest countries and have no hopes.
            As for me, after my tour of the world, working, travelling and learning, I will happily go back to my beloves home country, where the best medical care is really for everyone and people aren’t due to sell their homes in their old ages to be able.to pay the worst health care system in developed countries.
            It was nice to read from ShauMarie and Mac, and see words from US Americans who are aware of reality and do not deny the truth.

          • ShaunMarie

            Sarah – I’m sorry, but you are hugely misinformed. They cannot turn you away in the case of life threatening, emergency care. However, they are only required to stabalize you, they are not required to give you a hip replacement, long term care, or any other necessary maintenance. And if you do not have medical insurance, you will be billed full retail (far more than insurance companies pay), and they will sue you for your unpaid bill – driving already impoverished people into a lifetime of permanent debt.

          • Sarah Horton-Vicich

            No im not wrong. I live here. Medicaid is there for poor with no insurance. Their care is no different than mine. Funny how people who don’t live here…think they know about my country i wont guess about your country dont guess about mine.

          • ShaunMarie

            Nice Try Sarah. I spent the first 38 years of my life in the US, and am a US citizen. And, you are wrong. And I am not guessing. While living far away, I still manage to stay informed on the issues facing my American friends and family, while you – resident in the US, manage to remain completely ignorant of facts, mistaking your personal opinions for actual data.

            Nationwide, some 40% of doctors will not accept medicaid patients. State by state, it varies – 60% of doctors in New Jersey will not accept them.

            Medical debt is the number one cause of bankruptcy in the US, and its by a significant amount. Those bankruptcies fall on those in the working and middle classes: too rich to quality for medicaid, too poor to pay their bills, and screwed over by insurance companies. (Yes, Sarah, people with health insurance actually die do to lack of medical care!)

            Pre ACA, Harvard came up with a study that linked @ 45,000 premature deaths per year to lack of insurance. Now, if medicaid had those people’s backs, as you so blithely believe, it’s unimaginable that they died due to lack of medical care. Currently, under the ACA, states have been encouraged to expand medicaid coverage to fill the gap between those too wealthy for medicaid, but too poor for market subsidies. However, if you actually read articles in the newspaper, you’d discover than many red states refused to expand. This leaves anyone in a family of 3 earning from 9k per year to 12k per year without any options at all.

            On every factor, from outcome to quality to access, the US ranks miserably in healthcare. The US enjoys one of the highest rates of preventable deaths, due to lack of access and follow up care. It enjoys an infant mortality rate that rivals Serbia and Croatia, falling #57 on the charts. In life expectancy, American men are #36 and women at #38.

            The ONLY place America even makes the top 10? Hey! We’re #1 – for the worst quality of care in the developed world.

          • Valeria Agnolotti

            People like you “guess”.
            People like us “read, learn and get informed”.

          • almirach

            Look, I live in Germany but I’m Italian. Four years ago I was in the US for four months. I did get a job offer. Apparently well paid. Then I start to compare with Germany. Leav the huge differce in paid holidays. Leave the fact that you can get sick only 2 weeks a year. Aftr that you do not see a single cent. Between blu cross and the additional insurance required to get the same tratment I get in Germany, I should have paid about 30-40% more of what I do pay now. And still I had to get some money out of my pocket. If we compare with Italy the difference would be probably aboute 50% more

        • ShaunMarie

          Lucky for your Mom. While I lived in the US, I also had one of the best insurance policies available, and gave birth to my son in one of the highest rated teaching hospitals in the US – where my premium insurance gave me access to a suite with a 360 view of the Golden Gate bridge. It was swank.

          However, my Physician almost managed to kill both me and my child through simple inattention and refusing to listen. After being rushed into emergency surgery, I was rushed out of the “suite” because someone else was waiting for it (with muttered complaints about how I’d taken too much time to give birth). I was placed in a closet sized room that still had blood all over the bathroom floor.

          Needless to say, my son got very ill as soon as we brought him home. We had to rush him back to the ER, hours after we’d left – and we were stopped at the door (baby with a 104 degree fever in arms) to be asked for our papers. WITH A NEWBORN WITH A 104 DEGREE FEVER. THEY EXPECTED US TO DO PAPERWORK AT A HOSPITAL WE’D JUST BEEN DISCHARGED FROM HOURS BEFORE.

          So far, so good. Once we started screaming to high heaven, we were put in a clinic room, where my son was given a spinal tap, and we were re-admitted. After my experience on their maternity ward, I insisted that we get admitted to pediatrics, and because I had insurance, I got my way. (With the help of the Church chaplain and my Doula and a lot of insisting.)

