Of the 29 countries in the Euro Consumer Heart Index, launched today in Brussels, Luxembourg tops the ranking with 836 points from a possible 1,000, followed closely by France, Norway and Switzerland.
The new Heart Index compares how consumer-friendly care systems are around Europe.
The UK ranked ninth, Italy 11th, and Germany 13th. Romania was rated the poorest country for cardiac care.
The Index demonstrates that effective prevention programmes deliver a clear return on investment. Few countries have national screening programmes and there is widespread under-use of medication, despite well accepted guidelines.
“By denying patients proper preventive care countries put patients at risk and at the same time undermine the effectiveness of their healthcare expenditure.” says Dr Arne Björnberg, Research Director for the Heart Index.
“Steps like introducing national cardiovascular disease screening programmes, incentivising care providers for preventive measures, smoking cessation assistance and more compulsory exercise in schools should be implemented to ensure long-term health investments.”
The Index provides a ranking of European cardiovascular healthcare systems across five key areas to the consumer: information, consumer rights and choice; access; prevention; procedures; and outcomes. The Index is constructed from public statistics and independent research.
The European Consumer Heart Index is produced by the Health Consumer Powerhouse (HCP), providers of analysis and information in healthcare.
As with all the HCP’s indexes it takes a consumer-centric position. The Heart Index was produced with the help of an unrestricted grant from Pfizer Inc.