European healthcare keeps improving, in spite of crisis

Since EHCI started measuring outcomes, the average performance level of national
healthcare has risen significantly. 2007 the top performer country scored 806 points (of 1000 possible), 2013 it takes 870 point to win. 2007 the country in the bottom of the rank was awarded 435 points, 2013 the same country achieved 516 points (still scoring quite low).

General improvement is evident, in the shadow of austerity. Patients are supported by expanding right and better information. Even under financial restrictions treatment outcomes keep improving and generally, the range and reach of the healthcare systems is kept up. There is a growing awareness of the need for prevention. Long waiting for appointments and, even more, treatments seem to be a cultural phenomenon in some countries rather than a financial one, a pattern hard to change. Cheap generic medicines mean that many can access adequate therapies, even though state of the art new drugs become too restricted.

Of course, stable improvement during the past financial crisis and times of austerity say little of the future. Mid-term there are few signs of significant economic improvement around Europe. Annual growth of 3 percent – historically a normal level – looks distant. And long-term, the aging of Europe will take its toll, as economic growth typically is linked to demography and costs for pensions and elderly care will grow. This is a maybe bleak future, so let us for the present be satisfied that European healthcare keeps delivering better and better year by year!

Please feel free to use this material, referring to the source: Euro Health Consumer Index 2013.