New database on health care resources

For every 100 000 people in the WHO European Region, on average, there are 52 practising dentists, and (according to data from 37 countries) almost 1 (0.93) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner.

The new European database on human and technical resources for health (HlthRes-DB) contains data on non-monetary health care resources in all 53 Member States in the WHO European Region. The data were collected jointly by the Statistical Office of the European Union (Eurostat), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and WHO/Europe.

HlthRes-DB contains nearly 200 indicators on human and technical resources for health. The joint data collection reduces the reporting burden on countries and ensures that the definitions used and information provided are harmonized between the international organizations.

Human resources indicators

Indicators include the number and density of a wide range of health personnel (such as physicians, nurses, midwives, dentists, pharmacists and health care assistants), according to three different concepts (those practising, professionally active and licensed to practice).

Information on employment in hospitals and numbers of medical and other graduates is also available.

Technical resources data

Data include the number and density of hospitals and hospital beds, stratified by ownership of facility (public, non-profit-making private and for-profit private), in addition to the number of beds for long-term care.

HlthRes-DB also contains indicators on the availability of the following medical equipment: computed tomography (CT) scanners, MRI units, positron emission tomography (PET) scanners, gamma cameras, digital subtraction angiography units, mammographs, radiation therapy equipment and lithotriptors.

Updates of other databases

WHO/Europe updated its statistical databases, including the European Health for All database, the European mortality database and the European detailed mortality database, in July and August this year.

European Health for All database (HFA-DB)

HFA-DB was updated with the latest data on mortality, and data from WHO technical programmes and other international agencies. WHO/Europe used the results of the joint data collection with Eurostat and OECD to update the data on health care resources and selected health care activities. In particular, historical data on hospital discharges, outpatient contacts and caesarean sections are now collected through the joint data collection for a subset of WHO Member States that submit data to Eurostat and/or OECD, as well as WHO.

European mortality database (HFA-MDB)

WHO/Europe updated HFA-MDB with the latest available cause-of-death data and added 19 country-years of data. HFA-MDB allows age- and sex-specific analysis of mortality trends by broad disease groups, and disaggregated to 67 specific causes of death. Subnational data are available for several countries.

European detailed mortality database (DMDB)

WHO/Europe updated DMDB with the latest available cause-of-death data, added  functionality to calculate potential years of life lost (PYLL) and improved the export of data to Excel and other spreadsheet programs. DMDB is a flexible tool for more specific analysis of causes of death. It allows the flexible selection of cause of death by International Classification of Diseases (ICD) code, age group and sex for analysis.