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Health Minister: Euro Health Consumer Index good news for Slovakia

Slovakia still struggles with informal payments to doctors by drug firms.

Illustrative stock photo(Source: Sme)

Slovakia’s health-care sector improved in 2017 compared with the previous year, particularly when it comes to the accessibility of treatment. It placed 13th in the Euro Health Consumer Index (EHCI) ranking, compiled by the Swedish Health Consumer Powerhouse, moving up from 23rd place.

Overall, the country gained 749 points, which is 71 more than for 2016, which the EHCI report attributes to a good outcome in the area of health-care accessibility, the SITA newswire reported.

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“I’m glad that Slovak health care has been described as standard in Europe, not only thanks to the data published by EHCI for 2017, and that we are not at the bottom of the tables,” said Slovak Health Minister Tomáš Drucker, as quoted by the TASR newswire.

Slovakia placed best among the Visegrad Group (V4) countries. The Czech Republic ranked 17th, while Poland placed 29th, closely followed by Hungary.

Good access to treatment

Slovakia was only one of two countries that received good ratings for all aspects concerning the accessibility of health care. It was obtained the “hard way”, i.e. by “the power of very positive feedback in the HCP Patient Organisation survey (keeping in mind that the previous survey was in 2015)”, as the report stated.

Slovakia also received positive scores in other sub-disciplines, including patient rights and information, though it had a worse rating for the access of patients to online booking and e-prescriptions, and the sub-discipline of range and reach of services, SITA reported.

Slovakia also scored poorly with regards to the informal payments to doctors by drug firms and the number of dialyses procedures carried out outside of medical facilities.

In terms of prevention, Slovakia lags behind with the number of patients with high blood pressure and lack of physical activities. It scored better in the case of alcohol consumption. The situation is good for infant vaccinations and vaccination against herpes. Slovakia also got good scores in pharmaceuticals, SITA reported.

Drucker satisfied with the result

Drucker called Slovakia’s placement in the ranking good news for medical staff and patients. In his opinion, the situation has improved thanks to the better organisation of data and several changes carried out in the sector.

“We seem to be probably on a level, and in this case in an even better position than the Czech Republic, and in a much better position than Poland and Hungary, as well as other European countries,” Drucker said, as quoted by TASR.

The ranking is compiled partly based on the evaluation of patients and patients’ organisations, with whom the Health Ministry managed to improve communication, as the minister said.

He also pointed to an improvement in the waiting times for CT examinations and surgery. On the other hand, there are still some deficiencies in prevention and the range of health care.

“Apart from the specific changes we also see that many things are moving us forward from the quality of the published data,” Drucker said, as quoted by TASR.

Topic: Health care


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