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    Belgium ranked 7th for cardiology in European study

    © Belga
    Belgium's healthcare system should be proud but has work to do.
    © Belga

    According to the “Euro Heart Index” (EHI) 2016, which compares cardiology care in 30  European states, Belgium is on seventh place amongst countries participating in the rankings. This was made public yesterday by the Health Consumer Powerhouse (HCP), which is the centre that analyses the performance of national European health systems. France tops the list.

    Overall, the Belgian life style is considered far healthier. Dr Beatriz Cebolla, Head of the EHI project at the organisation says, “Belgium has a healthcare system which guarantees very easy access to healthcare, although it is fair to say that improvements to procedural coordination would lead to an even better result in the rankings.”

    Dr  Cebolla stresses, “Concerning cardiology, Belgium, unlike several other European states, resorts to more generic medicines, as well as inexpensive medicines for blood pressure and cholesterol rates, than we see with pan-European norms. It is surprising to note that this policy does not seem to apply everywhere.”

    In terms of rankings, France scoops first place, with Norway and Sweden hot on its heels. Cyprus is in last place.

    The report flags up that cardiology care has improved in nearly all of the countries concerned, but gaps between European states do, however, pose a threat to equality of healthcare.

    Professor Arne Bjornberg, the President of the HCP says, “There does exist, within cardiology, a significant gap between the application of European directives relative to patient treatment and the way in which cardiac medicine is practised. The use of heart-related medicines seems to occur on an arbitrary basis. It does not correspond to the needs of Europeans.”

    She adds, “It is clear that there is a correlation between the sums spent and the results obtained. Wealthier countries can make make it possible to place patients in hospital according to far broader criteria, thereby preventing the worsening of a wider range of conditions.”

    The EHI Index classifies cardiovascular healthcare systems of 30 European states. This is done on the basis of 31 indicators spread over four spheres: prevention, procedures, access to care and its corresponding results.

    Lars Andersen
    The Brussels Times