Patient access to medical technology across Europe

Eur Heart J. 2004 Apr;25(7):611-6. doi: 10.1016/j.ehj.2004.02.015.


Access to medical technology differs across Europe. Differences in funding and reimbursement systems create barriers for the adoption of new and innovative medical technology. It is obvious that a joint effort between representatives from the industry and the profession has great potential to emphasise inequitable discrepancies and thereby improve the availability of accepted innovations in cardiovascular medicine. It is equally obvious that future efforts to overcome such restrictions to availability must be directed at the individual country level. The involvement of the profession, perhaps best accomplished by activation of National Cardiac Societies, will be mandatory for success. Collaboration with the industry is then a likely key factor for success. Presently there seems to be a great lack of knowledge and interest for this important aspect of a well functioning health care system and the responsibility to improve it remains with the professional societies. They need to allocate time and resources for this purpose, educate their members and lobby within their countries with the ambition to create better, more uniform and transparent procedures, and to become natural partners in the funding and reimbursement processes.

MeSH terms

  • Biomedical Technology / statistics & numerical data*
  • Costs and Cost Analysis
  • Diffusion of Innovation
  • Europe
  • Financing, Organized
  • Health Expenditures
  • Health Services / economics
  • Health Services Accessibility / economics
  • Health Services Accessibility / standards
  • Health Services Accessibility / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Reimbursement Mechanisms