EHCI News, April 2012

Health Consumer Powerhouse


Countdown for EHCI 2012


Dear reader,

Soon we’ll have the pleasure of presenting the 2012 Euro Health Consumer Index (EHCI). This newsletter has provided monthly snapshots of the Index production. The fourth “Countdown” edition contains the following pieces:

  1. 1. Surprising changes in this year’s Index!
  2. 2. May 15 is I-Day
  3. 3. “European observation list”
  4. 4. Short intro to EHCI 2012
  5. 5. I want the next newsletter!
Best Regards
Johan Hjertqvist, Founder & President

1. Surprising changes in this year’s Index!

It looks as if there will be many rather unexpected changes in the EHCI 2012 ranking. As the final data for each of the 34 compared countries are finally set by the Index research team, a partially different European healthcare landscape takes form. Some successful examples will shine even brighter while a number of countries, still well positioned in the 2009 measurement, now has fallen behind.

– We are surprised how strong some of these movements are, says Dr Arne Bjornberg, HCP COO and head of the EHCI team. Generally speaking European healthcare keeps improving – but there are some remarkable exceptions also among the big countries. As other countries improve, those who do not keep up will lose rank. And there are major countries falling in a way that the only explanation can be real loss of performance.

2. May 15 is I-Day – register before it is too late!

May 15, 2012 will be the Index Day. The 2012 EHCI, ranking the healthcare performance of 34 European nations, will be presented May 15 10.00 hrs in the European Parliament, Brussels.

We hope to see you at the seminar! The vacant seats are running out, so register now by sending us the full name, birth date, address, organization and e-mail address of the participant to:

Please let us know if you already have an EP pass. We will confirm with meeting details.

3. EHCI: “European observation list”

The EHCI 2012 will reveal that a group of national healthcare systems among the 34 measured have made evident downturns since the previous ranking three years ago. The EHCI research team finds some of these performance loss examples alarming, suggesting a “European observation list” to monitor the further development in these countries.

There should be an EU concern when some countries start falling behind in healthcare, says the team. There is a need to find explanations: the financial crisis, systems failure, management deficiencies, lack of or low impact from standards and guidelines…?

4. Short Intro to EHCI 2012

The Euro Health Consumer Index is the single recurring pan-European measurement of how well national healthcare systems meet patient/consumer expectations with regard to user information, equal and timely access and treatment outcomes. The initial Index was put together 2005 and has since then expanded, today covering every EU member state and accession nations as well as Norway, Switzerland, Iceland, Albania and FYHR Macedonia, in all 33 countries. This year’s update will bring Serbia into the system as the 34th country.

EHCI 2012 builds the ranking on 42 indicators in five sub-disciplines: Patient rights and information, Waiting times, Outcomes, Range and reach of services and Pharmaceuticals. The selection of indicators is decided in co-operation with the External Reference Panel, a group of senior healthcare experts to advise on the Index composition. The Index outcomes are presented in a user-friendly way, with traffic-light colors to tell if a country performs quite well, medium or poor.

The sub-divisions are given a weight indicating how HCP looks at their respective importance, providing Outcomes and Waiting times with the highest weight. Depending on how well a national healthcare system responds to the indicator criteria a total maximum of 1 000 points can be rewarded. The last winner (2009) – the Netherlands – scored 863 points while the weakest competitor, Bulgaria, scored 448 points.

EHCI not only provides a status assessment for each of the 34 countries but as well gradually makes longitudinal analysis possible, as performance data has been generated since 2005. To patients and care consumers EHCI is an opportunity for lay-persons to inform themselves, to compare and to take action to achieve the best possible healthcare. To healthcare industry stakeholders this unique benchmark has an awareness and opinion forming potential. Altogether, better performance transparency and common ways to foster accountability drives healthcare quality – a win-win situation for Europe!

The EHCI methodology is explained on our website

5. Next newsletter – EHCI top news!

The next – and last – “Countdown” newsletter will summarize the EHCI outcomes, analysis and comments to the launch. It will be published May 21.

Do you want the next EHCI 2012 newsletters in your mailbox? If so, just send us a request to and we will add you to the subscription list for free.

If you want to avoid receiving the newsletter, you can use the same address to disengage from the newsletter list.