HealthBASKET – Health benefits and service costs in Europe

Programme: Sixth Framework Programme (FP6)
Project Status: COMPLETED (April 2004 – March 2007)

What aims and scope

To address needs of knowledge related to comparisons and definitions of available health services across European Union Member States and develop methodologies to assess costs and prices of individual services in those regions. 

How it became possible 

To achieve the objectives above, the consortium undertook a series of different actions, including:

  • Collecting and describing how different countries define the services provided within the system by analysing both the structure and contents of benefit “catalogues” (or “baskets”) and the process of defining these benefit catalogues
  • Exploring the possibilities of building a European taxonomy of benefits–based on that analysis and other relevant classifications–to enable a common language for cost comparisons
  • Reviewing methodologies used to assess costs and prices of services across countries and identify best practices in analysing costs at the micro level within the scope of international comparability
  • Evaluating cost variations among and within countries, using a selection of “case-vignettes” that represent needs for care in both in-patient and outpatient settings.
  • Identifying what data is required to engage in meaningful international comparisons

Where EHMA delivered


EU logoThis project received funding from the European Commission within the Sixth Framework Research Programme (Grant: SP21-CT-2004-501588). This page and the publications contained herein only reflect the author’s views. The European Union is not liable for any use that might be made of the information contained in this page and publications.


The HealthBASKET project has provided the first in-depth analysis of the benefit baskets and the benefit catalogues in nine European countries, representing a heterogeneous mix of health systems. 

Country studies have shown that information on this issue is often difficult to access since it is highly fragmented and non-systematic. Using a common framework and terminology to scan the different health systems in searching for benefit catalogues has allowed for heterogeneous information to be collected in a highly comparative manner. 

The methodology followed in our study could be applied to explore and describe the health baskets and catalogues in other European (as well as non-European) countries. Policy recommendations are present within the document. 

The report is also available in French, German, Italian, Polish and Spanish.


What our Members say

I have been active in EHMA since the first years of the '90s and I have seen its evolution from a small association of members interested in sharing knowledge on health management practices to the current status of reference and advisory key player for EU, health systems and organisations, stakeholders associations, industry and universities. EHMA is now a unique knowledge hub, policy advisor, community of practice and network of best in class organisations involved in health policy and management. A place where health managers can build their competences, policy-makers and stakeholder associations envision how to implement and sustain change through health management, industry leaders understand how to engage more effectively with health organisations and systems. The right place to nurture and grow health management capabilities and capacity for every stakeholder of health systems.

Prof. Federico Lega, University of Milan, Italy

Health management has a crucial function in shaping public health and health system challenges. The Medical University of Varna, Bulgaria had success in collaborating with EHMA on EU-funded projects that has resourced us to create new health management competencies for the future workforce. In addition to all classical definitions, health management is a science dealing with individuals, groups, and society at large. It is an art contributing to the beauty of our lives and an interactive communication process at all levels of institutions and human energy. I have also had the pleasure to chair the South Eastern European Special Interest Group which gives members a space to discuss and tools to address how health systems are managed in our regions.

Prof. Todorka Kostadinova, Medical University of Varna, Bulgaria

I enjoy the high level of interaction and engagement in EHMA’s activities, in particular during the annual conference where the panel discussions are rich and well prepared. As a hospital manager and professor of health management, EHMA motivates and inspires me to be creative. You go back home feeling energised from seeing old friends and making new connections, as well as being convinced of serving as EHMA’s ambassador. It’s a strong feeling of interdisciplinary engagement, but it also feels like being part of family-like community.

Prof. Sandra C. Buttigieg, University of Malta, Malta

EHMA is a pre-eminent organisation for everyone working in planning, managing and delivering health services across Europe. As a long standing member of EHMA I have always been impressed by the vibrant community of managers, researchers and academics it has created and by the many opportunities for sharing knowledge and funding opportunities it has brought to its members. Its international scope is impressive and its impact is often felt in management and research across European and national health systems.

Prof. Axel Kaehne, Edge Hill University, UK

Health workforce has become more essential in operating, managing and maintaining health systems lately, particularly in crisis and emergency situations. European healthcare professions and the workforce need to be high on the agenda of managers and decision makers. The Health Services Management Training Centre, Semmelweis University in Hungary is a longstanding EHMA member, because it connects us with collaborators and experts, with whom we can have complex debates, from whom we can learn and at the end find solutions in various challenging fields of healthcare management.

Dr Eszter Kovács, Health Services Management Training Centre, Semmelweis University, Hungary

As a hospital administrator and health management professor, I see on a daily basis that the healthcare challenges require talented and skilled managers to transform it. the EHMA membership has been beneficial to bring healthcare management research and education to the demanding healthcare services world, promoting healthcare management competencies and knowledge creation.

Dr Alexandre Lourenco, APAH - Association of Portuguese Hospital Managers, Portugal

Many healthcare systems in Europe and beyond are facing similar challenges which require innovative and creative solutions. EHMA’s annual conference, webinars, Programme Directors’ group and other activities and resources provide incredible opportunities for networking, connecting and sharing experiences. A distinct feature of EHMA is the diversity of members with representation from many countries, sectors and different communities of practice – academic, policy-makers, practitioners, managers, leaders and students. The annual conference is a highlight in the calendar year, offering a friendly, fun and learningful environment for emerging and established members to engage, collaborate and meet up with old and new friends. I am proud to be a member of the EHMA Board.

Prof. Ann Mahon, University of Manchester, UK

Society evolution, pandemics and ageing modify health needs. So, health policies and services are to change dramatically. EHMA, through webinars, workshops and annual conference provides an excellent insight to a professional changing world, favouring closeness to management innovation and the protagonists of these changes. As a primary care services’ manager, participating in EHMA activities is really worth it and allows to involve oneself in the innovation processes.

Dr Antoni Peris Grao, Consorci Castelldefels Agents de Salut (CASAP), Spain