15 Best Countries for MHA Professionals
Written By: Caitlin Goodwin DNP, CNM, RN
While many masters of healthcare administration (MHA) graduates plan to settle in the country where they train, some prefer to relocate across the world. If you are wondering if you can use your healthcare administration degree outside of the United States, the answer is yes. If you find yourself asking, “Which country is best for MHA professionals?” Don’t worry, you’re not alone. This article will cover the 15 best countries for MHA professionals and what you need to know to find the perfect career abroad.
WHICH COUNTRY IS BEST FOR MHA PROFESSIONALS?
(Based on promising career prospects and a favorable work environment, here are the 15 Best Countries for MHA Professionals.)
While many businesses and countries abroad will accept your MHA degree, some may require additional education. In the European Union, you must understand the European Database on Medical Devices
(EUDAMED) and how to use it. EUDAMED is a system that tracks and provides information on approved medical devices. Countries in the European Union include 27 members
, including Ireland, Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Germany, and Italy.
It is crucial to consider your language proficiency and how their health systems align with your personal beliefs. Often the top countries for MHA professionals have the best healthcare systems. However, many also have the most rigorous criteria for hiring administrators.
RECOMMENDED ONLINE MHA PROGRAMS
1. New Zealand
New Zealand is an island of 4.7 million
people with 2.6 million visitors per year. It is also ranked as the number one country
that people would immigrate to, given the opportunity. The laid-back culture of New Zealand makes this the top country for MHA professionals. The work-life balance and friendly attitude are key to career satisfaction for Kiwis.
Public healthcare in New Zealand is free or low-cost for citizens, residents, or those on a work visa that is valid for two years or longer. The New Zealand government pays some healthcare fees, which means patients only pay a part of the fee when they see their general practitioner (GP). Another perk is the lack of lawsuits for accidental injuries. The Accident Compensation scheme (ACC) covers medical and recovery costs by using taxes taken out of your salary.
MHAs, in particular, are impressive qualifications that improve the health of communities, the operations of health services, and the patient experience. New Zealand has a Master of Health Services Management
and a Master of Health Leadership
degree available. Foreigners can obtain a visa by entering the country for a “working holiday” for up to 12 months (up to 23 months if you are a citizen of the U.K. or Canada).
Auckland is the major metropolitan city in New Zealand. The cost of living in Auckland is ranked 61st
in the world behind New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Honolulu, Washington D.C., Miami, and Boston. For perspective, Dallas ranked just behind Auckland at 62. The average annual pay for a hospital administrator in New Zealand ranges from NZ$40,000
, which is about $28,048, to NZ$139,000 ($97,450). This places the average hospital administrator squarely above New Zealand’s median income of NZ$52,000.
Singapore is an island city-state located at the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula with a population
of 5,543,600 in 2021. It is ranked the 25th
city worldwide with the highest quality of living and the first of all Asian countries. The city-state tops the list for the best countries for MHA jobs because of the large healthcare network, efficient public transportation system, cleanliness, and safety.
English-speakers rejoice. Singapore has four official languages: Malay, Mandarin, Tamil, and English. The climate is tropical with an average temperature of 80 degrees Fahrenheit and an average rainfall of 93.1 inches annually.
The healthcare system of Singapore is a government-run publicly funded universal health care system that is supervised by the Ministry of Health
(MOH) of the Singapore government. Residents enjoy high-quality health care that includes 17 hospitals (nine public and eight private) with specialty centers for cancer, cardiology, neuroscience, skin, and dental care. According to Bloomberg
, Singapore has the most efficient healthcare system in the entire world.
The Singapore University of Social Services provides a six-month course
for healthcare administrators. This course focuses on healthcare financing, the structure of the health system, and an overview of hospital operations. If you are interested in learning about careers in Executive management, the MOH provides valuable resources
Canada is one of the best countries for MHA jobs because of the universal healthcare system.
Public health insurance is available to all Canadian citizens. Most provinces speak English as their primary language, except Quebec, which speaks French. Canada has a financial and healthcare policy strategy that focuses on quality of life, equality, and sustainability
. With five different political parties, government affairs are not nearly as polarizing as the United States.
The Young Professionals program in Canada offers a work permit to citizens of the United States who are between the ages of 18 to 35 years old. Administrators (or managers) fall under the National Occupational Code
(NOC) for skill type level 0. This working visa is valid for up to one year as long as they have a paid job offer related to their previous work experience (or training).
The pay for a healthcare administrator
is C$65,735 ($52,131). However, the upper limit of pay is C$172k, which is substantially higher. It is important to keep in mind that the average salary
for hospital administrators in the United States is $86,866, making the annual pay in Canada less attractive.
If you are looking for a country that consistently ranks highly for quality of life and holds the eighth-highest Human Development Index
in the world. Australia has the perfect climate, excellent health care, and incredible activities. While Australia does not have an official language, 97% of the population speaks English. Getting a “working holiday” visa in Australia is similar to New Zealand and allows visitors to enter the country for up to 12 months.
