05 December 2022

The European Commission and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development have published Health at a Glance: Europe 2022, as part of their ongoing series which assesses EU Member States’ health systems.

This year’s edition examines key challenges European countries need to overcome to develop stronger, more resilient health systems following the COVID 19 pandemic. The focus of this edition is on:

  • Strengthening the resilience of health systems, crisis preparedness and response capacity through targeted investments
  • Promoting better prevention and treatment of cancer and other non-communicable diseases
  • Preventing and addressing mental health challenges in the aftermath of the pandemic and in the current context of multiple crises
  • Supporting the digital transformation of health systems to make the most out of health data and new digital tools
  • Recognising the importance of regional, national, European and broader international efforts to address global public health threats.

The report includes a special focus on how the pandemic has affected young people’s mental and physical health. Anxiety and depression have significantly increased in all EU countries during the pandemic, affecting young people especially young women.  Growing demand for, mental health support has challenged already-stretched mental health care services, resulting in nearly half of all young Europeans reporting unmet needs for mental health care in the spring of 2022.

This edition of Health at a Glance: Europe makes a strong case for taking bold actions to respond to the mental health needs of young people and ensure the pandemic does not leave permanent scars on the aspirations and outcomes of the new generation.