Health & Society CSA-Europ Assistance Barometer 2013_synthesis
Health & Society Barometer - Europ Assistance / CSA
2013: 7th wave of the barometer
Main learning points
In October 2006, the Europ Assistance Group and the Cercle Santé Société, with the CSA Institute, launched an
annual pan-European barometer on "the relationship and practices of European citizens with regard to their health
Set against the context of regular change within these systems, the objective of this barometer is to provide
comparative enlightenment on the position of the citizens in the countries studied, in order that their opinions can
feed into the major debates that are gripping the healthcare sector.
In 2013, the barometer is being published at a time when Europ assistance is celebrating its 50th anniversary.
8 European countries, as well as the United States, are now included within the field of study of the barometer.
Healthcare and, more broadly, the means of accessing care quality, including when travelling, within a professional
context or via new technologies, are the main concerns of the citizens of all of these countries. This barometer not
only allows us to evaluate their opinion and their expectations with regard to the preserv
preservation of their healthcare
systems, but also to study the manner in which the populations perceive the quality of their treatment. It thus
contributes to gaining a better appreciation of the level of consciousness shown in public opinion regarding the
new challenges associated with healthcare.
On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the assistance service, established in France by Pierre Desnos, the
founder of Europ Assistance, the Santé & Société Europ Assistance-CSA barometer focuses in its 2013 edition on
addressing the topic of healthcare and travel, assessing the benefits of repatriation for medical reasons.
Also studied within the barometer are the changes in opinion regarding:
The evaluation of the healthcare system and the quality of trea
treatments, taking into
account not only the organisation of this system, but also the technical competence of
the doctors and its development since 2010, the trust placed in the healthcare
authorities in each country regarding the limiting of risks, an observ
observation on the
perception of the various future threats since 2009 and new sources of financing.
Social requirements, including the evaluation of equality when it comes to accessing
treatments and the issue of the desired means of financing in order to stre
The cancellation or postponement of medical treatments what treatments? for
The care for dependent elderly people is a measure of the change in opinion in each
country since 2006, as regards the organisation and quality of this care provision, the
adequacy of public support in financing home care and, more broadly, the recognition
of the issue of dependency by public authorities. Furthermore, other than family, what
types of organisations should be called on to provide this home care, what measures
should be prioritised and to what equipment should preference be given, including
technological devices? And finally, how can these services be financed?
Healthcare and new communication technologies, with the development of the
viewing of healthcare information online since 2006, the sharing and exchanging of
opinion regarding healthcare on social networks and the Internet, the perception of the
development of continual home monitoring by mobile telephone and the evolution of
this perception since 2010, the possible use of webcams for a remote GP consultation.
Finally, public awareness of genome mapping and the intention to use it, measured
Healthcare and business, measuring the respective expectations of employees wit
regard to expatriation, depending on their country of origin, focussing on Healthcare,
Safety, Schooling and Salary.
The final topic, Healthcare and economy addresses the manner in which the
awareness of the various populations has developed with regard to the importance of
their healthcare system and its impact on the economy.
This barometer was established on the basis of a telephone survey conducted by the CSA in
institute, with a sample
of 500 individuals per country of study in Europe, as well as 1,000 individuals in the United States, representative
of the population aged 18 years and older, distributed across nine countries - Germany, France, Great Britain, Italy
Sweden (2006), Poland (2009), the United States, Austria (2010) and Spain (since 2011), between May and June
I- Evaluation of the healthcare system and of the quality of
Organisation: consolidation in the medium term
Concerning the assessment of the public regarding the organisation of their healthcare system in 2013 clear
differences of opinion are found between Austrians, who seem the most satisfied with an average score of 6.3/10,
and the Polish who bring up the rear at 2.8, nonetheless reducing the gap between themselves and the Italians, for
whom the average fell by half a point in relation to 2012, to 3.2. The Austrians also set themselves apart in that
47% of them consider their system to be very good or even excellent, far ahead of the British, of whom 29 are
nonetheless of this opinion. Great Britain thus exceeds the average, with 5.2, followed by France (5.1), Germany
(5.0), Spain and Sweden (4.8) and then the United States (4.5).
In terms of changing opinions in the medium term, the general trend tends towards a structural balance if you
compare the averages observed between 2006 and 2013. Only Germany experienced an upward variation of more
than 1 point between these two dates, which can be explained by the generally positive financial situation of the
Outer Rhine health insurance schemes. As for Sweden, the country has experienced a slight downward trend,
falling from 5.3 in 2006 to 4.8 in 2013, and especially Italian opinion has significantly degraded since 2009 ( 1
France remains stable, as do Austria, Great Britain returning to its balanced trend following the peak in 2007. In the
United States, the opinions have remained stable since 2010, despite a little increase in 2012.
