Access to healthcare is an issue to be explored in its specificity – not in generality. The healthcare access that matters, is the access to care that is relevant and right for patients and the population in each country.

The Economist Intelligence Unit developed the Global Access to Healthcare Index to measure access across 60 countries. The index examines access to specific types of care, including care for patients with infectious diseases and noncommunicable diseases (NCDs).

Here are the key findings:

Brazil and Thailand outperformed several other high-income countries in access to medicines – thanks to special arrangements such as licensing agreements for production of generics

More experienced in dealing with NCDs, high-income countries have evolved to provide better access to NCD care compared to their less developed counterparts

With NCDs becoming an emerging challenge for less developed countries, large gaps in access to NCD care needs to be filled. More than 30% of countries studied in this report are underproviding basic colon cancer screening services.

China is where patients can find the best access to child and maternal health services 

For more on China’s paediatric market, read our report on Incubating a new strategy for China’s paediatrics market.

Relative lack of access to infectious diseases care in high-income countries due to low prevalence of such diseases

In three-quarters of the countries studied in this report, hepatitis B immunisation coverage among one-year-olds is >80%. Ukraine (46%) and Nigeria (66%) lags behind. But in the UK, the percentage is zero, as the country focuses on hepatitis B immunisation, screening and treatment only for high-risk populations.

To grow the business, companies need strategies that address their target market’s access challenges

Clearstate’s research insights and growth consulting services can help companies answer key questions on patient access in your markets:

  • How will healthcare policies and reforms impact patient access
  • How developed are local health infrastructure to support access
  • Where are the gaps in access in different countries
  • What pricing, payment and financing arrangements can be explored to improve patient access
  • How can you localize patient assistance and patient advocacy programs to improve access

For more on the Economist Intelligence Unit’s report, download Global access to healthcare: Building sustainable health systems. This report was sponsored by Gilead.

To speak to EIU Healthcare’s consulting team on how we can help you grow your business, please contact us at