          All well and good – until it was discovered that one spinal sample had been polluted and another lost.

          This was a 200,000 dollar baby by the end, for a birth that should have cost only a few thousand at top. At the best hospital in San Francisco.

          I cannot even begin to think what would have happened to us if we’d not had insurance. I shudder to think.

    • Macs

      let’s put facts straight: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medical_tourism

      […]
      “A McKinsey and Co. report from 2008 found that between 60,000 to 85,000 medical tourists were traveling to the United States for the purpose of receiving in-patient medical care.[68] The same McKinsey study estimated that 750,000 American medical tourists traveled from the United States to other countries in 2007 (up from 500,000 in 2006).”

      […]

      • Valeria Agnolotti

        Thanks Macs for this data.

  • Joseph Mancini

    Valeria I think you are clueless. I lived in Italy for years. I have many friends that still do. We talk about the waiting list for a knee replacement or any other type of surgery. You are assigned a physician and have to be pre -approved for anything. “No free Will ” I personally have Federal Blue Cross Insurance and all I do is just go on the Internet and find the best Doctors no matter where their located. No waiting list or pre -approvals. I was in Verona Italy and and unfortunately was in a car accident and taken to a hospital. It was so filthy it reminded me of a Third World country hospital. Immediately my family came over and ask what I was doing here. We went across the river and transported to a private Hospital . Your former Billionaire Prime Minister Berlusconi came to United States for treatment . Not counting many others, Just Google It . By the way with all the immigration now your copayments will start to rise and you’re care we’ll definitely be less Valeria,

    • ShaunMarie

      Joseph – what you are saying is flat out false – and I am not sure why you are saying these things. Perhaps you never learned to speak Italian and navigate the health care system here? Never built rapport with your doc? You aren’t “assigned” a physician. You go to the public health office and ask for the physician you want.

      My average waiting time to see my primary care physician is days if I am not ill, and 1 – 24 hours if I am ill. If I am VERY sick, a doctor is sent to see me. (Good luck with that stateside.)

      When I need tests, depending on the test, I can get it that day – if it’s a screening sonogram, I might have to wait a few weeks (though I can always pay to jump the line.) If I need specialist care, my Doc tells me who I need to see, and my wait will be a week or two or three.

      Average waiting time in the US to see your primary doc is 29 days.

      Of course there is a queue for elective surgery; because health care is not based on ability to pay, there isn’t one group of people who can get knee surgery and another group of folks having to suck it up. The person who has completely torn up her knee and cannot walk gets to have hers before the person who is slowly degenerating. Oh – and the person who has been in an auto-wreck or has cancer is going to be treated FIRST.

      Finally, as to Berlusconi: If you were wealthy, would you go to the Mayo Clinic, or the Kenosha County hospital? John Hopkins or St. Mary’s Portland? That a rich guy can fly where he wants for what he wants has absolutely nothing to do with general quality of care.

    • Macs

      Sorry no! Maybe some other country, but not USA. You pay premium price for even the stupidest things, so you are forced to have a huge insurance bill to avoid to risk your life or go bankrupt.
      Sure Italian system has is problems, not every place has the best hospitals, but when you have something serious you can go any part of the country and get the best treatment possible, in the top tier of the world, without any direct cost, 99% covered by the state. If you are really rich you can have private insurance that will cover costs in private clinics and have the best rooms and views, so really you can’t compare the two system like this.

    • Valeria Agnolotti

      Clueless???
      Tell me dear, where did you live? Where? How long? Tell me data and facts.
      My mom had cancer for 5 years: best treatments, zero costs.
      My father had a hearth attack and an ictus: same story.
      Great doctors, perfect treatment and recovery, not even 1 euro spent by our family.
      Of course with an insurance from the state you have to wait a bit when you have stupid problems for which you can wait.
      And of course you are not entitled to choose the doctor, otherwise people like you will follow rumors and you will have long waiting lists at some random doctors while the others, still good and paid by the state, could go to the beach.
      I hope for.you you will never have a major disease like my parents, otherwise…ahaha! Tell me about the bills!
      Giving birth to a child in the US costs at least 10000 USD. In Italy? Zero!
      And of course we have immigrants and the ones who are poor will of course receive care for free! Of course!
      This is called welfare, amd I am proud to come from a country with such a high level of equality and respect for the poorest. I am happy to pay taxes for them to be cured for free.
      The biggest problem in the US: your egoism!
      Rich people deserve everything, the others can die. The weapons lobbies must make a hell of money, and kids still kill each other by mistake because their idiotic parents keep weapons at home.
      US: a developing country

  • Joseph Mancini

    I Just like the Freedom to choose whoever I want and whenever I want . Believe me the poor are taking care also. It comes out of my Insurance premium. If you had a good job in the United States whether it be in the Military, Police dept. fire department, Post office etc. You have great health insurance. Your premium payment is very little if anything at all. When I required knee replacement surgery I chose the New York Hospital for Special Surgery. My surgeon is employed by a football team. One of the best. He works on players that are worth millions of dollars .

