New health index means good news for medical tourism companies

The recently published Euro Health Consumer Index provides some interesting insights into the state of the UK health services and some encouragement for those who see the UK as a developing market for outbound medical tourists. The Index rates the public healthcare systems in 29 European countries on many factors such as clinical outcomes, quality of care, access to health services and patient information.

Austria emerges as the 2007 winner of the Euro Health Consumer Index, followed by the Netherlands, France, Switzerland and Germany.

The UK comes a very disappointing 17th out of the 29 countries; its score is dragged down by waiting lists and uneven quality performance. Medical tourism destinations such as France, Belgium, Estonia, Cyprus, Spain and the Czech Republic all outscore the UK.

As a separate exercise, the Euro Health Consumer Index 2007 included a value for money adjusted score, the "Bang-For-the-Buck adjusted score", which attempts to measure the value for money which the consumer gets from the healthcare system allowing for the spend on public healthcare in the country.

More bad news for the UK National Health Service.....

The UK sinks to 26th out of 29. Only Bulgaria, Poland and Latvia do worse.

Despite the efforts of successive UK governments, the NHS continues to deliver value for money to UK health consumers.

And that's probably good news for medical tourism companies!