The European Commission on November 23 provided an in-depth analysis of European Union member states’ health systems.

Brussels presented 28 Country Health Profiles that look at the health of the population and important risk factors, as well as at the effectiveness, accessibility and resilience of health systems in each EU member state.

According to the Commission, the reports clearly reflect shared objectives across the member states, and reveal potential areas where the Commission can encourage mutual learning and exchange of good practices.

“Spending only 3% of our health budgets on prevention, compared with 80% on the treatment of diseases, is simply not enough. We need better access to primary care so that the emergency room isn’t people’s first port of call,” said Vytenis Andriukaitis, Commissioner for Health and Food Safety. “And we need to enshrine health promotion and disease prevention into all policy sectors to improve people’s health and reduce pressure on health systems. These are just a few of the diagnoses coming out from our 2017 State of Health in the EU report. By offering comprehensive data and insights, we aim to support national health authorities in tackling the challenges and in making the right policy and investment choices. I hope they will make good use of it.”

The Country Health Profiles were prepared in cooperation with the OECD and the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies. Five cross-cutting conclusions come forward in the Companion Report:

Following the presentation to health ministries of all EU countries, national authorities can further discuss these reports with the experts of the OECD and the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies.

The voluntary exchanges will be able to take place from the beginning of 2018 and help health ministries to better understand the main challenges and develop the appropriate policy responses.