While the cost of living in Sydney is 24th in the world
, Australia has it all, including many other expats. Australia features diversity from coast to coast- from beaches to the outback to cultured cities.
It is also listed as one of the top countries
that people want to move to and is one of the best countries for professionals in healthcare administration. Healthcare is Australia’s largest and fastest-growing industry, yet it is still easy to get a doctor’s appointment when needed. The health system is universal but also offers private health insurance.
According to Payscale, the pay for a hospital administrator in Australia is AU$73,000
, which translates to about $53,400. However, according to Delta Immigration
, the average salary for a female medical administrator is closer to $133,355.
Why is England one of the best countries for MHA professionals? Moving abroad can be overwhelming if you are unfamiliar with the language. Make sure to stick to countries where you can communicate fluently, like the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Island), whose primary language is English. England has beautiful architecture and history, featuring castles and art.
Healthcare in England is provided by the National Health Service, a public service administered by the Department of Health. This taxpayer-funded healthcare service provides free care for most medical procedures that are covered for residents and those on a visa for at least twelve months.
There are plenty of opportunities for jobs, as well. Following the COVID-19 pandemic, job vacancies rose
to a record 1,034,000 across the U.K. The National Health Service (NHS) is one of the largest workforces in all of the U.K. ( NHSjobs
). The NHS operates all of the public hospitals in the U.K. However, there are also private hospitals that may offer professional opportunities as well. According to Payscale
, the average pay for a hospital administrator in the U.K. is a little lacking. The salary averages about £20,207 (or about $27,500).
The population of Ecuador is nearly 18 million
people. The South American climate is gorgeous, the people are pleasant, and there is a low cost of living in Ecuador. Ecuador provides a gorgeous relocation destination because it spans the geography and climate of the Andes mountains, Amazon rainforest, and Ecuadorian coastline. Life is relaxed with quality health care and a stable economy.
Ecuador is one of the easiest Latin American countries in which to obtain a working visa. If you are a resident of the United States, Canada, or Europe, have a bachelor’s degree, and have an income of $400, you can apply. While many of the destinations we have discussed speak English, you should have a strong Spanish proficiency to live here.
Specific to those holding an MHA, Ecuador is the 13th most efficient healthcare system worldwide. In comparison, the United States is ranked 44th, according to Bloomberg
. Health insurance is mandatory, reasonably priced, and it is illegal to discriminate. While healthcare in Ecuador has come a long way in both availability and quality, the primary concern is adequate healthcare personnel and supplies. With the need for healthcare professionals, Ecuador is one of the best countries for professionals in healthcare administration. A healthcare administrator in Ecuador has a salary of $ 150,603
Not only does Ireland have the perks of history-packed towns, but they have gorgeous countryside and friendly people, making it one of the best countries for masters in healthcare administration professionals. Ireland has a 98% rate of English-speakers. However, 40% also speak Irish. If you are leaving loved ones behind, the flight from the East coast of North America is only five hours.
Healthcare in Ireland is managed by a ministry called the Department of Health
. The delivery system is composed of public, voluntary, and private providers in care settings, including acute care, primary care, continuing care, and community care. Ireland has created a ten-year plan called Sláintecare
with a vision to achieve a universal single-tier health care system.
If you want to see what documentation you need to come to Ireland, you can check if you need a visa
. For those coming from the United States, you do not need a visa to come to Ireland. However, you will register with immigration and require permission to remain there for work. According to Payscale,
the annual salary is €30k, which is about $34,700.
Look no further than Germany if you are looking for a shorter workweek. According to the World Economic Forum
, they work 1365 hours each year compared to the United States' 1780 hours and Mexico’s nearly 2300 hours. Some employees in Germany fought for a shorter workweek, about 28 hours
. With the onset of the pandemic, the short work week became even more widespread. Germany is modern yet has a rich history and culture.
Healthcare in Germany is a universal public insurance system funded by employers and tax revenue surpluses, but higher wage-earners may have private health insurance
. The healthcare system is ranked the 23rd
most efficient in the world.
Obtaining a visa can be a complicated and bureaucratic process. However, a long-term residency visa allows you to go to Germany to job hunt for six months. If at the end of the time you have secured employment, then you can apply for a working visa after you secure employment. If you speak German, you will be better off than most native English speakers. There are some jobs for those who speak English, but nearly as many.
9. The Netherlands
This is one of the top countries for MHA professionals because it is clean, efficient, with a vibrant cultural scene. The official language is Dutch, but English is spoken by 90% of the population. The Netherlands is well known for being safe and having gorgeous views like windmills, fields of tulips, and canal streets. The country has a long record of social tolerance and legalized human euthanasia and a liberal drug policy.
