French health system worse than the Dutch

14th November 2008, Comments 16 comments

The annual Euro Health Consumer Index ranks the Netherlands as the top healthcare system in Europe.

14 November 2008  
   
BRUSSELS - The French healthcare system is failing to compete with the Netherlands and Denmark but is still significantly better than its British counterpart, according to a study released Thursday.
   
The annual 'Euro Health Consumer Index' placed the Dutch healthcare system at the top of its list of 31 countries, honoring it as a "truly stable top performer" after the Netherlands took the top spot from Austria, which was ranked the best in 2007.
   
"The Netherlands have started early on the work on patient empowerment, which now clearly pays off in all areas," said the study by the Brussels-based health analysts Consumer Powerhouse.
   
Denmark beat Austria to second place and also beat countries like France, which was first in 2006 but dropped to 10th on the current list because it "could not keep up with the improvement rate", according to the report.
   
The British healthcare system, though rising four places up the ranking to 13th, was still two places behind former Soviet republic Estonia, which drew praise for providing the best value for money.
   
Estonia "demonstrates how to deliver quality performance with relatively low levels of expenditure", according to the report summary.
   
In general the 'Bismarck' healthcare system beat the 'Beveridge' system.
   
Named after Prussian Chancellor Otto von Bismarck and used in countries such as Germany, the Netherlands, France and non-EU member Switzerland, all in the list's top ten, the Bismarck system is based on social insurance, where there are many insurance organisations that are independent of healthcare providers.
   
The Beveridge Model, named after William Beveridge, the social reformer who designed Britain's National Health Service, produces healthcare systems where financing and health care provision are handled within one organisational system, such as the National Health Services of Britain and Nordic states.
   
"These systems tend to have low costs per capita, because the government, as the sole payer, controls what doctors can do and what they can charge," the report said.
    
Only Norway and Finland, with their smaller, more easily-managed populations, squeezed into the top 10.
   
The list, first published in 2005, is devised using indicators in six categories: patient rights and information; e-health; waiting time for treatment; outcomes; range and reach of the services provided; and pharmaceuticals.
   
It includes the 27 EU nations and four others.

[AFP / Expatica]


16 Comments To This Article

  • CJ posted:

    on 3rd January 2009, 12:00:14 - Reply

    I would concur that the general level of health care in the Netherlands is substandard at best. I say that based on my own nightmare experience of being bounced between practioneers who knew very litlle for months on end with dangerous medicines being prescribed
  • Answser to R. Knor posted:

    on 8th December 2008, 10:17:25 - Reply

    Dear R.Knor, it is what we do and we did every time we have to consult a real doctor abroad and not a "paracetamol deliverer" !
  • Rodrigo posted:

    on 20th November 2008, 12:03:38 - Reply

    I mean, better than Holland.
  • Rodrigo posted:

    on 20th November 2008, 12:02:43 - Reply

    Is this a joke?
    Man, even back in Brazil you get better care in a public hospital, and that is very close to non-existant.
  • A posted:

    on 19th November 2008, 15:19:12 - Reply

    Best in Europe? What a joke! I had an extremely painful ear infection, went to specialist who told me (after all the tests and three consultations): "Aaaa, I know what you have, but you know, it's better not to touch, because everything is so small in there (meaning the human head)." So he sent me home without so much as an advice on how to lessen the pain. My husband went to see the orthopeadist because he was unable to walk due to the swollen knee. He was told : "Eat two slices of white bread a day and mother nature will take care of it!" Went to another doctor outside of the country and was sent to emergency meniscus operation. Enough said!
  • R. Knor posted:

    on 19th November 2008, 14:51:04 - Reply

    Dear expats,

    I'm not saying that the healthcare system is good in the Netherlands, but if you don't like it drawn your conclusions and move somewhere else.
  • Nena posted:

    on 19th November 2008, 14:42:25 - Reply

    I simply can not believe what I have just read!!! The best in Europe? What did they take into account to measure it? Certainly not patients' opinions.
    I have had several problems, not big once, but irritating enough to make my every day miserable. I went to see my GP and was asked "what do you want me to do". I insisted on a blood test being taken in order to check my liver and gallbladder function and glucose because I have family history of diabetes. I had litteraly to tell the doctor what I wanted to be checked. I had to call back myself if I wanted to hear what the results say because if everything is OK, GP will not be bothered to call you and say that it is fine! I was told that the values of liver function are sky high( which is not good) and that I have to watch my diet. Fine with me. As the pain Ihad did not go away I insisted on ultrasound of abdomen and a visit to an internal specialist. The specialist did not suggest any more examinations but diagnosed me with a syndrom that is heridatory(she claims). When asked if there are any type of diets recommended to patients with my complaints I was told that it is a common knowledge and if in doubt I shoud look it up on Google!!! I could not belive my ears! I am certainly going to ask for second opinion, but outside the best health care system of the Netherlands.
    I sincerely hope that my case is just a small omission in conduct, but I have had several other examples. A friend of mine was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in the Netherlands.She went to Germany and Belgium for other opinions and not trace of anything like that was found!!!
    I do not argue that the equipment is wonderfull, the latest that could be found on the market. I feel that one thing is missing: doctors caring for patients. If you have an appointment with your GP you have 10 minuttes. Out of this time GP spends trying to find your file, results, teh right form to print out the prescription, and hopelessly look for teh cartridge to refill the printer!!!
  • B posted:

    on 18th November 2008, 03:13:49 - Reply

    This "index" must be a kind of lottery and a winner of the year cannot be elected the next 10 years... How a health care system can change within one year ? For sure the Dutch system is base on "€uro/money" and they do everything to do not reumbours you or allow you to go abroad to have appriopriate treatments without the agreament of they GP (it likes to ask the GP to commit suicide - you can imagine the awnser)... Poor Dutch.