Technical competence of doctors: a positive trend
Concerning the assessment made regarding the technical competence of the doctors, diagnostics and treatments,
the opinions in the various countries are relatively stable from the previous year, with only the United States falling
by 0.3 points compared to 2012, yet still remaining the most positive (6.8) ahead of the Austrians (6.5), while the
Polish replace the Italians in last place (4.7).
If you consider the European countries together, the trend over two years is slightly positive and averages out at
5.6, following the considerable drop observed in all of the European countries between 2010 and 2011.
Confidence in the healthcare authorities: stabilised opinions
72% of British state that they have confidence in the controls put in place by the healthcare authorities to limit
the risks associated with the taking of medication and 81% for the risks associated with the use of medical
prostheses, probe implants and endoscopic equipment. However, only 42 and 56 of the Polish express these
However, the level of confidence among the same Polish survey participants with regard to the risks associated
with the taking of medication increased considerably between 2012 and 2013 (42 vs. 35
35%), as did that of the
British (72 vs. 61%), when it continued to fall in Spain (63 vs. 66%) and in Italy (51 vs. 55% and remained relatively
stable from one year to the next in the other countries.
Regarding the risks associated with the use of medical prostheses, probe implants and endoscopic equipment, only
the Spanish declare themselves considerably less confident, fall
falling from 69% in 2012 to 66 in 2013, while the
confidence of the British increases by 15 points (to 81 ), that of the Swedish by 10 points (to 76 and that of the
Germans (increasing to 56%) and the Polish (to 56 by 8 points.
Even the confidence of the French increases by 5 points, in spite of the legal proceedings regarding the Mediator
drug and breast implants recently making the news.
Threats to the future: Europe relatively more calm than the United States
With regard to the perception of threat to the future of the healthcare systems, 82% of British consider the risks
of medical errors to be very important, ahead of Americans (78 ), followed by Italians (75
(75%), while only 37% of
French and Austrians consider this risk to be very important.
In terms of development, there is a very noticeable drop among Spanish with regard to this risk being taken into
account (70% vs. 86%), but also to a lesser extent among Austrians (37% vs. 48 ) and Germans (45% vs. 54
the other hand, a significant increase is to be observed among Polish and Americans, 66 of whom assessed the
risk of medical errors to be very significant in 2012, whereas 74 and 78% respectively consider this to be the case
The waiting times before receiving treatment continue to concern the vast majority of Polish (87
(87%), but also 78%
of Spanish, 75% of British and 72% of Italians. However, a very noticeable drop in the perception of this threat is to
be observed among Spanish (-10 points), Swedish (59 vs. 68%) and, to a lesser extent, among Italians ( points).
In the United States on the other hand, a significant increase is to be noted, with 66 of the population considering
waiting times a threat, compared to 57% one year prior to this.
At 76%, Spanish have the largest proportion to consider the increase in personal financing to be a very significant
threat that their healthcare system must overcome, followed by Americans (74 ) and then Polish (70
(70%). It should
be noted that, compared to 2012, this proportion decreases considerably in Spain (76 vs. 85 while it increases
considerably in the United States (74 vs. 68 Poland remains relatively stable.
A very noticeable drop in this fear can be observed among Italians between 2012 (67 ) and 2013 (58
(58%), while the
drop experienced in 2011 in Germany stabilises and an increase in the perception of this threat is evident in Austria
(49 vs. 43%).
With regard to this issue of personal financing, a distinction can be drawn between two groups of countries: Sp
the United States, Poland, Italy and Great Britain on the one hand, where an increase in this type of financing is
considered a very significant threat by 50 of the population, and Sweden, Austria, Germany and France on the
other hand, where less than 50% of residents share this opinion.
In the long-term, the perception of a threat regarding the inequality of access to treatment appears to stabilise,
even though a distinction continues to be drawn between a group of countries where the vast majority of the
population is sensitive to this threat, and three countries; Germany (50
(50%), Austria (50% and France (53%) where
opinions are more divided. Of the Spanish, 84 of whom felt this threat in 2012, only 73 do so in 2013, sharing
top place with the British, ahead of the Polish (71 and the Americans (70%).
Sources of financing: in favour of a higher excess towards procedures?
