Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
I forgot another important point up front:

* The poor health of the populations in our region also reflect a more unhealthy lifestyle (which also leads to increased demand for medicines relative to the West). Public authorities could battle this with preventive measures (not budget increases).

Furthermore, notes on two specific countries I know:

  • In Slovakia, the outgoing government acted as a neoliberal avantgarde, and the worst and most clearly hated of its 'reforms' was the elimination of social supports and privatisation in healthcare. The number you quote reflects that - in fact, many poor Slovakians just don't buy medicines anymore. This is the reason left-populist parties are now in wide majority in polls.

  • In Hungary, the main problems in healthcare (beyond the unhealthy lifestyle) are the underfunding of hospitals and, even after social discounts, the price of medicines for retirees. But hospital privatisation was averted for the time being, and at the moment the two main parties compete with promises to further increase supports.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Feb 13th, 2006 at 06:18:18 AM EST
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