The Netherlands is ranked one of the highest healthcare systems in Europe and healthcare here is a universal private health insurance system. Obtaining a working visa can be challenging, but there are programs to help foreigners enter the country and work. In fact, having a master’s degree enhances your employability because most who immigrate to the Netherlands have a graduate degree. For senior project managers of healthcare operations, the annual salary
Finland is ranked 19th
for most efficient health care around the world. If you are a citizen of the 27 countries of the European Union, or Iceland, Norway, and Switzerland, you are entitled to public healthcare through the European Health Insurance Card ( EHIC
). This card grants access to medically necessary public healthcare during a temporary stay under the same conditions and at the exact cost as the people insured in that country.
Healthcare in Finland is a three-level universal government-funded health system. Finland’s health care is managed by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health
. Local governments are responsible for providing healthcare to their residents. With this local focus, Finland is one of the best countries for MHA professionals because its healthcare system aims to improve population health, well-being, functional capacity, and social security. Finland also focuses on reducing health inequalities and promoting comprehensive health services (including preventative health). You can apply for a residence permit
in Finland if you have a job, but you must apply prior to traveling there.
This country is a peninsula in the center of the Mediterranean Sea with approximately 60 million inhabitants.
With its rich culture and high-ranked healthcare system, Italy is one of the top countries for masters in healthcare administration professionals. Italy is ranked third
in the world for the most efficient healthcare system.
The Italian National health system is a universal government-funded health system that offers either public or private hospitals. Italy created the National Health Service in 1978, and healthcare is provided to all citizens and residents by a mixed public-private system. The Ministry of Health oversees the Servizio Sanitario Nazionale (SSN), which administers regional health services. The SSNs pay family doctors. They order all diagnostic tests and specialist visits which have a small co-pay. While the waiting list can be months for public health, private hospitals are shorter, and physicians can prioritize your need if it is urgent.
This small western country is bordered by countries like the Netherlands, Germany, and France. Belgium is one of the best places to indulge in chocolate or waffles, with the luxury of easily visiting a neighboring country. The culture and access to European countries are incredible, but the healthcare system is publicly funded, making it one of the
best countries for MHA professionals.
Belgium healthcare has a publicly funded healthcare service run by the government. However, there are also private hospitals, semi-private hospitals, independent practitioners, and universities. Universal public health insurance coverage is provided for patients that come from taxes. You can immigrate to Belgium for employment purposes, so long as you apply for the correct residence permit.
This country is renowned for the Eiffel Tower in Paris and the dazzling beaches of Nice, but it is also one of the best countries for professionals in healthcare administration. Obtaining a visa to France
requires adhering to the rules. You must provide documentation for the reason for your stay, means for support, and accommodations.
Healthcare in France is, like many other European countries, a universal public health insurance system. The healthcare system ranks highly worldwide and is largely financed by the government. All legal residents who have lived in France for three months and intend to reside there for another three months can benefit from the health insurance scheme. France’s universal hybrid healthcare system features high-quality medical care paid for by both the state and the individual.
In Denmark, the official language is Danish, but 86% of the population speaks English. If you are fond of Danish pastries and quaint cities, Denmark is one of the best countries for MHA jobs because healthcare is so accessible- taxes fund health services. The mortality rate is low, and the life expectancy
is high in Denmark.
Healthcare in Denmark is provided by the local governments of the five regions. Although, nursing homes, home health, and school services are the responsibility of the municipalities. Many hospital services are centrally managed. Foreign nationals must have a residence and work permit before they can start work.
One of the oldest European Union members, Sweden is one of the most productive economies for those seeking career opportunities, making it one of the best countries for MHA professionals seeking a career move. Sweden has excellent public transportation, ranging from bus, metro, tram, and railway systems. The weather is cooler but fairly pleasant. While the official language is Swedish, 86% of people also speak English.
Sweden is ranked 20th
for most efficient health care, and their healthcare policies have placed them in the top 10 happiest countries
in a 2018 report. Healthcare in Sweden is a universal government-funded health plan. Immigrating to Sweden is reasonable as they have an advanced immigration system. The annual salary
for a Swedish health clinic administrator is 61,100 SEK per month or $83,927
My Final Thoughts
Hospital administrators fill a crucial leadership role in health services that makes them in demand worldwide. This article provides information about the 15 best countries for MHA professionals to live and work in. The world is a large place and there are many wonderful relocation options. The question “which country is best for MHA professionals?” is a challenging question where only you know the best answer. Consider your professional strengths and your ultimate goal as to where you want to live and work.
Caitlin Goodwin DNP, CNM, RN
Caitlin Goodwin is a Certified Nurse-Midwife who has been a nurse for 12 years, primarily in women’s health. She is passionate about caring for children with developmental disabilities, as her son has Autism Spectrum Disorder. She is currently working as a freelance writer and consultant and is passionate about advocating for her patients, students, and profession.