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News / November 14, 2008

Europe rates Ireland as

by Guy Hiscott

Ireland has the 15th most consumer friendly healthcare system in Europe, according to the 2008 Euro Health Consumer Index (EHCI) launched today in Brussels. This is one step up from last year’s 16th position, placing Ireland on a longer and firm improvement trend.

One of the 34 performance indicators is dental care affordability. In Ireland this was rated as ‘Intermediary’. Forty-six per cent of respondents stated that dental care ‘was not at all affordable/not very affordable’. Malta came top of the dental league with only 24% of respondents believing dental care to be out of financial reach, while Portugal brought up the rear with 82%.

The Euro Health Consumer Index, an annual survey of EU healthcare, ranked the Irish healthcare system as 15th out of 31. In six categories, covering 34 performance indicators, Ireland scores 643 points out of a potential 1,000. The Netherlands leads the ranking with a score of 839 points, followed by Denmark (Diabetes Index winner in 2008), Austria (EHCI winner in 2007), Luxemburg and Sweden.

‘We can notice some improvements with regards to outcomes, which is always considered the most vital area of the index,’ commented Dr Arne Björnberg, research director for the Euro Health Consumer Index.