Austrian healthcare system named best in the EU

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Austria has the best healthcare service in the European Union (EU), according to the 2007 Euro Health Consumer Index (EHCI), published by Health Consumer Powerhouse (HCP). 

Austria led the consumer health index with a combined score of 806 out of 1,000 possible points.
A combination of excellent medical outcomes and consumer accessibility allowed Austria to emerge with the highest ranking. France, last year’s winner, finished in third place this year, with the Netherlands taking second place. Switzerland, Germany and Sweden also finished high, while the U.K. was ranked 17 with its healthcare system described as “mediocre.”

The EHCI is an annual ranking of national European healthcare systems from the patient’s point-of-view. Indicators for performance were based on waiting times for treatment, care outcomes, the generosity of the system, access to medication and patients’ rights and information. Four new indicators examined for the study included waiting times for MRI examinations and the electronic patient record penetration in primary care.

Information was collected from all 27 EU members plus Switzerland and Norway, in order to provide detailed analysis for each country and to suggest improvements that should be made.

The index is compiled from a combination of public statistics and independent research and has been carried out annually since 2005.