Euro Health Consumer Index 2012 Shows #Prevention is the Way Forward, of Course

May 23, 2012
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Euro Health Consumer Index 2012

The Euro Health Consumer Index 2012

The Euro Health Consumer Index takes a consumer and patient perspective in ranking EU health systems.

Euro Health Consumer Index 2012

The Euro Health Consumer Index 2012

The Euro Health Consumer Index takes a consumer and patient perspective in ranking EU health systems.

This is an interesting report. But I find an element of the methodology of the ranking puzzling, even though the results are along the lines of what we would expect (except the survey is based on 18 month old data and healthcare reforms in Netherlands are not as smooth as hoped).

Maybe I am being naïve, but the Index ranks countries depending on a series of indicators grouped into 5 sub-disciplines (patient rights, accessibility etc.), of which OUTCOMES is just one of the 5.

This seems to me to be a category error, as I had always understood that improving OUTCOMES is a goal of investment in the other indicators, rather than it being subsumed into contributing to the ranking. There are data gurus and economists out there that will know this better than me.

I would like to see to countries ranked according to all the indicators except outcomes, and then a comparison to see whether these other indicators are good predictors of improved outcomes. This would give policymakers a better support in decision making, rather than the broad ranking offered.

The data are there, and with a bit of poking you can see it. Interestingly, Sweden, Norway, Iceland top the outcomes, but don’t score well on ACCESSIBILITY and only score moderately well on PHARMACEUTICALS.

Are these good predictors of outcomes?

What the data do confirm is what we all know – PREVENTION (where the Nordics score high) is the major determinant of health outcomes.

In summary, the data, but not necessarily the conclusions drawn, may be useful.

 

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