    Only one question for creator of this "index?", in Europe, which country has the highest new baby born death ?
  • L posted:

    on 18th November 2008, 03:04:22 - Reply

    I am agree with you H. I had four experiences with the GP and none is appropriate...

    1) Blood test lost in action and no traces (like they never seen me)
    2) Another blood test, cannot have any explaination from the GP, no news. We have only a "everything is good" from the receptionist because we called the GP office.
    3) I had a back pain until that I cannot move at all. For the hospital, it is not an urgence. For the the GP, I can not do anything if you do not come to my office. For the ambulance, it is the GP ...
    4) My kid had a jaundish, the answer of doctor is "It will go by himself" Can you imagine the disaster for the little kid for a none a simple ultraviolet light treatment during 1 hour or 2 ?

    Nothing else than facts and the treatment are always the same "paracetamol" !
  • H posted:

    on 14th November 2008, 17:30:03 - Reply

    my goodness, what a joke....I have never received proper treatment for anything in Holland, and have always needed to travel back to France for FREE healthcare where proper diagnosis and appropriate medication is given. Its like you have to pay insurance companies to receive witchcraft treatment in this country!
  • ekes posted:

    on 14th November 2008, 16:04:42 - Reply

    If you want to check the bias of the report Google the president of the institute: Johan Hjertqvist. He's pro-market in the Health Care system. They have an agenda. So you wouldn't expect his institutes report to say anything else would you?
  • Mark posted:

    on 14th November 2008, 15:27:04 - Reply

    Thats pretty rough - and life changing - I could relate the same stories about the UK - but I think its fair to say its not so much country based as regional
  • Kirsteen posted:

    on 14th November 2008, 14:56:08 - Reply

    I have to be honest. I went to my Dutch GP in March with a cough that got progressivly worse. I was told it was a worsening of asthma and there was nothing she could do. Eventually, when I was no longer able to walk any distance and was spending all day in bed, I saw her again to be told that I have asthma, it's normal and I must simply deal with it. I changed GP, had an X-Ray and was told I had double pneumonia. The lung specialist tried twice to clear the pneumonia and couldn't. He told me that he would forget the pneumonia in the meantime and would take blood tests in case I was allergic to pigeons (?????). He then asked me to do everything very slowly as I was losing so much oxygen and return for the results in 10 days time. By this stage I was incredibly ill and my husband insisted on, quite literally, bundling me into the car and driving me home to Scotland. Thank the Lord he did! I was told that I was lucky to have survived the journey and was admitted straight to hospital, where they managed to get on top if my condition. The hospital I was admitted to was an NHS hospital and is not in a great area of the country. But, thanks to the hard work, determination and kindness of the staff, I am still here. I am under the care of the same hospital at the moment and am 100% confident in both the hospital and my GP in this country.

    I will never return to the Netherlands again purely because of the gross negligance of the health care professionals who dealt with me - all of whom were at fault. God help anyone who takes seriously ill. I think this survey may have been some sort of 'sick' joke!

    PS the results of the blood tests I had that day in NL were all 'inconclusive' so no doubt I would have been dismissed once more with a simple shrug of the shoulder.
  • Mark posted:

    on 14th November 2008, 12:57:35 - Reply

    If you want to leave the country that bad - then why are you still here?
    If you think that the UK has a good health system, then you either have not been there, or you lived in one of the privileged areas that did not discriminate against you in age, mentality, race, creed or clime although still have the mentality of "Take these pills and come back in a few days because we both know there not going to work but I am to busy to do a proper diagnosis"

    The UK is a joke - A health system built in the 50's with its head still stuck in the 60's and run by an old boy network who give themselves bonus paid out of Nurses training budgets.
  • Joao Bastos posted:

    on 14th November 2008, 12:06:01 - Reply

    You got to be kidding me. I have lived in England, France and Portugal. Now I am living in the Netherlands and I am shocked with the bad quality of the Health System here, specially on the knoledge and service of the doctors, not to mention they have no idea what is "prventive medicine" in this country. Furthermore, the hole insurance scheme is a ripoff and insurance companies will do whatever they can not to pay the bills. Not to mention the new minimum risk policy, on top of the 100 bill every month.

    Definetelly, from the patient point of view, the worst system I have ever dealt with, and one of the reasons to want to leave this country asap.

    The poor healthcare service is always a main point in conversations when expats are bashing on Holland....

    So I don't know where these results are based in...probably in the money spent by the government, which is easy to understand, since they refuse most treatments and prescribe paracetamol for about 90% of the health issues.
  • Joao Bastos posted:

    on 14th November 2008, 12:06:01 - Reply

    You got to be kidding me. I have lived in England, France and Portugal. Now I am living in the Netherlands and I am shocked with the bad quality of the Health System here, specially on the knoledge and service of the doctors, not to mention they have no idea what is "prventive medicine" in this country. Furthermore, the hole insurance scheme is a ripoff and insurance companies will do whatever they can not to pay the bills. Not to mention the new minimum risk policy, on top of the 100 bill every month.

    Definetelly, from the patient point of view, the worst system I have ever dealt with, and one of the reasons to want to leave this country asap.

    The poor healthcare service is always a main point in conversations when expats are bashing on Holland....

    So I don't know where these results are based in...probably in the money spent by the government, which is easy to understand, since they refuse most treatments and prescribe paracetamol for about 90% of the health issues.