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Health at a Glance: Europe 2012

image of Health at a Glance: Europe 2012

This second edition of Health at a Glance: Europe presents a set of key indicators of health status, determinants of health, health care resources and activities, quality of care, health expenditure and financing in 35 European countries, including the 27 European Union member states, 5 candidate countries and 3 EFTA countries. The selection of indicators is based largely on the European Community Health Indicators (ECHI) shortlist, a set of indicators that has been developed to guide the reporting of health statistics in the European Union.  It is complemented by additional indicators on health expenditure and quality of care, building on the OECD expertise in these areas. Each indicator is presented in a user-friendly format, consisting of charts illustrating variations across countries and over time, a brief descriptive analysis highlighting the major findings conveyed by the data, and a methodological box on the definition of the indicator and any limitations in data comparability.

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Foreword

This second edition of Health at a Glance: Europe presents the most recent key indicators of health and health systems across 35 countries: the 27 European Union member states, five candidate countries and three European Free Trade Association countries. The report comes at a difficult time for European health systems. The economic crisis is increasing poverty, unemployment and stress, all of which are associated with worse health outcomes, yet public and private budgets are under great strain. The report highlights the marked slowdown (sometimes even reduction) in health spending over recent years in many countries, as part of broader efforts to reduce large budgetary deficits. If the report does not yet show any worsening health outcomes due to the crisis, there is no cause for complacency – it takes time for poor social conditions or poor quality care to take its toll from people’s health. Policy makers have often done what they could to ensure that access to high quality care remains the norm in Europe; whether this is enough to protect the health of the population will only become clear in years to come.

English

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