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Health at a Glance: Europe 2014

image of Health at a Glance: Europe 2014

This third edition of Health at a Glance: Europe presents a set of key indicators related to health status, determinants of health, health care resources and activities, quality of care, access to care, and health expenditure and financing in 35 European countries, including the 28 European Union member states, four candidate countries and three EFTA countries. The selection of indicators is based largely on the European Core Health Indicators (ECHI) shortlist, a set of indicators that has been developed to guide the reporting of health statistics in the European Union. This is complemented by additional indicators on quality of care, access to care and health expenditure, building on the OECD expertise in these areas.

Compared with the previous edition, this third edition includes a greater number of ECHI indicators, reflecting progress in the availability of comparable data in the areas of non-medical determinants of health and access to care. It also includes a new chapter dedicated to access to care, including selected indicators on financial access, geographic access and timely access.

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Coverage for health care

Health care coverage enables access to medical goods and services and provides financial protection against unexpected or serious illness (European Commission, 2014). While the share of the population covered by a public or private health insurance provides some indication of financial protection, this is not a complete indicator of accessibility, since the range of services covered and the degree of cost-sharing applied to those services vary across countries and will impact on direct out-of-pocket expenditure by patients (). Ensuring effective access to health care also requires having a sufficient number of health care providers in different geographic regions in the country () and that patients do not have to wait excessively long times to receive services ().

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