SnapShot Article (2)
European Health Care snapshot – released 21 January 2013
1. A-Medica: Please tell us about your organization, its role, purpose and objectives?
Dr. Arne Bjornberg, Chairman and COO of the Health Consumer Powerhouse (HCP): The Health Consumer Powerhouse is a private company. Our mission is to fill the gap of European Healthcare being traditionally very weak at monitoring
a) What it does
b) How much it does, and
c) How well it does it
by developing open benchmarks, comparing the performance of national healthcare systems as seen from the angle of the patient/consumer.”
2. What are your main product, who are your customers?
“Our main product is the Euro Health Consumer Index (EHCI), the 6th edition of which was published May 2012, comparing pubic healthcare systems of 34 European countries on 42 indicators. In addition, we have published ~40 indexes covering other geographic areas and/or specific diseases.
We do not have customers – we have project sponsors, financing Index projects on “unconditional development grants”. All results are available free of charge on www.healthpowerhouse.com .”
3. Which are the main trends affecting European health care?
“Public systems are fighting to keep up with the success story of the ever-increasing capability of healthcare services. That we are facing an “ageing Europe” is largely a manifestation of the success of modern healthcare.
Outcomes quality keeps improving. Traces of the financial crisis can be seen mainly in restrictions on deployment of innovative new medicines, and to some extent in increased waiting times for costly procedures and private out-of-pocket payments.”
4. Would you see any noteworthy specificities for countries like Germany, UK, Italy, Spain, Scandinavia?
“Netherlands: No matter which indicators are applied, the Netherlands keep topping the EHCI
Germany: Very generous healthcare system, but not top quality, mainly because of a multitude of small, non-specialized hospitals.
UK: After years of efforts, resistant hospital infections and waiting times are no longer as bad as they used to be, but still not on par with top countries.
Italy: Very uneven. Tends to get a Yellow score on everything as a result of Northern Italy scoring Green and the south scoring Red.
Spain: “If you want good or timely healthcare services – Go private!”
Norway has joined Sweden as the only countries scoring full marks on actual treatment results (Outcomes), but unfortunately is also the only country having worse accessibility to healthcare services than Sweden.
Slovakia: Has made radical improvements, and now rank together with the Czech Republic as the best in CEE. “
5. If you were to compare high-level, between US and European health care, what would you note? [Other than the US is spending in absolute and in % of GDP ca x2 Europe]
“American healthcare is much more of an industry, meaning that they actually do ROI (Return On Investment) calculations on IT and other investments. This means that US healthcare is not as under-invested and over-staffed as European.
The most pronounced endemic condition of European healthcare is management deficiency.
Unfortunately, the US suffers from severe socioeconomic stratification, which is visible on indicators such as Infant Mortality, where the best American state (out of 50!) would not score Green in the EHCI.
In addition the US healthcare costs are severely affected by its legal system.”
6. In the context of budgetary constraints across most of Europe, which threats & opportunities would you pin-point for new medical devices?
“European healthcare is under-invested and over-staffed. Multinational rich corporations are easy targets in times of financial constraint. Therefore, and in the general absence of ROI calculations, seemingly expensive investments in medical devices and deployment of new, innovative medicines tend to be favorite areas for cost-cutting.”
Note: Any opinions expressed represent only their author.
© 2012 A-Medica Sprl and respectively Health Consumer Powerhouse, Ltd.
A-Medica www.a-medica.com supports advanced medical technology entrepreneurs on both sides of the Atlantic, from a prototype stage through commercial revenues, with
– Clinical validation, regulatory approval, reimbursement, product development & manufacturing
– “Return on investment” through M&A, licensing, distribution
– A range of funding solutions, including from non-traditional sources – increasingly important to enable business development