EHCI Newsletter November 2013

Nov 28: The best healthcare in Europe?

Will Dutch healthcare remain in top? Are runner ups such as Denmark and Switzerland up for grabs? How has the financial crises affected healthcare? Will the introduction of a number of new indicators, targeting prevention, change the ranks? Nov 28 the 2013 Euro Health Consumer Index will be published in Brussels and answers be provided.

– The EHCI 2013 will be the most extensive HCP Index yet, covering 35 countries measured on 50 indicators. The novel sub-discipline Prevention, with eight indicators, affects the ranking of some countries, while others survive this test remarkably well, says Dr. Arne Bjornberg, HCP COO and Research Director.

The EHCI, which has been published since 2005 and become the unofficial EU standard for modern, well-serving healthcare, looks into six sub-divisions: Patients right and information, Accessibility/Waiting, Outcomes, Range and reach of services, Prevention and Pharmaceuticals.

Nov 28, there will be a public presentation and media conference 10:00 hrs in Brussels (Hotel Leopold, 35 Rue Luxembourg) as well as an invite only dinner reception.

To register for the presentation, please mail your name to:

Look out for more information at The 2013 EHCI is sponsored by Pfizer Inc, Medicover A.S and New Direction Foundation.

About the 2013 EHCI:

Clear vision scorecard

What are the conditions for good eye care in Europe? The new 2013 Euro Vision Scorecard, EVS) provides answers. This study was published before World Sight Day Oct 9. The EVS has received an unrestricted grant from Novartis AG.

The 15 countries surveyed were:

• Austria • Belgium • Denmark • France • Germany • Hungary • Italy • Lithuania • The Netherlands • Poland • Spain • Slovakia • Sweden • Switzerland • UK


The risk of suffering permanent blindness and visual impairment in Europe is falling. In the most successful countries, less than 3 % of people over 50 years old have their daily life restricted by sight loss. However, advances in preventing and treating sight loss are impeded by inefficient organization of care and poor access to medication, says the EVS. Equality gaps mean that citizens in Central and Eastern Europe remain up to three times more likely to suffer blindness or severe visual impairment than their Western counterparts.

– Continuous improvement in vision care is possible, says Johan Hjertqvist, HCP founder and president. The EVS identifies shortcomings that can be rectified and ways to make better care available to all sight-impaired EU citizens. A major step forward would be a consistent definition of blindness and sight impairment, something that currently varies from country to country.

In countries that excel in combating visual impairment – Denmark, Sweden, France, the Netherlands and Switzerland – cataract surgery is available without delay. Patients also have access to modern pharmaceuticals and waiting times to see an eye specialist are moderate. However, coverage of screening for diabetic eye complications varies from 30 and 90 percent.


In the south and east of the EU, the situation is poorer. The registration of impaired citizens is sporadic, there are no quality registries supporting development of efficient treatments and access to modern medicines is limited. The EVS stresses that improvement is not primarily a question of money. Instead, better reporting, registration and follow-up are needed. The EVS recommends:

  • Building quality national registries for eye care in each EU country
  • A uniform European definition of what blind and visually impaired means
  • Screening a minimum of 80% of diabetic patients in every country annually
  • Making cataract surgery available for all Europeans on demand
  • Making modern eye care medication available to many more Europeans.

About the EVS:

2014 Euro Diabetes Index

HCP Ltd. is just about to start working on the new Euro Diabetes Index (EDI), to be published prel. September 2014. The very first HCP Diabetes Index was produced 2008 and offered an unprecedented description of the diabetes care situation around Europe.

The 2014 edition will be a thorough up-dating exercise, covering 35 countries and using a number of additional indicators to look into the development since 2008.

The 2014 EDI will be supported by an unrestricted grant by Merck Inc.

We will provide ongoing information about the progress of the Index work.

About the EDI: