Healthcare in Europe

Healthcare in Europe is provided through a wide range of different systems run at individual national levels. Most European countries have a system of competing private health insurance companies, with government subsidies available for citizens who cannot afford coverage.[1][2] Many European countries (and all European Union countries) offer their citizens a European Health Insurance Card which, on a reciprocal basis, provides insurance for emergency medical treatment insurance when visiting other participating European countries.[3]

European health

The World Health Organization has listed 53 countries as comprising the European region. Health outcomes vary greatly by country. Countries in western Europe have had a significant increase in life expectancy since World War II, while most of eastern European and the formerly Soviet countries have experienced a fall in life expectancy.[4]

Tobacco use is the largest preventable cause of death in Europe. Many countries have passed legislation in the past few decades restricting tobacco sales and use.[4]

European Union

The European Union has no major administrative responsibility in the field of healthcare. The European Commission's Directorate-General for Health and Consumers however seeks to align national laws on the safety of food and other products, on consumers' rights and on the protection of people's health, to form new EU wide laws and thus strengthen its internal markets.

Greece failed to implement EU anti-smoking laws.[5]

Euro Health Consumer Index 2018

Euro Health Consumer Index 2018[6]
CountryOverall rankingTotal scorePatient rights and
information score
(waiting times for
treatment) score
Range and reach of
services score
Prevention scorePharmaceuticals score
 Czech Republic147311081752111047161
 United Kingdom1672811710021110911378
 North Macedonia25638113163156638361

See also


  1. Sanger-Katz, Margot (19 February 2019). "What's the Difference Between a 'Public Option' and 'Medicare for All'?". The New York Times.
  2. Abelson, Reed; Sanger-Katz, Margot (23 March 2019). "Medicare for All Would Abolish Private Insurance. 'There's No Precedent in American History.'". The New York Times.
  3. "European Health Insurance Card". European Commission. Retrieved 23 August 2019. A free card that gives you access to medically necessary, state-provided healthcare during a temporary stay in any of the 28 EU countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland, under the same conditions and at the same cost (free in some countries) as people insured in that country.
  4. Mackenbach, Johan P; Karanikolos, Marina; McKee, Martin (March 2013). "The unequal health of Europeans: successes and failures of policies". The Lancet. 381 (9872): 1125–1134. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(12)62082-0. PMID 23541053.
  5. "EU anti-smoking laws".
  6. "Euro Health Consumer Index 2018" (PDF). Health Consumer Powerhouse. Retrieved 26 February 2019.
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