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Health at a Glance: Europe 2018

State of Health in the EU Cycle

image of Health at a Glance: Europe 2018

Health at a Glance: Europe 2018 presents comparative analyses of the health status of EU citizens and the performance of the health systems of the 28 EU Member States, 5 candidate countries and 3 EFTA countries. It is the first step in the State of Health in the EU cycle of knowledge brokering. This publication has two parts. Part I comprises two thematic chapters, the first focusing on the need for concerted efforts to promote better mental health, the second outlining possible strategies for reducing wasteful spending in health. In Part II, the most recent trends in key indicators of health status, risk factors and health spending are presented, together with a discussion of progress in improving the effectiveness, accessibility and resilience of European health systems.

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Financial burden of out-of-pocket expenditure

People experience financial hardship when direct out-of-pocket payments – formal and informal – are large in relation to their ability to pay for health care. Even small out-of-pocket payments can cause financial hardship for poor households and those who have to pay for long-term treatment such as medicines for chronic illness. Where health systems fail to provide adequate financial protection, people may not have enough money to pay for health care or to meet other basic needs. As a result, lack of financial protection may reduce access to health care, undermine health status, deepen poverty and exacerbate health and socioeconomic inequalities. Because all health systems involve a degree of out-of-pocket payments, financial hardship can be a problem in any country.

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