Concerning the opinion of citizens regarding the means of covering the increase in healthcare expenses, the
Swedish (69%) remain the most favourable to the mandatory deductions, while half of British remain committed to
this solution. A downward trend is to be observed among the French and the Americans, where only 30 of the
population is in favour of this method of financing. By contrast, a considerable increase is to be noted in the
number of people in support of the system involving the payment of an excess per medical treatment, in France
(40%), Germany (30%) and the United States (42
(42%). Only 29% of Germans opt for the use of optional insurance
and mutuals, ahead of the Italians at 28 , although this remains the solution preferred by the majority of
Austrians (39%) and Polish (41%).
For 8 years, and since the launch of our barometer, there is mounting evidence to show that the traditional division
between the systems is tending to fade, with public opinion changing - depending on the country and the target
public - in favour of private insurance or payment of an excess towards the procedure, to the detriment of
compulsory contributions, with the notable and traditional exception of Sweden, and to a lesser extent Great
Britain, where people remain very committed to the National Health Service.
To sum up, since the beginning of the barometer, in the long-term the opinions in the various countries have
balanced out with regard to the assessment of the healthcare system, in spite of short
short-term fluctuations. With
regard to the perception of threats, here too r
relative structural balance has been observed, in spite of occasional
alarming news, which confirms the general confidence expressed in the healthcare authorities and the competence
of doctors. Finally, with regard to sources of financing, an increase in positive opinions about excess is noted,
especially among younger generations and those who are active. Only in Sweden and Great Britain do the majority
remain committed to increasing taxes or comp
II – Social requirements
Access to treatments: consensus regarding the end, much less so regarding the means
In the long-term, opinions appear relatively stable in all of the countries when assessing if the health system
guarantees equality of access to treatment for every citizen. Only Italy fell from a 44% rate of positive opinion in
2012, to 28% in 2013, dropping some way below its lowest level, observed in 2011 (33
(33%). The Spanish (67%) and
the British (59%) seem relatively optimistic compared to the citizens of the other European countries, in which the
proportion of positive opinions varies between 28 (Italy and Poland) and 48% (Austria), while the Americans
show a considerable increase from 34 to 41
With regard to the need or otherwise to increase contributions or taxes in order to guarantee more equal access
to treatment, the majority of Swedish (80%) and British (55%) are still in favour of the increase of contri
and taxes, while French return to the level observed three years ago (44%). In all of the other countries, this
increase in taxes or compulsory contributions is met with strong, or even very strong, opposition, with Italy (80
having the highest level of opposition, an increase of 5 points compared to 2012. Italy is closely followed by Spain,
recording a 74% rate of negative opinion. A majority of Americans (59%) is unfavourable to an in
increase of taxes
and compulsory contributions, but not much more than Europeans on average (57%).
Between Sweden, at one extreme with 80 of people in favour of increasing contributions or taxes, and Italy at the
other extreme, with the same proportion against such an increase, it would appear that opposition is culturally
determined, with an evident distinction between the countries of the northern and southern Europe, with France,
Austria, Germany and Poland occupying the middle ground between the two extremes.
A more and more concerning postponement of treatments in France and Poland
18% of Europeans and 23% of Americans claim to have during the past year, postponed or declined medical
treatment on account of financial difficulties.
39% of Polish stated that they had to make this choice, 33 of French compared with 27 the previous year, 24%
of Germans compared to 30% in 2012, and 20 of Italians compared to 27% one year earlier. Great Britain, with a
4% cancellation rate compared to 9% in 2012, outperforms Sweden at 6
Observing the case of France in closer detail, which this year posted the greatest increase among all the countrie
studied, it is evident that it is mainly women, those aged 18
18-39 and active individuals who decline or postpone,
while in Germany it is mainly men, those aged 18 39 and active individuals. In the United States, 60 of people not
covered by insurance claim to have postponed or declined treatment, but so too do 44 of Medicaid recipients
and 30% of those with personal insurance.
Regarding the nature of treatments declined by individuals in the United States, dental treatments are postponed
in 14% of cases, however, routine treatments are mentioned spontaneously in 18 of cases.
In France, in 2013 dental treatments (25 remain the most affected, with a considerable increase compared to
2012, ahead of the purchase of glasses (17
Finally, if you consider the development over time regarding the various types of treatment, relative stability or
even a positive trend with regard to routine treatments can be noted, excluding in Poland and the United States.
On the other hand, there is also a trend towards a increase in difficulties regarding intensive treatments with a
major turn for the worse in the United States and a negative progression with regard to the purchasing of
medication that is, generally speaking, more pronounced in 2013. The postponement of dental treatments also
has a tendency to escalate, particularly in France with an increase of 6 points. Regarding glasses, purchasing is
postponed by 17% of French, compared to 10 the previous year, ahead of Polish (12%) and Germans and
In summary, a positive development and consolidation can be observed in terms of opinions regarding the capacity
of the health system to guarantee equal medical treatment for all, although such opinion remains in the minority.
