We're healthiest country in the world, too

SINGAPORE - Singapore is the healthiest country in the world, according to a recent survey conducted by media company Bloomberg.

A total of 145 countries were surveyed, from sources provided by the United Nations, World Bank and the World Health Organisation.

Countries were ranked on their health grades, which Bloomberg calculates as the total health score minus the health risk penalty.

Singapore has a health grade of 89.45 per cent - total health score of 92.52 per cent minus health risk penalty of 3.07 per cent.

The penalty includes factors such as average life expectancy, cigarette smoking rates and mortality.

Only countries with a population of more than one million were surveyed.

Italy was second, with a health grade difference of less than 1 per cent.

Australia and Switzerland were third and fourth respectively, even though their health score was higher than that of Singapore's. This is because their health risk penalty scores were higher, too.

"I personally feel that our health-care system is one of the best in the world," said Dr Frederick Goh, 45, a general practitioner here. "However, it is hard to compare things like that."

He said that health encompasses more than just diseases and mortality rates.

"Health includes mental health, happiness, stress levels... things that can't be measured in numbers alone," said Dr Goh.

"Nonetheless, the survey is accurate with regards to what they are looking at."

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