In Brief

Slovakia Boasts CEE’s Best Public Healthcare

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Although it still has much work to do in terms of improving the range and reach of the services it provides, Slovakia’s national heathcare system has been declared CEE’s best, ranking 13th out of 35 countries rated by the 2017 Euro Health Consumer Index (EHCI). The index, published on January 30, shows that besides Slovenia a number of CEE countries have also made great strides in improving healthcare, particularly Slovenia (16th), the Czech Republic (17th) and Estonia (19th). No other emerging European countries make the top 20.

“Our index points every year to a number of successful national initiatives,” said Johan Hjertqvist, founder and president of the Health Consumer Powerhouse, which publishes the report. “This year, to pick a few examples, Slovakia has radically improved access to treatment, any even tiny players such as Macedonia and Montenegro have used e-health to reduce patient waiting times.”

At the bottom of the ranking – by quite some distance – is Romania, which the report states as having “severe problems with the management of its entire public health sector.” Its indicators for prevention are almost half those of any other country. Romania also has Europe’s highest rate of hospital-acquired infection. Along with Albania and Bulgaria, Romania is said to have “an antiquated healthcare structure, with a high and costly ratio of in-patient care over out-patient care.”

The Health Consumer Powerhouse, a leading European provider of consumer information on health care, first published the EHCI in 2005. The report analyses national healthcare according to 46 different indicators, looking into areas such as patient rights and information, access to care, treatment outcomes, range and reach of services, prevention and use of pharmaceuticals.

According to the report, the Netherlands boasts Europe’s best public healthcare system.