The Director of Public Health is responsible for all health matters. Iceland had 2.8 doctors per 1,000 inhabitants in 1992. In 1998 there were roughly 3.3 physicians, 8.7 nurses, 0.9 midwives, 1.1 dentists, and 0.8 pharmacists per 1,000 people. In the 1990s there were an estimated 53 hospitals, with 3,985 beds. Two-thirds of the beds were in nursing and senior living homes, with the remaining one-third in hospitals. As of 1991, 93% of all health bills were paid by public insurance. Public expenditures on health were among the highest in industrialized countries at 19.3% of total public expenditures during 1989–1991.
There were 5,000 births in 1992. As of 2002, Iceland had estimated birth and death rates of, respectively, 14.4 and 6.9 per 1,000 people. Life expectancy was estimated at 79.7 years, among the highest in the world and highest among the Nordic countries. Infant mortality in 2002 was estimated at 3.5 per 1,000 live births. The total fertility rate was two children per woman during her childbearing years. The incidence of tuberculosis, once widespread, has been greatly reduced. Leprosy, also common in earlier times, has been virtually eliminated, with no new cases reported in recent decades. In 1998, 99% of Iceland's children were immunized against measles. There were two reported cases of AIDS and 10 cases of tuberculosis in 1998. The number of AIDS cases per 100,000 people was 1.1 in 1994. As of 1999, there were an estimated 200 people living with HIV/ AIDS and fewer than 100 deaths from the disease.
The major causes of death per 100,000 population in 1993 were as follows: circulatory system diseases, 294.3; cerebrovascular disease 67.0; malignant neoplasms (cancers) 170.8; and diseases of the respiratory system 88.6.