By Kaitlin Junod
By Kaitlin Junod
Rabat – Data from the World Bank and United Nations identifies the world’s healthiest countries. Singapore ranked first with an overall score of 89.45 percent, with Italy and Australia close behind with score of 89.07 and 88.33 percent respectively.
Compiled by Bloomberg Rankings, the scores were determined by factors such as a country’s health expenditure, life expectancy, mortality rates and immunization coverage. In countries with a population over 1 million, Bloomberg calculated a health score and risk score. To find the country’s final ranking, it subtracted the risk score from the health score.
Israel, ranking sixth, was the only Middle Eastern county to make an appearance in the top ten, which also excluded countries from North and Latin America. North African states made an average showing, with Tunisia coming in 45th with 58.23 percent and Algeria in 59th with 52.14 percent.
While Morocco ranked beneath these two countries with an overall grade of 48.99 percent, coming in 65th place, there have been some signs of progress in the past few years, according to an in-depth look at its health profile.
The mortality rate for children under five years old has dropped from 239.4 in 1960 to 29.7 in 2013 per 1,000 live births. In the same time period, the average life expectancy rate rose from 48.4 years of age to 70.9. Health expenditure as a percentage of the total GDP has remained relatively constant at about six percent.
However, a case study on Morocco by the World Health Organization points out several challenges to the Moroccan healthcare system. In rural areas, access to healthcare is difficult, and there is a disparity between availability and demand for care. The study also found public hospitals to be non-satisfactory, lacking good management and having poor quality care that makes them unable to compete with private hospitals.
In order for Morocco to further improve its healthcare, the World Health Organization recommends that it invest in medical teaching and base training for nursing staff as well as the continuous professional development of those working in the healthcare system.