The UK showed a stable rating among the healthcare systems of Europe when the 2009 Euro Health Consumer Index (EHCI) was presented today in Brussels.
The annual survey of EU healthcare ranked the UK 14th out of 33 countries.
The Netherlands won the ranking for the second year with a record 875 points, followed by last year’s runner-up Denmark (819), newcomer Iceland (811) and Austria
The UK scored 682 points from a potential 1,000 and performed poorly on waiting times but well on pharmaceuticals. The Index ranks the UK behind Ireland but ahead of Italy or
“The UK in 2009 has showed surprisingly negative feedback from patient organisations on the waiting time situation, particularly after government spending on the NHS has been increasing heavily,” said Dr. Arne Björnberg, the Euro Health Consumer Index Director. “It seems that management of the behemoth NHS organisation is difficult to do under a centralised paradigm.”
The EHCI ranks 33 national European healthcare systems across 38 indicators, covering: patients’ rights and information, e-health, waiting times for treatment, treatment outcomes, range and reach of services provided, and access to medication.
The Index is compiled from a combination of public statistics, patient polls and independent research conducted by the founders, Brussels-based think tank Health Consumer Powerhouse.
According to this year’s measurement, the top performers in European healthcare are the systems that have started using healthcare information and choice to engage patients in the decision-making, building a pressure from below for improvement. At the lower end of the ranking are the countries that have a traditional hierarchical system and a lack of transparency.