Access to healthcare includes the following dimensions: a) population coverage; b) affordability of healthcare (cost-sharing); c) basket of care; and d) availability of healthcare (distance, waiting times).

In 2018, the European Commission asked the national experts of the European Social Policy Network (ESPN) to describe the extent of inequalities in access to healthcare in their country, to analyse country-specific challenges and to provide good practices. The report on the EU situation has just been released, as well as the reports on national situation.

Based on the in-depth national contributions prepared by 35 ESPN Country Teams, the Synthesis Report outlines 10 key findings.

We can underline 3 of them :

  • High out-of-pocket payments for dental care, medicines and mental healthcare, are a cause of concern in most European countries.
  • Inequalities in access to healthcare do not seem to be linked to the model of health system funding.
  • The population groups of lowest income quintiles are among the most disadvantaged groups in terms of effective access to healthcare.Coverage for mental healthcare and dental care should be improved.

Among the many recommendations concluding the report, FEDCAR can only note that “coverage for mental healthcare and dental care should be improved” in the EU.