Infant deaths steadily lower

Infant mortality rate is the number of infants dying before reaching one year of age, usually measured per 1,000 live births in a given year. In the well developed countries the increased infant mortality occurs primarily among very low birth weight infants, many of whom are born prematurely; in Europe, very low birth weight infants probably account for more than half of all infant deaths.

In Europe, with infant deaths normally counting below 6 deaths per 1000 births, good
check-ups during pregnancy and access to state-of-the-art delivery care are probably the
key factors behind attaining really low numbers. Iceland has the lowest infant death rate
on Earth, less than 2/1000.

This indicator might be the best single indicator, which could be used to judge the overall
quality of a healthcare system. It is interesting to note that this indicator seems totally
resilient to effects of financial crises; infant mortality numbers have been, and still are,
steadily improving since 2005, when the EHCI assessments started!

The Green/Yellow/Red cut-offs have been kept the same since the start of the EHCI. The number of countries scoring Green (EHCI graph above) has increased from 9 in 2006, to 22 in 2013, (plus Scotland)! The country average keeps dropping, in spite of any “financial crisis”: from 4.49 in EHCI 2012, to 4.23 in 2013.

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

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