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Health at a Glance: Europe 2016

State of Health in the EU Cycle

image of Health at a Glance: Europe 2016

This fourth edition of Health at a Glance: Europe presents key indicators of health and health systems in the 28 EU countries, 5 candidate countries to the EU and 3 EFTA countries. This 2016 edition contains two main new features: two thematic chapters analyse the links between population health and labour market outcomes, and the important challenge of strengthening primary care systems in European countries; and a new chapter on the resilience, efficiency and sustainability of health systems in Europe, in order to align the content of this publication more closely with the 2014 European Commission Communication on effective, accessible and resilient health systems. This publication is the result of a renewed collaboration between the OECD and the European Commission under the broader "State of Health in the EU" initiative, designed to support EU member states in their evidence-based policy making.

 

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Prescribing in primary care

Beyond consumption and expenditure information (see ), prescribing can be used as an indicator of health care quality. Antibiotics, for example, should be prescribed only where there is an evidence-based need, to reduce the risk of resistant bacteria. Quinolones and cephalosporins are considered second-line antibiotics in most prescribing guidelines and their use should be restricted in order to ensure their availability, should first‑line antibiotics fail. The total volume of antibiotics prescribed and the proportion of second-line antibiotics prescribed have been validated as markers of quality in the primary care setting. In the context of rising antibiotic resistance, the European Commission has requested that the ECDC develop draft EU guidelines on the prudent use of antimicrobials in human medicine.

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