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Health at a Glance: Europe 2022

State of Health in the EU Cycle

image of Health at a Glance: Europe 2022

The 2022 edition of Health at a Glance: Europe examines the key challenges European countries must address to develop stronger, more resilient health systems following the acute phase of the COVID-19 pandemic. It includes a special focus on how the pandemic has affected young people’s mental and physical health. The report emphasises the need for additional measures to prevent the COVID-19 pandemic from scarring a generation of young people. This edition of Health at a Glance: Europe also assesses the pandemic’s disruption of a wide range of health services for non-COVID patients, as well as the policy responses European countries deployed to minimise the adverse consequences of these disruptions. It also addresses a number of important behavioural and environmental risk factors that have a major impact on people’s health and mortality, highlighting the need to put a greater focus on the prevention of both communicable and non-communicable diseases.

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Financial hardship and out-of-pocket expenditure

Where health systems fail to provide adequate financial protection, people may suffer financial hardship from paying for health care, or they simply forgo health care altogether because they cannot afford it. As a result, lack of financial protection can reduce access to health care, undermine health status, deepen poverty and exacerbate health and socio‑economic inequalities. On average across the EU, around 15% of all spending on health care comes directly from patients through out-of-pocket (OOP) payments. People experience financial hardship when the burden of OOP payments is large in relation to their ability to pay. Poorer households and those who have to pay for long-term treatment are particularly vulnerable.

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Graphs

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