  • Elizabeth L Hunt

    Can’t quite put my faith in an article that in reference tk the Swiss talks about their “well noun efficiency”.

  • June Finnigan

    Mmmmm, I agree with some of this. Having lived in Italy for twelve years, and in the countryside of Tuscany, I have seen a number of important things. Firstly, there is a terrible tendancy towards arthritus amongst the elderly, so whilst there is longevity, it does not mean that the elderly are enjoying life. Georgian and Russian carers are imported to look after the elderly who have no family assistance. The health service is different here. There are a lot of General Practitioners and their job is to write prescriptions and to pass patients on to Specialists. The waiting can sometimes be long depending on the type of specialist. Tha Italian health service tends to boohoo pain and will do internal investigations without a sedative. I find this difficult. The same goes for dental treatment! It is sometimes better to pay for private treatment in a different part of the country to your own, particularly for hip and knee replacement. Otherwise, things like blood tests are done immediatly as long as you don’t mind going to the local USLA (health centre) alongwith forty or so other patients and waiting in line! Things could be worse, I guess, but I would not want to be in an Italian hospital unless my problem was life threatening. I know! Been there, done that….

  • Sara Khan

    Which are the best hospitals in Lahore for infertility treatment.

  • Montelatici

    I have never seen so much cognizant dissonance. Italy has a far better healthcare system than the U.S. I was born in Italy (Tuscany), as an Army brat with an Italian mother, so I am dual citizen from birth, and have a home in Pisa. Cisanello is one of the best hospitals I have been to, both my daughter and father were there (my father several times). My wife spends the summers in Pisa (she is a teacher) and last year she became ill and our family physician came to our house to look after my wife, yes house calls are still available if you are too ill to go to your family doctor’s surgery. My daughter, born in the U.S., relocated to Italy 4 years ago and has had far better access and service from the healthcare system there than she ever had in the U.S. And, she had a serious health problem when she went to Italy. She went to Italy for treatment she could not afford in the U.S., even with health insurance between deductibles and copays. As an Italian citizen (through me) she was immediatley placed in the system, sought and received treatment within a few days of arrival.. She is now doing quite well. Arthritis in Italy is no more prevalent than anywhere else, that’s just anectdotal BS. And yes, Italian elderly do have the benefit of personal caregivers after a certain age, they are called “badante”. This allows the elderly to live in their homes. I hired a badante for my father, a 3 actually. and they were respectiively from Russia, Ukraine and Georgia. What is wrong with that? The person that says “been there done that ” hasn’t.

    I own a large part of the stock and run a business in the U.S. (a government contractor) and have had to sign up to different health plans for the business over the years. They are ripoffs in every way for the employee. The business, to remain competitive has to lower its share of the premium and the searches for the lowest premium possible. That means that the low-cost plans are designed to have as many gotchas as possible so the costs can be shifted to the employee.

  • Richard Private

    This report listing Italian hospitals as the best is easily the most inaccurate fake report I have ever seen.
    Though Italians may well gain health benefits from a Mediterranean diet this in no way reflects as meaning the hospital system is the best, to put it bluntly this is lies and I’m not surprised to see it presented via an Italian media outlet.
    The truth is that Italian hospitals are disorganized, understaffed and generally chaotic along the same lines of dealing with all government departments in Italy. They do not communicate with each others corresponding department and generally send the public on long drawn out paper chases from different department usually for month after month after month.
    The healthcare system is funded through heavy taxation on workers in Italy while the system chants it is free health care, the contradictions start here and just continue getting worse.
    The real ranking for Italian hospitals in Europe should not even be in the top ten and certainly not be listed as top globally, this is simply ridiculous. All the time this outrageous lie is propagated their systems will not improve.