With regard to resorting to increasing taxes to ensure more equal access, on the other hand, there is almost a form
of reverse symmetry between the countries in the north and south of Europe regarding opposition, the former
very much in favour of taxation, and the latter strongly opposing it.
The level of decline or postponement of treatments remains low in Spain and in Great Britain, although it remains
high in Poland, Germany, Italy and in France, where it has increased significantly. At present, this phenomenon
appears to correlate more with the mechanisms of the health system rather than with the economic situation of
In the United States, which has an average rate slightly higher than in Europe, the rates of postponement vary
significantly, depending on the health insurance system. This disparity is found on the other side of the Atlantic
regarding the type of treatment concerned, in particular with huge numbers of postponement of routine
treatments by those not insured nor covered by Medicaid. In Europe, the purchasing of medication is significantly
affected by postponement decisions, even though at the same time it is dental treatments and the purchase of
glasses that people are increasingly likely to postpone in the majority of countries.
III – Care for elderly and dependent people
A negative general opinion and still high expectations
With the exception of Austrians (5.7/10), public opinions attribute a below average score to the organisation and
quality of care to those that are elderly and dependent, within their respective countries.
While 31% of Austrians go as far as to assess the organisation as very good or excellent, as do 24 of Americans 24%
particularly those over 60 years of age, only 2 of Polish and Italians share this opinion.
In general, the manner in which the organisation and quality of care for elderly and dependent people are
perceived continues to show sharp contrast from country to country
In the long term, there is no sign of sign
significant variation of this negative evaluation, even though a rate of negative
evaluation of 63% can be observed in Italy, posting an average score (2.2) that is considerably lower than in 2012
Concerning Germany, with 4,1, this country comes back close to its level of 2011, which does not confirm on the
long term the improvement observed in 2012. In Spain, the similar drop in the level that was observed (3.6 vs. 5)
remains difficult to interpret. In the United States on the other hand, a consistent improvement in the evaluations
is to be observed, with an average grade of 4.9 this year. Finally, France remains especially stable.
Public aid for home care: insufficient
Compared to 2012, in 2013 Germans (27 vs. 40%) and Spanish (31 vs. 49%) appear significantly less satisfied with
public financial aid for home care for elderly or dependent people In Spain, this dissatisfaction is rooted in the
calling into question of financing programmes to promote independence. As for Germany, it came in a little below
the level for 2010 (31%).
The level of satisfaction in the other countries rose considerably or remained more or less stable, at a particularly
low level such as in Italy (19%) and in Poland (14 which again occupy the bottom two places in this category. The
average level of satisfaction of 58% in S
Sweden rises to 67% among the over 60s, while Great Britain, at 56 on
average, sees this level climb to 62% among those aged 18
18-39. In Austria (52%), the best scores are observed in the
rural communities (58%). France comes in below average with just 45% positive opinion.
Public authorities and the issue of elderly people dependency a very negative
With regard to the question of the awareness of public authorities regarding the issue of dependency, the same
trends are appearing, with a considerable drop in positive opinions in Germany (17 vs. 28%) and the situation
stable in the other countries. A significant increase can even be seen in Great Britain (20 vs. 15%), in France (31%
vs. 26%) and in Austria (33% vs. 28%).
The voluntary sector is highly favoured
With regard to knowing "Outside of their family, from which organisation can elderly and dependent people find
the best home care support? ", the organisations in the voluntary sector or the private non
non-profit sector are still
favoured by the majority of people in Germany (73
(73%), Austria (64%) Poland (54%), Great Britain (49 and France
(43%). Public organisations are favoured by the majority in Sweden (59%) and in Spain (44
(44%), with the situation
more balanced in Italy where private organisations come in first place with 37 of those surveyed in favour,
ahead of public organisations at 33% and the voluntary sector at 30
In the United States, private organisations receive 39% of the votes, on an even par with the voluntary or private
non-profit sector, and ahead of public organisations (23
If we now consider the preferences by age, it can be noted that public organisations are more highly favoured
among those aged 60 years and above, while, depending on the country, those aged 18-39 have a tendency to feel
18affinity towards the private or voluntary sector.
The home care widely approved
With regard to the favoured means of solving the problems posed by the prolongation of life expectancy and the
increase in the number of elderly and dependent people it is home care that remains preferred on the whole,
with an average of 78% in Europe and 86 in the United States.
A significant increase in those favouring this solution can even be noted in Italy (+ 8 points 90%), in Great Britain (+
8 points) and in Germany (+11 points), and also in Sweden (+5 points) where the increase has been consistent and
significant since 2009 (59% vs. 41% over 5 years).
