Health care is changing fast and patients' experiences and expectations are also changing. Developments in information technology and biotechnology are already having a profound influence on the way health services are delivered and the organization of health care is under reform in most countries. Patients no longer see themselves as passive recipients of care: increasingly they expect to be involved in all decisions that affect them.
This book reports the results of a major study carried out in eight different European countries to look at health policy dilemmas through the eyes of the patient. Drawing on literature reviews, focus groups and a survey of 1,000 people in each of the eight countries, the book addresses the following questions:
. Why might the patients of the future be different?
. What will patients and citizens expect from health systems?
. Will the public be willing to pay more for better health care?
. What kind of value trade-offs are people prepared to make, for example between prompt access and continuity of care, or between choice and equity?
. How will patients access information, advice and treatment?
. How should policy-makers and providers react to patients' desire for greater autonomy?
. How can public confidence in health systems be maintained in the future?
The European Patient of the Future is a clear, jargon-free text which will be a key resource for all health service professionals, health policy analysts and patient advocates.