QUALICOPC (Quality and Costs of Primary care in Europe) is a multi-country study, co-financed by the European Commission in the 7th Framework Programme that aims to evaluate primary care systems in Europe in terms of quality, equity and costs. Previous studies have established a link between the structure of primary care systems and health system performance at aggregated level.


QUALICOPC aims to analyse this link between primary care structure and health care system performance in a European context. These mechanisms will be disclosed, inter alia, by gaining insight in (1) the professional behaviours of health care workers and (2) the expectations and actions of their patients. More details on the study questions are available at www.qualicopc.eu.

To answer the research questions, the study will focus on the features of primary care at three levels:

  • The system level of primary care (including organisation, financing, regulation and available resources)
  • The level of primary care service delivery, such as in health centres and GP practices (including the role of the GP in facilitating access to health care services, conditions for integration of care, the range of curative and preventive services, continuity of care and community orientation)
  • The level of patients or users of primary care services (including physical, financial and psychological access, convenience and the responsiveness of health care staff).


For the system level (level 1), comparative information about primary care systems in Europe will be used from the recently developed PHAMEU database (see www.phameu.eu). For the levels of service delivery and patients, new information needs to be gathered by means of surveys in 31 countries in Europe (27 EU countries, Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Turkey). These surveys aim to gain insight in the professional behaviours of health care workers (level 2) and the expectations and actions of their patients (level 3). It is therefore important that we can link each patient’s questionnaire to their own physician’s questionnaire.

Although these surveys are major inputs to the QUALICOPC study, other information will be used as well. The PHAMEU database has been mentioned, but other external sources will also be used, such as: the System of Health Accounts (developed by Eurostat and OECD) and the Health Care Quality Indicators Project (by OECD).






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