In the health care ranking established by the European Health Consumer Index, Belgium is dropping year after year : it now ranks 12th on 31. Even Estland is doing better. And, believe it or not, the Netherlands rank first and Great Britain ranks 13th. After all the horror stories we heard about health care in those particular countries ?

See :

So, maybe the Belgian situation is as good as we like to think ; maybe it is not.

But such a statistical ranking is highly subjective, even if one were to assume that all the questions were relevant, and were asked correctly. Never forget : statistics = GIGO. No, not "gigot", which I like, but "garbage in, garbage out".

I did some research. EHCI is a product of The Health Consumer Powerhouse. This is a private institution; the origin of their funding is unclear, and they are reputed to have a very pro-market attitude. Not exactly a combination that inspires trust in its statistics. See the next post.


Anonymous said...

Totally agree,
I'm Spanish living in the Netherlands and I have been shocked by the first position of Dutch country in this ranking. In my opinion here in the Netherlands the health care system is not working well and it is suffering (already suffered) a strong process of privatisation (not far from USA model). Your idea of the origin and interests of the company making this kind of statistics seems very interesting to me in order to try to understand this ranking, they are trying to promote a broad privatisation of public health care systems in Europe. Manipulation of public opinion through bad and one-sided science, showing a bad performance of public systems and a better than it is performance of private or semi-private structures is a good method to prepare the way for privatisation.
I will search for more information about...

Anonymous said...

Yes indeed!!! Looking for more information about the political motivation of The Health Consumer Powerhouse I have found that they endorse an increase of market orientation of the Health Care Systems as a way to improve the quality of the given services. For them to introduce the Health Care Systems in a market dynamics is the best option to obtain more quality. My question is: who will have access to this quality services??? Of course who will be able to pay for it...

You can have a look on the report "The great paradigm shift - A new report on Health Care as a Driver of Growth" to know a little bit more about their Liberal view on Health.

Tot ziens

Anonymous said...

Finally I have to say that this survey has been made mainly on "consumers" opinions. Opinions are actually very subjective (and determined by many factors), so this report is not showing an objective description of European Health Systems but mainly the visions of different citizens on their State System. And in the Dutch case this is very relevant because they seem to be very proud of what they have (even if from an outsider point of view seems to be very bad). For example in Spain many people complain about the long waiting lists and many other defects of Spanish Health Care systems (we are not proud of our system, we complain a lot about and I'm the first). Contrarily here in the Netherlands it seems that nobody complains about the Health Services they receive or about the money they have to pay each month to their private insurance. However, I wouldn't say that Dutch Health Care System is better than the Spanish one (if I had a serious health problem I make you sure that I will run to Spain). However, if somebody ask me about the Spanish Health Care system I will complain. What would a Dutch say? I'm quite sure that the vast majority will say great things about.

Taking this into consideration and acknowledging the liberal position of the organisation that made the survey it is clearly understandable the high results of the Nethelands. The problem is that the survey doesn't explains anything about this facts and show a false image of Dutch Health Care System.


pablo carpintero said...

Another interesting point is that my source (De Standaard) does not give the slightest clue as to the origin of the EHCI. Perhaps because the ranking "helps it" in putting down Belgium once more ?