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Healthcare Systems

2013 Global Manufacturing Competitiveness Index


Executives responding to the 2013 GMCI survey stated, on average, that the overall cost of healthcare was the most important driver within this category, followed closely by access to quality healthcare and regulatory policies for public health. It’s no surprise then that Germany, which is regarded as having the world’s oldest employment-based social health insurance and has recently started to inject money from government revenues into the social health insurance system to reduce wage-based health insurance contributions. 

Germany is rated as the most competitive nation in this category, and Japan is close behind in healthcare system competitiveness. While the U.S. ranks third, there is a wide gap between it and second-ranked Japan (71 percent vs. 88 percent of CEOs, respectively). This gap indicates the importance of healthcare costs in making a country competitive.

With respect to regulatory policies for public health, survey participants consistently cited costs associated with compliance — including government mandates that result in reduced corporate profitability and increased healthcare cost burdens — as a key factor negatively impacting a country’s overall competitiveness. That said, all of the emerging economies in the set of six focus nations in this report significantly trailed their developed nation competitors despite having relatively low healthcare costs and favorable regulatory systems that do not place a heavy financial burden on corporations. These findings suggest that executives are only willing to go so far with respect to sacrificing quality healthcare for cost, and that emerging nations have a long road ahead in their efforts to improve the quality of healthcare provided in their countries. As a result, their overall attractiveness as a manufacturing destination will be ultimately influenced by the effectiveness and efficiency of their country’s healthcare system.

2013 Global Manufacturing Competitiveness Index

Main page: Return to the 2013 Index overview
Continue reading: Country analyses, appendix A

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