    • Ajeje Brazorf

      You clearly have no idea about what you’re talking about. Since you’ve created a user just to post the bullshit at which i’m replying, I’m not going to make a detailed reply about organization, since you’ve completely invented what you’ve written… the current healtcare system in Italy, is constantly improving and is becoming a standard in Europe together with the French one.
      Mediterrean diet has been the same since the Roman empire…life expectancy increases because people get better and better treatments.
      The healthcare system is funded through normal taxation and co-payment, and the pro-capita spending for the government, is lower than the US where there’s nearly no public healthcare. Again…you don’t know what you’re talking about. The healthcare spending in italy has been the same during the past 10 years, actually it’s slowly decreasing since 2015.
      So…if you really like to live in a country like the US where you’re letting people die because they don’t have insurance, is fine…but at least do not invent stupid things about one of the few things which are actually working in Italy…the healthcare.
      At least before saying bullshit about the italian healthcare, get some data. And no…invented bullshit doesn’t count.
      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/07a5bb06eb6a970869be3da0d891c50ab5d8637ac899215ec857c07d3e95a2d2.png https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/4b23d6fd21ef10e3cafc0b16d57d55eafd7674a6e47d4d0f6f516e8085cff07f.png https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/28948ddfd7ded9d0389329c960de26ad83ed67d7e3f8e3346e5fcb3b0a559f1b.png

      • Richard Private

        The bankers trolls are busy commenting here to distract from the truth.
        This is not about a comparison to the health care in the USA, the entire planet knows the American health care system is in disarray thats why the current president is working to fix it. It is about a deceptive article listing Italy in the top health care ranking in the world??????, this is simply untrue. Comparing Italy to France, go ahead do that, their health care system is also a mess but the Italien one is much worse.
        Yes European taxpayers contribute taxes towards the health care system while being ignorant of the fact that much of that health care tax is diverted to repaying private bankers in the EU for borrowing the EU currency which they electronically create and print as banknotes etc. This situation with taxes and health care is repeated all through the EU because these same bankers want to destroy public health care and create an insurance health system like they did in the past in the USA, private hospitals/insurance is indirectly owned by private bankers creating companies as “fronts”. Later they will do the same as they did in the USA, make health care too expensive for the normal people and only affordable for the rich.
        Rather than deny that your health care systems are being destroyed and believing online articles created by employees of private bankers claiming health care is the best in the world, you all should do the following:
        Vote in a goverment that is free from EU bankers control, then your country needs to print its own currency and stop borrowing the tax debt EU currency. Then you can rebuild your health care systems, social care systems, housing, jobs and prosperity. At the moment nearly all European EU governments are controlled by a clique of puppets in the EU working for private bankers.
        Or you can keep your eyes shut, when people tell you the truth, claim they don”t know what they are talking about.
        The prosperous Italy from 40 years age has been tricked and cheated and yes it’s healthcare system is in a mess along with all its other government departments. This is all part of the plan to remove the countries identity and turn it into a state controlled by unelected politicians in the EU that refuse to accept an audit for what they do with your money for over 20 years.

  • Richard Private

    This is not about a comparison to the health care in the USA, the entire planet knows the American health care system is in disarray thats why the current president is working to fix it. It is about a deceptive article listing Italy in the top health care ranking in the world??????, this is simply untrue. Comparing Italy to France, go ahead do that, their health care system is also a mess but the Italien one is much worse.
    Yes European taxpayers contribute taxes towards the health care system while being ignorant of the fact that much of that health care tax is diverted to repaying private bankers in the EU for borrowing the EU currency which they electronically create and print as banknotes etc. This situation with taxes and health care is repeated all through the EU because these same bankers want to destroy public health care and create an insurance health system like they did in the past in the USA, private hospitals/insurance is indirectly owned by private bankers creating companies as “fronts”. Later they will do the same as they did in the USA, make health care too expensive for the normal people and only affordable for the rich.
    Rather than deny that your health care systems are being destroyed and believing online articles created by employees of private bankers claiming health care is the best in the world, you all should do the following:
    Vote in a goverment that is free from EU bankers control, then your country needs to print its own currency and stop borrowing the tax debt EU currency. Then you can rebuild your health care systems, social care systems, housing, jobs and prosperity. At the moment nearly all European EU governments are controlled by a clique of puppets in the EU working for private bankers.
    Or you can keep your eyes shut, when people tell you the truth, claim they don”t know what they are talking about.
    The prosperous Italy from 40 years age has been tricked and cheated and yes it’s healthcare system is in a mess along with all its other government departments. This is all part of the plan to remove the countries identity and turn it into a state controlled by unelected politicians in the EU that refuse to accept an audit for what they do with your money for over 20 years.