Europe’s ageing population and rising costs are challenging healthcare systems

The organization of healthcare will remain on the political agenda in the European Union and its Member States now and in the future. Healthcare is also an important but multifaceted audit topic. The Contact Committee of the Supreme Audit Institutions of the European Union has published an audit compendium on public health and related issues.

The compendium includes recent audits by Supreme Audit Institutions on issues such as disease prevention and protection, access to and quality of health services, the use of new technologies and the sustainability of public health funding.

Public health, as defined by the World Health Organization, is the science of preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting health through the organized efforts of society. Public health affects people’s lives daily around the world. Over the last few decades, the health systems in EU Member states have faced numerous challenges, such as ever rising costs and ageing populations, and patients as well as healthcare professionals are becoming more and more mobile across Member states. Public health is therefore on the political agenda of every modern society and will be for generations to come. In the European Union, public health is mainly the responsibility of the Member States. Consequently, public health, seen from an EU-wide perspective, is a complex area to audit.

The latest audit compendium covers the audits carried out by the Supreme Audit Institutions of 23 Member States and the European Court of Auditors between 2014 and 2019. The general objective of these audits was to assess whether the various policies and subsequent measures had been well designed and effective. The National Audit Office of Finland, as Finland’s supreme audit institution, participated in this compendium with an audit that assessed the reliability of trend projections for social security expenditure.

The preamble of the compendium deals with public health and the role of the European Union and the Member States in this policy area. The compendium also summarizes the work of the audit institutions and provides an overview of selected audits carried out by the European Union’s Supreme Audit Institutions since 2014. This audit compendium is already the second publication of the Contact Committee.

The compendiums are intended as a source of information for all interested parties and are available in all official languages of the European Union. The aim is to increase public awareness of audit results.

The Contact Committee of the Supreme Audit Institutions of the European Union is an independent, autonomous and non-political body assembly of the President of the European Court of Auditors and the heads of the Supreme Audit Institutions of the European Union Member States.

Check out the audit compendium here.