Health at a Glance: Europe 2018

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It is unacceptable that every year in the EU we are losing more than 1.2 million people prematurely when this could be avoided through better disease prevention and more effective health care interventions
Vytenis Andriukaitis, Commissioner for Health and Food Safety.

The OECD, together with the European Commission, launched its publication “Health at a Glance: Europe 2018”. The 2018 report shows that the steady increase of life expectancy has slowed down and that large gaps across and within countries persist.

In terms of neurology, the report especially covers stroke and dementias. Mental health is also prominently featured in the paper. One of the key findings for EFNA and the health community at large, presented evidence from various countries suggests that up to 20 % of health spending could be reallocated for better use. A mix of policy levers could optimise spending by ensuring value for money, for example in the selection and coverage or procurement and pricing of pharmaceutics through Health Technology Assessment. The report provides a set of key indicators of health status , risk factors to health, health expenditure, access to care and quality of care, together with a discussion of progress in improving the effectiveness, accessibility and resilience of European health systems, in 36 European countries and calls for improving mental health and preventing mental illness that not only have social consequences but are also estimated to cost more than 4% of GDP across the EU.

It also calls for addressing risk factors like smoking, alcohol and obesity, reducing premature mortality, ensuring universal access to care and strengthening the resilience of health systems.

“Health at a Glance: Europe 2018” marks the launch of the second cycle of the Commission’s State of Health in the EU initiative. The next step in this State of Health in the EU cycle of knowledge brokering is the publication of Country Health Profiles for all EU countries, which will be published in 2019 jointly with the OECD and the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies. They will highlight the particular characteristics of and challenges for each Member State, and will be presented alongside a Companion Report in which the Commission draws cross-cutting conclusions.