The European Consumer Health Care Index for 2016 has been released; if you believe the results, the Czech Republic, with its often crowded waiting rooms and underfunded hospitals, holds an enviable position among European countries for its “unusually rapid access to care.”
The index, which began in 2005, attempts to measure and rank the performance of healthcare provision from a consumer viewpoint, ranking countries on a number of indicators such as patient rights and information, access to care, treatment outcomes, range and reach of services provided, and prevention.
In 2016, the Czech Republic placed #13 out of 35 countries. With an index score of 780 out of 1,000 points, it ranked highest among the Central European countries, besting several Western countries including Britain (#15), Spain, Ireland, and Italy for accessability to healthcare.
The Netherlands was named the most consumer friendly health care system in Europe with 972 points. The top spots were dominated by northern European countries, with Switzerland second, followed by Norway, Finland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Iceland, Denmark, and Sweden.
According to the EHCI statisticians, “the Czech Republic has always been the star performer among CEE countries” for its “good for accessibility to healthcare services” and “cost-efficient solutions.”
The country also “seems to have a degree of fundamental stability and freedom from corruption in its healthcare system, which is relatively rare in CEE states.”
Health Consumer Power House, the Swedish think tank that puts out the index, says they are not “claiming that everybody gets the care they need or that healthcare is a well-oiled, faultless wonder…but as the EHCI has shown for more than ten years, the publicly funded healthcare systems of Europe have steadily improved.”
Apparently they aren’t the only ones who think so: Chicago-based health care network Best Class Care recently announced that it would start offering medical travel packages to European destinations including the Czech Republic and Belgium.