Home care: supplementary resources
In order to enable the prolongation of home care, home carer jobs are approved by 96% of Europeans and 92% of
Americans, ahead of telemonitoring, which on average receives 83% of the European vote and 90 of the
Robotics does well with 69% of opinions favourable in Europe and 61 in the United States. It is in Austria (71
and in Germany (75%) that one finds the lowest level for telemonitoring.
However, a very significant increase in favourable opinions towards this solution can be noted in all countries, and
likewise with regard to home carer jobs.
Still relatively unpopular in Austria (28
(28%), Sweden (41%) and Germany (42%), robotics continues to increase in
popularity in Great Britain, Italy and Poland, countries in which it receives scores equal to or greater than 75
French have a drop of 5 points to 50%, appearing still to have mixed feelings on the subject. The significant scores
achieved by these solutions emphasize the complementarity between technical solutions and the assistance of a
person at home.
The rise of remote monitoring technologies
In response to the question, "Are you prepared to equip your elderly relatives with remote monitoring systems such
as an electronic bracelet, a fall detector or continual blood pressure monitoring in order to make their home life
safer? ", 85% of Europeans responded positively, with Spanish in the top place with 93 and Germans in the last
place with 77%, and favourable opinions increasing in all countries in a significant, or even very significant manner,
such as in Spain (+ 19 points) or in Germany (+ 20 points).
The European preference for taxation and public financing
In response to the question: "In your opinion, who should pay for the services and support that enable the daily
needs of elderly and dependent people to be met? ", it is evident that the majority are in favour of public financing
by the local government with taxes or compulsory contributions or mixed financing with an emphasis on public
These basic public financing solutions, particularly popular among those aged 60 and over and those who are
inactive, appeal to an average of 70% of Europeans. French are the exception with just 47 preferring them in
2013, compared to 56% in 2012. They now favour mixed financing by both public government and the people
On the whole, 23% of Americans advocate the individual solution and 27% mixed financing by both public
government and the people concerned. Only 12% declare themselves in favour of public financing, but with regard
to this choice, a very significant disparity can be noted between recipients of Medicaid and Medicare on the one
hand, 24% and 22% of whom respectively favour this solution, and the recipients of an employer
employer-based plan on the
other hand, at 9%.
In summary, the issue of the provision of care to elderly and dependent people remains a central issue in public
opinion, with people desiring that it be paid greater attention by the public authorities. The manner in which the
quality of this provision is perceived matches the assessment made by the populations regarding their healthcare
systems in general. This is particularly the case in Italy and Poland, where the scores are the lowest.
It is in the United States and in Austria that the most positive results are recorded.
With regard to the means of implementation, home care is preferred by the majority in all countries. This is now a
general underlying trend. In order to ensure this support, the majority of people in all countries prefer public or
voluntary organisations, with the notable exception of Swedish, the vast majority of whom prefer public
organisations, with Spanish also favouring this solution, but to a lesser extent, while Italians share their vote
between the three types of organisation.
In the United States, the choice in this area remains highly influenced by the type of social security cover held by
IV- Healthcare and economy
Healthcare: an economic sector in its own
74% of Europeans and 60% of Americans believe that the healthcare sector contributes to economic growth. This
is the consensus in all countries, with very high scores in Italy and Spain (85 ), in Sweden (83
(83%), Great Britain
(81%) and Austria (76%).
However, these were the result of an increase between 2012 and 2013, with the exception of France, which sets
itself apart through its relative stability (59 vs. 57%) and Austria which remains stable - by no means the norm: +24
points in Spain, +21 points in Great Britain, +18 points in Italy, +14 points in Sw
Against this background, Germany increased by 6 points (66 and Poland by 5 points (58
It should be noted that positive opinions see a slight drop in the United States, where the debate on healthcare
expenses remains unresolved.
Focus for 2013
Healthcare and travel
The repatriation for medical reasons perceived first to save lives
Regarding the issue of mobility, those surveyed were required to respond to the question: "For each of the
following trends concerning healthcare and travel, would you say that for yourself or people like you, repatriation
for medical reasons in the event of accidents or serious illnesses suffered while travelling abroad, has represented
an improvement or not? "
Among the benefits identified, "saving lives" comes in first place in most countries, achieving an average of 66
for Europeans and 76% for Americans. British (81%), followed by Swedish (80%) are the most sensit
sensitive to this
criterion, while Polish (37%) and French (54 are not as convinced.
