What Countries Have Free Healthcare?

What Countries Have Free Healthcare – Overview

Many countries offer free healthcare for their citizens and students. This can allow you to save money by reducing medical expenses.

Free healthcare also offers peace of mind and security that you and your family can be secure during any medical emergency.

Is Free Healthcare Actually Free

No healthcare can be completely free. In those countries where you do not have to pay the healthcare bills after visiting a doctor or a hospital, most taxpayers pay for it. To fund the entire system, the government takes a percentage of the income of working people.

In some other nations, people who receive medical care might have to make a small payment each time they use a medical service.

Why Do Countries Offer Free Healthcare Services for Their Citizens

A country offers free healthcare services for its citizens for many reasons. Some countries offer free medical care to ensure citizens can access primary healthcare.

Some other countries offer it to improve the overall health of their population, and reducing the cost of health care can be another reason for doing it.

Which Country Offers the First Free Healthcare

In 1948, the United Kingdom established the NHS (National Health Service) to provide free healthcare at the point of use for all residents of the UK, including Scotland and Northern Ireland, in addition to Wales and England.

The NHS can be considered the world’s most comprehensive medical care system. Its money often comes from the country’s taxpayers.

Which Countries Offer Free Healthcare Services

What Countries Have Free Healthcare

Which Countries Offer Free Healthcare Services?

There are so many countries that offer free medical care services for everyone.

1. United Kingdom

The United Kingdom’s NHS provides free healthcare at the point of use for hospital stays and doctor visits. Prescription charges apply in England, while prescriptions are free in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland

The NHS in the UK does cover dental care, though there are charges for treatments unless the individual qualifies for exemptions. However, multiple benefits are available for families with lower incomes.

2. Norway

Residents of Norway have access to a free national health system supported by domestic taxation.

The citizens can experience all healthcare services without cost, including doctor visits, hospital stays, preventive services, and prescriptions.

3. Argentina

Argentina provides public healthcare free at the point of use for its residents at public hospitals and clinics, though there can be wait times for services.

4. Australia

Australia’s healthcare system, known as Medicare, provides free or subsidized healthcare to Australian citizens, permanent residents, and some visitors from countries with reciprocal agreements, including New Zealand.

The permanent resident in the program can also receive free healthcare services.

5. Austria

Austria’s health care system is based on the Bismarck style and delivers universal medical care. Health insurance is mandatory for anyone who wants to stay here for more than six months.

6. Sweden

Citizens here are automatically enrolled in the National Health Insurance System. This National Health Insurance System covers a variety of medical services.

Most of the time, the citizens do not have to pay for hospital stays or doctor visits. However, they may need to make a small co-payment to buy some prescription drugs.

7. Denmark

Denmark offers a universal healthcare system that provides medical coverage for all residents. Hospital stays and doctor visits are free.

However, dental care does not come under medical coverage. For some prescribed drugs, people may need to make a co-payment.

8. Canada

Canada has a national health insurance model that offers healthcare to citizens. Various provinces and territories manage Canada’s healthcare system. They offer coverage for hospital care, doctor visits, and lab tests.

9. Finland

The healthcare system in Finland is based on a universal healthcare system that offers medical care coverage to its residents.

None of the residents has to pay for hospital stays, doctor visits, or most prescription drugs. Dental care is not covered, but some subsidies exist for low-income families.

10. New Zealand

New Zealand has a Beveridge model system. Citizens here must make small copayments for medications and primary care physicians.

There is no cost for hospital care services. In addition, emergency medical care is free for citizens, tourists, and residents injured in an accident.

11. Japan

Anyone staying in Japan for over three months must enroll in a health insurance program. Residents can not choose their program; instead, the government assigns insurance plans to them.

In Japan, all residents enrolled in the national health insurance system must pay for most healthcare services. The copayment covers 70% of medical costs, with the patient paying 30%.

12. Netherlands

The Netherlands offers a universal healthcare system for the residents. There is no cost for hospital stays, doctor visits, and most prescription drugs. Dental care is not included in the insurance coverage, but low-income families may have certain benefits.

Other Countries That Offer Free or Universal Healthcare

Other countries with universal healthcare systems provide access to healthcare services primarily funded through taxation or mandatory health insurance, with varying degrees of out-of-pocket costs for individuals.

  • Belgium
  • Brunei
  • Bahrain
  • Cyprus
  • Germany
  • France
  • Greece
  • Hong Kong
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Israel
  • Portugal
  • Kuwait
  • Luxembourg
  • Slovenia
  • Singapore
  • Spain
  • South Korea
  • Switzerland
  • United Arab Emirates


Receiving good healthcare services in any medical emergency is a basic need for everyone. Multiple countries offer free or affordable healthcare services to ensure that every member of their population can receive medical care and lead a healthy life.

See Also

Healthcare Administration Salary

What is PHI in Healthcare

What is a Healthcare Proxy

What is Healthcare FSA

Current Version
March 12, 2024
Updated By
Andrea Morales G.
January 19, 2023
Written By
Shubham Grover

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