The Countries


Health care in Canada is funded via a universal public insurance program, which is administered at the province-level. About ⅔ of the population buys complementary coverage from private insurers. Care is provided mainly through the private sector.


Denmark’s health care system is funded and regulated by the national government, with regional and municipal authorities responsible for provision. ⅓ of people have complementary coverage for additional benefits, while about ¼ have supplementary coverage that gives them access to private providers.


Health care in France is funded by statutory health insurance funds, which are controlled and regulated by the national government. Almost everyone has complementary coverage for cost-sharing and extra benefits.


German residents can choose health care coverage from one of two systems: 1) a statutory health insurance system made up of competing, non-profit “sickness funds” and 2) a private health insurance system. The sickness funds and provider associations together regulate the health care system, with the government playing minimal role. About 10% of people choose the private health insurance system over the sickness funds.

The Netherlands

The Dutch are universally mandated to purchase statutory health insurance from private insurers. The basic package is subsidized by the national government. The majority of the population buys complementary private coverage in addition to the statutory plan.


The Singaporean government subsidizes up to 80% of care provided by the public system. This is supported by three other public programs: Medisave, which covers routine expenses; MediShield, for catastrophic health insurance; and Medifund, for those who still have difficulties making payments despite the subsidies and other two programs. Singaporeans may also choose from a range of complementary and supplementary private insurance options. Both public and private health insurance is regulated by the government.


Switzerland has universally mandated private insurance. Financing, regulating, and planning responsibilities are split mainly between the federal and cantonal (state) authorities. The Swiss can buy complementary and supplementary coverage in addition to their mandated core coverage.

The UK

The health system in England is a universal public system known as the National Health Service (NHS). About 10% of English people buy supplementary insurance for faster access to treatment and elective procedures. Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland each have their own NHS institution. There are differences in the services covered under each system.


For more information, we recommend The Commonwealth Fund’s International Health Care System Profiles.