"Travelling as a family" is the second most frequently selected suggestion among those surveyed. British and
Americans (76%) have the greatest number select this criterion, far ahead of Spanish (53
(53%). Germans (50%), Polish
(26%) and French (39%) had the fewest number of people choose it.
Finally, 74% of Americans select the notion of "discovering distant and lesser known countries" to represent an
improvement, followed by British (60%), while this benefit is only mentioned by 21 of Polish and 29 of French.
Varying levels of maturity
With regard to achieving a qualitative measurement of the significance of each of these improvements for the
people surveyed, it can be noted that 81 of British attach considerable importance to the criteria "Saving lives",
with a score of 88% among the over 60s.
80% of Swedish are of the same opinion, with a high of 88 among holders of private individual insurance. In
contrast, 16% of Polish do not believe that this represents an improvement. In Germany it is inte
interesting to note
that with the average standing at 60% of people rating it as "very significant", 99 of those aged 18
18-39 give this
assessment. In France, with an average of 54 it is those aged 60+ (64%) and those who are inactive (62 who
attribute greater value to this criterion.
The improvement to "travelling as a family judged to be very important by 76% of British on average, achieves a
score of 85% among those aged 60 and over. In Poland, 33 of those aged 60 and over are of this opinion, whil
20% of Polish do not think that this is an improvement. In Italy, it is again those aged 60 and over (52 who
attribute major significance to this criterion, the average standing at 43
Finally, "discovering distant and lesser known countries motivates, in particular, British aged 60 years and over
(68%), Germans aged 18-39 (89%). In Italy (39 women (44%) and those aged 60 and over (46 are particularly
motivated while in Spain (44%) it is men (49 ) and holders of supplementary individual health co
In summary, over the years, travellers have come to consider repatriation for health reasons to be synonymous
with rescue in the event of danger, an accident or serious illness occurring while abroad. This sentiment, shared by
the majority in all countries, will, depending on the case, be more pronounced among certain categories of the
population, both among those aged 60 and over and among the younger generation. Repatriation also represents
an asset when travelling as a family and when venturing into "exotic" countries, whether young or not so young.
Healthcare and business
Professional mobility: priority given to quality treatment
Among the most important criteria to be taken into account when deciding whether to accept an expatriation
proposal from your employer, "access and the provision of quality treatment to you and your family in the
destination country" is far in the lead, in every country. This criterion achieves an average of 85 in Europe and
71% in the United States.
British, at 76%, are relatively less susceptibl to this factor, whereas 71% of them express a preference for "a
healthy living environment and comfortable accommodation", a factor selected by an average of 60 of
65% of the latter require "the education of children in a school offering a good quality of teaching" the most
demanding in this respect being Germans (77 followed by Swedish (76%) and Spanish (68
"An increase in pay" interests 80% of Polish, but only motivates 50% of Europeans on average, and 58 of
Americans. The least interested by this factor are Germans (32%).
Finally, the issue of an "overall prevention, information, warning and evacuation system protecting you and your
family from local geopolitical and climate
climate-related risks" only motivates 40% of Europeans, compared to 57 of
Americans. 51% of French are attracted b this proposal, followed by Austrians (49%) and Swedish (48%).
Prevention of occupational illnesses: in first place - back pain and the prevention of
With regard to the nature of the healthcare programmes that they would require within the context of their
workplace, those surveyed attributed particular priority to back pain and stress management mentioned by more
than 50% of survey participants in the majority of countries, with the exception of the United States (40 and 45
Swedish appear to be particularly concerned by back pain (75%) and stress (65%). Polish are very concerned by
back pain (77%), in particular women (83
(83%), stress (71%) (women 78%) and serious illnesses (65%). On average,
French indicate a higher level of requirement in these three areas.
Swedish claim to be the most concerned by the prevention of risks associated with the consumption of tobacco,
alcohol or drugs (48%), but also by obesity (47%), whereas only 30 and 36% of Americans are concerned by these
Germans (17 and 22%) and British (23 and 22%) do not seem motivated by programs for the prevention of obesity
and various addictions either.
high-quality care are essential decision-making criteria for employees who
To sum up, access to and provision of high
are offered a position abroad, whatever their nationality, far ahead of any other consideration. On the other hand,
the more global mechanisms for the prevention of risks are only of concern to a minority of Europeans, while
Americans appear more familiar with these solutions. As for prevention of occupational illnesses, while employees
appear concerned by back pain, stress and se
serious illnesses, they seem less interested by the battle against obesity
and addition, with the exception of the Swedish.
Healthcare and new communication technologies
The Internet generation
Sweden (82%) remains the country where the consultation of health-related information on the Internet is the
most common, followed by the United States (75 and then Poland (63%). Spain (41% and France (45%) remain
the countries with the fewest users.
