Does good healthcare equal a good quality of life?

People will often remark about the importance of being “happy and healthy” – but how related are the two? As it turns out, a good healthcare system might not be as necessary as you think. A new survey from Expat Insider by InterNations might have the answer, from the mouths of expats themselves! Even if our health is what, y’know, keeps us alive – is a country’s healthcare system that beneficial to your enjoyment of it?

Quality of Life Index 2016

Quality of life is not defined entirely by the quality of your health. Your quality of life can be affected by lots of things – financial stability, personal relationships, and ease of living. People struggling with illnesses often feel they have a high quality of life and don’t let their illness define their existence.

Unhappy people will also often feel they have a high quality of life, but still remain unhappy despite these factors.

Of course, knowing that if you get sick you will be cared for well can be a huge relief to people. Expats often have a lot of things to deal with and this knowledge can act as a safety net for the future.

Is good healthcare necessary?

Living the Good Life Abroad? — infographic

However, many people will embark on expat life and never have the need to receive medical treatment, making it redundant to their own personal quality of life to seek out a good healthcare system. If a person suffers from recurring health problems, then it is probable that moving to a country with a good standard of healthcare would improve their overall quality of life. But if healthcare isn’t an important factor in a person’s happiness, it seems evident that they would favour something else instead. Whether this is proximity to family, good education standards, or even the weather, depends on the person.

Top Expat Destinations 2016 — infographic

It seems to be that a person’s quality of life is a hugely personal thing. What one person considers important won’t automatically be true for others. Taiwan, for example, was the only country to appear on all three charts – but this doesn’t mean that a good standard of healthcare is the only reason its residents have a good quality of life. Some expats may have been attracted to the country for this reason, but others could be there for the weather or for love or education – all of which could contribute to their enjoyment of life.

I guess it wouldn’t hurt to just move to Taiwan though.

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Rosy Parrish

Rosy Parrish grew up in Britain and now lives in Madrid. She divides her time between teaching English, writing about expat life, and befriending dogs in the street.