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European healthcare systems under pressure

Improving efficiency is essential for European healthcare systems.

New transmission dynamics can help to improve effectivity and healthcare quality

European national health systems have been striving to supply universal access to essential, high-quality care while safeguarding their long-term sustainability. This dual challenge is making European governments to focus on finding ways to improve the efficiency of their health care systems.
A good performance and transparent assessment is decisive to provide objective evidence that ensures accountability to citizens. Assessing the performance of health systems is essential to understand how they work, and therefore they are more likely to design effective improvements that will benefit patients. This complex and a long process that needs to involve different players and actions as well as statistical measurements and deep analysis.

In the last decades, our health care systems have made a considerable progress to deliver a better-value care. Nevertheless, we are still working on developing effective tools and methodologies to assess health care efficiency.

Globalization increases transmission risks for infection diseases and challenges efficiency

Governments and citizens are currently much more concern with the way healthcare systems are effective tackling infection prevention and control. This is especially the case after December 2019, when they started to deal with the care of patients with 2019-nCov. Healthcare services are expected to encounter an increase number of cases with this agent. The clinical presentation of 2019-nCoV infection ranges from asymptomatic to very severe pneumonia with acute respiratory distress syndrome, septic shock and multi-organ failure, which may result in death. At the moment, the causative agent is believed to be transmitted in most instances from human-to-human through inhalation or deposition on mucosal surfaces of large respiratory droplets. But more information is needed to evaluate the full extent of this mode of transmission. The highest risk of healthcare-associated transmission is in the lack of standard precautions. This is the case, when basic infection prevention and control measures for respiratory infections are not in place, and when handling patients where 2009-nCoV infection is yet to be confirmed.

This is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation with ongoing outbreak investigations. Citizens should consult data from several sources regularly. All data should be interpreted with caution as the outbreak is evolving rapidly. Just consider that data completeness depends on the availability of information from the affected areas.
In the current situation, the main challenge is how healthcare systems can apply a rapid risk assessment and deal effectively with an increased transmission risk that is globally spreading.

Healthcare systems should work better
Healthcare systems should work better

Updating information regularly can reduce transmission risk and vulnerability

The European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention ECDC publishes a rapid risk assessment on the novel coronavirus situation in Europe, https://www.ecdc.europa.eu/en/news-events/ecdc-assessment-covid-19-situation-europe-2-march-2020.
On the website of the World Health Organization (WHO), you can find information and guidance regarding the current outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Please visit this page for daily updates, https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019.

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