A slight drop in online consultation can even be observed in France ( 4 points), Spain (-2 points) and Italy (-2
points), while all other countries continue to increase; Germany (62 ) by 8 points in comparison with its level in
2012, and Sweden also reporting a considerable increase (+ 5 points).
On the whole, Europe increased by 5 points. Unsurprisingly, it is those aged 18-39 and active individuals, in many
cases those living in a major city, who use the Internet for healthcare the most.
Web 2.0 Healthcare: still in its infancy
The consultation of healthcare information on the Internet has increased regularly to reach 82% among the
Swedish, with France and Spain in the bottom positions with level of consultation of 45% and 41% respectively in
But what is the situation regarding the exchange of information, opinions and comments re
regarding health with
other people? Practices are considerably less developed: 26 of Swedish and Germans claim to do it regularly or
occasionally, followed by 21% of Americans and 16 % of Austrians. Only 10% of French have adopt these
practices, ahead of British at 7%. The profile of the most frequent users is the same as that for the consultation of
healthcare information on the Internet: young people, active people or residents of major cities.
Mobile telephone: renewed interest
In response to the question "are your more for or against the development of means of continual medical
monitoring via telephone", an increase of interest for this medium is to be observed in all countries, with a
spectacular increase in Germany to a level of 60% positive responses in 2013 compared with 46 in 2012, the
country seeming to catch up with the others.
At the top, Swedish (80%) increase by a further 8 points. Austria increase from 55% in 2012 to 62% in 2013,
French making a slight climb to 61%, positioning themselves towards the back of the pack, yet still chased by
If you compare the results of 2010 with those of 2013, there is no spectacular change of opinions regarding the use
of the mobile phone, but rather one can see evidence of a gradual increase in the awareness of its potential.
Remote consultation: a still limited support in many countries
Regarding the issue of remote GP consultations via Internet using a webcam Swedish come top (62
by Spanish(52%), with a very noticeable increase in the number of favourable responses in these two countries,
increasing by + 13 points and +10 points resp
respectively. In third place are Polish (50%) followed by Americans (48%).
In contrast, 85% of Austrians, 75% of Germans and 69 of French are not in favour of this. With a spectacular
increase of 16 points regarding the number of positive opinions, Italians (42%) catch up with British, the majority of
whom also remain opposed to this solution, with only 39 in favour.
In summary, new technologies in the area of healthcare are on the rise in all countries, as people are becoming
more familiar with their use. While consulting medical information on the Internet has become commonplace,
exchanging opinions on healthcare is not yet an established habit. Likewise, the idea of using one's mobile phone
has been accepted on principle, but users are yet to familiarise themselves with the new applications. Regarding
remote consultation, it is to be observed that usage is developing more slowly than the technologies themselves,
and cultural resistance varies from one country to the next.
To sum up…
A dynamic barometer
Since its creation in 2006, the annual pan
pan-European barometer on "the relationship and practices of European
citizens with regard to their health systems" has evolved considerably, for at least three reasons.
The first is that, over the years, the barometer quickly expanded to include in its observations the United States,
and as many as eight European countries - some of which, such as Poland, have made the transition from
communism to capitalism. Contrasts were thus particularly evident between the countries that maintain strong
and specific policies, with somewhat uneven levels of economic development, distinct social trad
traditions and varying
systems of healthcare coverage. Having been able to observe this diversity with a view to gaining a better
understanding of it is one of the major strengths of this barometer, the evolution of which has tracked that of the
fields of investigation themselves.
The second reason for this development comes as the result of the emergence of new parameters over the years,
which must be taken into consideration in order to acquire an up date perspective of the relationships and
practices of citizens in a system that is seeking to modernise, in particular with the introduction of new
The third reason is that the world itself has continued to experience rapid development, with situations arising
such as economic, social and even moral crises. In these changing circumstances, the barometer also serves to help
maintain our course by using the same benchmarks in order to continue making progress and to benefit from a
more long-term vision; a more global understanding of significant changes. Today this development in time and
space enables us to take stock, so as to embrace a global, more long term perspective, looking beyond
A consolidated vision
Over a period of 3, 5 or 7 years depending on each country, it can be noted that the assessments made by those
surveyed in each country regarding the organisation of their healthcare system ultimately return more or less to a
median level, the ratings differing from one country to the next but remaining coherent within eac individual
The reading of curves over a period of several years thus enables us to disregard the characteristics unique to each
population, but also to verify whether the often abrupt variations are the consequence of measures,
announcements or events, the impact of which will fade in time.
