Irish health service ranked 13th


Ireland’s health service has been ranked 13th in a Europe-wide survey on consumer healthcare, up 15 places since the HSE's health transformation programme started in 2006.

The findings are contained in the 2009 Euro Health Consumer Index, which was published today by the healthcare consultancy Health Consumer Powerhouse.

The index, which ranks European healthcare systems on their responsiveness to patients, ranked the Netherlands as the most consumer-friendly healthcare system in Europe, with 875 of a possible 1,000 points. Ireland scored 701 points.

Of the seven Health Outcome measures, Ireland scored top marks in four of them; infant death per 1000, cancer 5-year survival, preventable years of life lost per 100,000 in the 0-69 group and percentage of diabetic population of patients with HbA1c levels above 7.

E-health, such as the electronic transfer of data between professionals, was listed as the area where Ireland performed poorest.

Ireland is one of three countries listed in the survey (the other two are Spain and Greece), as having "a domestic marketing problem" for their healthcare services.

The report also points out that the opinions of patient organizations deviated negatively from official statistics. “This is particularly striking for Ireland, which after HSE reform has been steadily climbing in the EHCI, but where the responses from patient organizations on issues such as waiting times are very negative still in 2009”.

Commenting on the result Professor Brendan Drumm, CEO of the HSE said: “I am particularly pleased that we are making significant improvement in the Health Outcomes category which corresponds with the data that shows people in Ireland are living longer”.

"As we continue to focus on more effective ways of working we expect that our ranking will continue to improve," he added.