Somewhere in Europe, there is world-leading
health care for every condition.
Let's make that everywhere.
Health is about people
There’s a lot of technology and research in health systems, but in the end, it’s the people that matter. It’s the people who combine the technology, the knowledge and their own judgement to treat the patient in front of them. So change has to begin with those people, with listening to your needs and understanding your situation, and working with you to see how good practice from elsewhere can be adapted and be useful to you in your own situation.
Use what already works, not what might work
Looking at existing good practice means not having to guess what might work, but being able to see it, right now. And the gaps across Europe between average practice and best practice are so wide and the performance of systems so varied that just implementing existing best practice consistently would provide major improvements for all EU health systems. Substantially larger improvements than the budget restrictions currently envisaged in many countries, in fact.
Europe: a giant natural laboratory for health systems
Across the EU, countries are all trying to achieve the same health goals of universal access to high-quality healthcare based on equity and solidarity – but all doing it in slightly different ways. Combine this with Europe-wide health data for benchmarking, and you have the world’s greatest resource for learning how best to deliver healthcare in real life.
Different gardens, different plants
Different gardens have different conditions, and need different plants. Likewise, good practices can’t just be uprooted and transplanted from health system to another. You need the right knowledge of the different systems, how to distinguish what is local and what can be moved, and how innovations from one context can take root in another.
A practical way to keep up with constant healthcare change
Health is one of the most innovation-driven sectors in society. The new technologies and techniques constantly being developed are a great benefit to patients and society, but are also a great challenge to keep up with. Using best practice from across Europe provides a practical alternative; a shortcut to the changes that you really do need to make.
More Europe in health
Although health systems remain primarily up to individual countries, the EU’s role is growing, from funding for new technologies and research, investment funds for developing infrastructure and training, strengthening cooperation between health professions and in 2011, a new directive on cross-border healthcare. Better understanding this European dimension provides the basis for taking advantage of the opportunities that it provides, and helps manage the potential risks.