Let's take, for example, the case of Germany, and the opinion of its population with regard to its healthcare
system, its curve having climbed the most between 2006 and 2013, increasing from 3.9 to 5, wit a peak of 5.5 in
2012. This variation is remarkable compared to those experienced in the other countries observed over a long
As such, the opinion curve of French, by comparison, paints the picture of a long and tranquil river!
Convergent ends and divergent means
While, with the notable exception of Germany, national opinions regarding healthcare systems show signs of
consolidation over time, opinions vary more greatly when one touches upon other subjects. Admittedly, there is
consensus regarding the competence of doctors or the confidence placed in the healthcare authorities in general.
It is reassuring to note, for example, that in spite of the healthcare scandals that regularly crop up here and there,
confidence in the institutions and also in the technical aspects of healthcare remains intact.
But while everyone is in agreement in demanding improved equality of access to treatment, while still observing
improvement, major division is evident when it comes to the question as to the means of implementation and the
means of financing healthcare expenses. Here again, the observations made by the barometer since 2006 have
much to teach us.
Models in the process of becoming uniform?
In reality, everything is happening as if, little by little, the models on the basis of which the various countries have
built their social security system, and more broadly their healthcare system, have been falling into disuse. Thus, the
beveridgian and bismarckian systems from which we drew influence in the initial studies seem to have lost their
relevance in light of the changing mentalities, the arrival of new generations, more global models arising from the
globalisation of practices and even new form of individualism…
It is thus noted that the use of taxation to finance the increase in healthcare expenses receives fewer and fewer
votes, including in countries in which it was traditionally preferred, and this phenomenon is particularly notable
among young people, who, unlike their elders, did not experience the golden years following the Second World
War and did not taste the fruit of this period like those over 60 years of age.
The crisis and the cancellation of treatments
The crisis of 2008 no doubt contributed to expanding the generational gap, and all analyses converge in
demonstrating that the austerity policies implemented since then penalise a growing number of families and
individuals. In particular, the study reveals this in its analysis of the threats perceived by those surveyed in each
country. It is most revealing, for example, to note the increase in the postponement or decision not to spend
money on healthcare for needs as vital as routine treatment and medication, not to mention dental treatments
and the purchasing of glasses, which often require supplementary insurance in order to be eligible for
These postponements must have underlying reasons linked to changes in regulations relating to the organisation of
treatments and reimbursement for certain services. However, nowadays, in the context of an economic crisis,
financial reasons take precedence and those who do not benefit from comprehensive care are the first to be
The case of the United States is particularly revealing when reading the results of the study, on account of the
different types of social cover from which individuals benefit - or not as the case may be - on the other side of the
A reluctance to new mandatory deductions
Paradoxically, in the European countries, where the social security systems still ensure a minimum level of cover,
the acceptance of the use of individual insurance solutions that work on the basis of an excess payment - personal
financing - is evident.
Within a context whereby financial resources are scarce, the use of taxation to ensure equality of access to
treatment is being met with an increasingly negative response by those who are in a position to pay it, that is,
mainly those who are active and younger peo
The issues of dependency
The other major debate concerns the provision of care to the elderly. The average score awarded to the quality of
care for the elderly has not changed since 2012. For the European countries it stands at 3.7, a long way off the
American average of 4.9. In Europe, this remains some way below the assessment of the healthcare sy
is given the grade 4.7.
Expectations therefore remain high in this area, even though improvements have already been perceived, to a
greater or lesser degree depending on the country, as a result of solutions already implemented. Among these
solutions, the provision of home care for dependent people remains the preferred solution throughout, by some
margin. However the envisaged methods of financing in order to provide this support continue to vary
considerably depending on the country, as does the choice of organisations to provide this service - public or
private, voluntary or otherwise.
Aside from Swedish who are huge supporters of public financing, the solutions that are increasingly preferred are
mixed solutions with varying levels of financing, either public, private or personal. Ultimately, a homogeneous
solution does not appear to be emerging, whether between the European countries or between Europe and the
United States, where solutions also vary depending on the different types of social insurance.
New technologies in the phase between acquisition and effective use
Consensus is beginning to be reached in the majority of countries regarding new technologies and their desired use
in prolonging home care. Therefore telemonitoring, but also robotics are being met with substantially more
While telemonitoring has become commonplace, as has the use of the Internet to consult information relating to
healthcare, the sharing of information and personal opinions regarding healthcare via the web is far from being
common practice. Likewise, mobile telephone technology is awaiting applications that would be used on a massive
scale, but that are as of yet only used marginally.
CSA contact: firstname.lastname@example.org