For the first time in ten years, The Netherlands is not top of the Euro Health Consumer Index (EHCI). The 2018 Index shows Switzerland in the top position while the Netherlands comes second, Norway third and Denmark fourth.
Switzerland has for a long time had a reputation for having an excellent, although expensive, healthcare system, and it therefore is no surprise that rewarding clinical excellence results in a prominent position in the EHCI.
Many countries have inefficient ways to fund and deliver healthcare services. Much can be learnt from not only established successes such as the Netherlands and Switzerland, but also small countries doing the right thing including Finland, Montenegro, Macedonia and Serbia.
The EHCI is the leading annual comparison for assessing the performance of national healthcare systems in 35 countries. The EHCI analyses national healthcare on 46 indicators grouped in areas such as patient rights and information, accessibility, treatment outcomes, range and reach of services, prevention and use of pharmaceuticals.
Previous EHCI editions have shown that money does help to provide the best treatment, as well as allowing hospital admissions on lighter indications, which might not be cost-effective but does provide better outcomes.
On the other hand, there is no correlation between money and waiting times. Contrary to popular belief waiting lists do not save money, they cost money – it is in fact cheaper to run a healthcare system without them.