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15 Feb, 2021/ by National Accident Helpline /Campaigns

So, which are the costliest countries to have an accident? We investigated

Whilst anyone in the world can break a bone, different countries have different healthcare systems and circumstances, meaning that there could be huge disparities in the cost of healthcare for the same injury, depending on your location. 

Nobody expects to be injured. It can be a real shock to the system if it happens and the financial consequences are usually the last thing people have on their minds after sustaining a nasty injury.

However, with NHS guidance showing that the recovery time for a broken leg can be anywhere from 6-8 weeks for minor fractures to 3-6 months for severe fractures, the incurred costs of an injury can begin to stack up.

Where in the world has the most expensive healthcare?

As a starting point, we looked at the cost of medical care for a broken leg in different countries around the world to find out where individuals are likely to be out of pocket if they do break a bone.   

It's worth mentioning that the medical costs mentioned here will often be either partially or fully covered by universal healthcare systems around the world, though some countries operate without a universal healthcare system, the United States of America being a prime example.

So, for the below figures, we have included the cost needed to perform the procedure. But this doesn't necessarily take account of the final cost incurred by the patient.

Average cost of medical care for a broken leg

The USA is the most expensive country in the world to treat a broken leg when purely measuring medical costs, with the average cost coming out at a whopping equivalent of £25,550, which is 7.5 times more expensive than the UK, at £3,363.

Other countries with high medical costs for a broken leg are Spain (£15,000) and Singapore (£10,396).

The UAE (£2,094), Argentina (£2,378) and India (£2,555) have the lowest medical costs for treating a broken leg.

Clearly, the difference in medical costs depending on the country can be a wide one!

Leaving you Out of Pocket

Most countries have at least some level of universal healthcare, yet data from the World Health Organisation shows that even in those countries covered by these systems, patients are paying additional costs towards their healthcare.

These costs are broken down into ‘Out of Pocket' expenses for costs paid at point of use, as well as any money paid towards additional private healthcare cover outside of any universal healthcare system.

Out of Pocket medical expenses paid per patient

Citizens in India pay the highest rate of out-of-pocket health costs, with the data showing that 63% of healthcare expenditure is covered by out-of-pocket health costs, equating to a cost of £33 to the patient.

Only 11% of health care expenditure in the USA is made up of out-of-pocket costs, which does seem low. Yet, the high cost of healthcare in the United States means that the cost to patients can still be significant. This is reflected in the fact that the average personal cost to patients at point of use in the USA is £838 per year, the second-highest figure out of every country analysed.

The only people in the world that pay more for healthcare at point of use are the Swiss, with citizens in Switzerland spending an average of £2,016 per year on out-of-pocket healthcare costs.

 

CountryOut of pocket costs (% of overall health spending)Out of pocket costs
India63%£33
Vietnam45%£50
Mexico42%£160
Singapore31%£640
Portugal30%£477
Switzerland28%£2016
Argentina28%£228
Brazil28%£171
Italy24%£514
Spain22%£443
Austria18%£702
Turkey17%£50
United Kingdom17%£526
Canada15%£537
Japan13%£397
UAE13%£168
Germany13%£505
Thailand11%£22
USA11%£838
France9%£317
Private health expenses paid per patient

The high cost of medical care in Switzerland is highlighted again in the amount they pay each year towards private health insurance. Swiss patients pay £4,956 towards private healthcare insurance each year, equating to 69% of the total cost of healthcare, a higher percentage than any other country.

Brazil (58%), Vietnam (53%), and the USA, Mexico, Singapore (all 50%) also rely heavily on private healthcare costs covered by insurance. Only 21% of healthcare expenditure in the UK relates to private healthcare costs.


CountryPrivate health costs (%of overall health spending)Private health costs
Switzerland69%£4956
Brazil58%£361
Vietnam53%£58
Mexico50%£189
Singapore50%£1023
USA50%£3846
UAE48%£642
Portugal38%£622
Argentina38%£315
Australia31%£1225
Spain30%£591
India27%£15
France27%£912
Canada27%£967
Italy26%£569
Thailand23%£47
Turkey23%£64
Germany22%£891
United Kingdom21%£674
Japan16%£496

Popularity of personal injury claims from around the world

As the data indicates, there will always be some level of out of pocket expense involved with an injury, whether that be a contribution to the procedure itself, or a smaller expense like paying for pain relief prescriptions. If you were to suffer an accident that wasn't your fault you could be able to make a personal injury claim

We also took a look at how many monthly searches are made for terms relating to ‘personal injury claims'.

Popularity of personal injury claims

As you might expect, given the high population and lack of Universal Healthcare, the USA sees the highest volume of internet searches relating to personal injury claims in the world, with an average of 330,000 per month. The next highest monthly average is the UK, with 104,250 searches per month.

Those in Portugal and Switzerland search for personal injury claims the least, with only 150 internet searches per month on average.

If you ever have an accident that wasn't your fault, check out our site for details on how to go about making a claim.

In conclusion

Healthcare systems around the world operate in different ways, and the research clearly shows that breaking a bone can be a totally different experience depending on the country you are based in.

Regardless, you are entitled to explore the possibility of making a claim if you feel that the accident was not your fault.

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