The study, which includes country reports and a synthesis report, provides an overview of inequality in access to healthcare in 35 European countries - EU Member States as well as EFTA and enlarging countries - showing that important inequalities persist, both between and within countries.
The report on inequalities in access to healthcare describes the main features of health systems enabling access, analyses the main challenges in inequalities in access to healthcare identified in the 35 European countries and how they are tackled, and briefly discusses the indicators available at national and European level to measure access to healthcare.
Health systems in Europe face the challenge of ageing populations and increasing demand, which can also result from non-demographic factors such as the emergence of new (often expensive) treatments. In some European countries, costs and waiting time remain important barriers to accessing healthcare. Against a background of rising demand for healthcare resources, and public budgets which are often under pressure, ensuring universal and timely access to high quality healthcare — whilst also guaranteeing the financial sustainability of health systems — is a challenge which requires increased efforts to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of health systems.
The right of everyone to timely access to affordable, preventive and curative care of good quality is one of the key principles of the recently proclaimed European Pillar of Social Rights.