29 September 2009
The Euro Health Consumer Index 2009 groups 38 indicators of quality into six categories: Patient rights and information, e-Health, Waiting time for treatment, Outcomes, Range and reach of services provided and Pharmaceuticals. There are general improvement trends among most of the measured healthcare systems but there is continuous decline in the Spanish, Portuguese and Greek healthcare systems which do not keep up with the improvement rate one can find in countries like the Netherlands, Denmark or Ireland. “With patient mobility growing around Europe, there is a strong need for transparency exposing the pros and cons of the national healthcare systems. The EU intends to introduce a crossborder care scheme which requires significantly better information to patients. This years´ measurement indicates that forward-looking governments start using healthcare information and choice to engage patients in the decision-making, building a pressure from below for improvement”.