EC Health Indicators
A key objective of the Public Health Programme (2003-2008) is to provide comparable information on the health of European citizens by developing health indicators and collecting data. The information to be collected should cover the health-related behaviour of the population (e.g. data on lifestyles and other health determinants); diseases (e.g. incidence and ways to monitor chronic, major and rare diseases) and health systems (e.g. data on access to care, on the quality of care provided, on human resources, and on the financial viability of healthcare systems).
The data collection will be based on comparable health indicators applicable to the whole of Europe, and on agreed definitions and methods of collection and use.
Under the current EU Health Programme, a list of European Community Health Indicators (ECHI) has been drawn up. Work on these indicators and the data collection is carried out by coordinated Working Parties and Task Forces, in close cooperation with Eurostat and the Community Statistical programme. Links will be strengthened with WHO, OECD and other international organisations active in health information.
The EU action focuses on improving the quality and comparability of these indicators to facilitate Member States and European networks in analysing information, and in order to increase the accessibility of information and data on public health. The final objective is thus to develop a European Union System of Health Information and Knowledge which is fully accessible to European experts and the general public.