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Public Health

Companion Report

The Country Health Profiles are accompanied by a Companion Report, presented by the European Commission, which highlights a selection of horizontal observations based on the analysis of the country profiles.

The 2021 edition of the State of Health in the EU’s Companion Report consists of two parts.

Part 1 presents a chapter focused on European health systems’ resilience in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. The analysis is focused on 3 main takeaways:

  • Understanding the far-reaching health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The complex, direct and indirect health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic are only partly captured by currently available indicators. Reaching a full understanding of these will require further data collection and analysis in the coming years.
  • Locking in the advantages of digital innovation in healthcare delivery and public health. COVID-19 induced a massive acceleration in the uptake of digital health tools in healthcare delivery and public health. In the aftermath of the pandemic, assessing the efficacy, cost-effectiveness, and overall impact of these tools will be paramount to harness and sustain the use of these digital health technologies in the long-term.
  • Rethinking health workforce strategies and planning after the COVID-19 pandemic. The longstanding issue of health workforce shortages was thrown into sharp relief during the peaks of the pandemic in most European health systems. Building resilience in the health workforce will require action on multiple levers, including more sophisticated workforce planning and increased investment in skill-mix innovations in combination with a sustained expansion of the workforce.

Part 2 of the Companion Report presents a collection of the key findings from the 29 Country Health Profiles prepared by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies (Observatory).

Previous editions