Taiwan ranks 45th in global healthcare quality index

Researchers put Taiwan on par with Latvia and Puerto Rico, scoring an overall of 78 on the index...

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TAIPEI (Taiwan News) - Taiwan has been ranked 45th in a global list of countries assessed for health care availability and quality (HAQ), while the tiny European nation of Andorra topped the list with an overall score of 95 out of 100, according to the latest report by the British medical journal The Lancet published on May 18.  

The major study created the index based on numbers of deaths from 32 diseases that could be avoided by “timely and effective medical care,” including tuberculosis, diarrheal diseases, respiratory infections, and so forth.

Researchers who analyzed death-rate data between 1990 and 2015 from a total of 195 nations put Taiwan on par with Latvia and Puerto Rico, scoring an overall of 78 on the index.   

In addition, Taiwan scored high in case of diarrheal diseases (95), diphtheria (100), upper respiratory infections (98), tetanus (98), and maternal disorders (95).

The study pointed out while nearly all countries assessed saw their HAQ index values improve, the gap between the highest and lowest observed index was actually larger in 2015 than in 1990.    

The study offers some models that countries might want to consider taking steps to improve, highlighting a long list of countries that have had health-care quality climb significantly since 1990, including South Korea (86), Turkey (76), Peru (70), China (74), and the Maldives (76).

Some countries in eastern and western sub-Saharan Africa reached index value beyond their development levels, whereas others, mostly in southern sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, and south Asia, trailed behind those with similar level of development, the study found.

The top 10 performers on the index were Andorra (95), Iceland (94), Switzerland (92), Sweden (90), Norway (90), Australia (90), Finland (90), Spain (90), Netherlands (90), and Luxembourg (89).

At the bottom of the table was the Central African Republic, scoring just 29 on the overall index.