Norway drops in European healthcare ranking

Norway drops again in annual European healthcare ranking but manages to keep in top 10

Norway lost two positions among the healthcare systems of Europe when the 2009 Euro Health Consumer Index (EHCI) was presented today, Sept. 28, in Brussels. The annual survey of European healthcare ranked Norway 10th out of 33 countries with 740 points from a potential 1,000. The Netherlands win the ranking for the second year with a record 875 points, followed by Denmark (819), newcomer Iceland (811) and Austria (795).

Norway scores high in categories such as patients’ rights and outcomes but poorly when it comes to waiting time for treatment. The Index ranks Norway behind Sweden but ahead of Finland.

“Norway certainly has good, state-of-the-art medical services” states Dr. Arne Björnberg, the Euro Health Consumer Index Director. “However, with the amount of money spent on Norwegian healthcare, it is slightly disappointing to still see waiting time problems.”

This year’s measurement indicates that the top performers in European healthcare start using healthcare information and choice to engage patients in the decision-making building a pressure from below for improvement. At the lower end of the ranking you find many countries stuck to old style healthcare, filled with hierarchies and lack of transparency. This gap challenges EU principles of equality and solidarity.

About the Index

The EHCI has become a measurement standard for European healthcare. It ranks 33 national European health care systems across 38 indicators, covering six areas that are key to the health consumer: Patients’ rights and information, e-Health, Waiting times fore-Health, Treatment outcomes, Range and reach of services provided and Access to medication. The Index is compiled from a combination of public statistics, patient polls and independent research conducted by the founders, Brussels-based think tank Health Consumer Powerhouse. The EHCI 2009 takes a consumer centred position and works with the support of the European Commission – DG Information Society and Media – and the assistance of the Swedish EU Presidency.


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