Home Evidence on climate and health Projections and Tools Accessibility of hospitals in Europe
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Accessibility of hospitals in Europe

Being able to arrive timely at a hospital is an essential aspect of access to healthcare. This remains key under the changing climate, given the increasing pressures on people’s health from heatwaves, extreme weather events or infectious diseases. The map viewer below, based on Eurostat data, presents the average travel time to the nearest hospital per NUTS3 region – under the normal circumstances and in a hypothetical situation, where the hospitals located in potential flood-prone areas are excluded.

For further healthcare statistics at the regional level, see here.

Key messages

  • In 2020, an estimated 82.5% of the EU population was living within 15 minutes driving time of their nearest hospital.
  • In almost two-thirds of the NUTS3 regions considered, the average travel time to the nearest hospital was below 15 minutes.
  • In the highly urbanized areas of Western Europe, the average travel time to the nearest hospital was mostly limited to below 20 minutes. In the less densely populated areas in Southern, Eastern and Northern Europe, the average time to reach the hospital can take over 40 minutes (for 20 NUTS3 regions).
  • Excluding the hospitals located in potential flood-prone areas extends the average travel time for NUTS3 regions from just under 22 minutes to nearly 24 minutes.
  • For over half of the NUTS3 regions, the travel time did not change or became only marginally longer when the hospitals located in potential flood-prone areas were excluded. In five regions, the travel time became longer by over 20 minutes; in further 16 NUTS3 regions, the travel time became longer by over 10 minutes.

The dataset has been prepared and made available under the EEA – European Commission (RTD) Service Level Agreement on “Mainstreaming GEOSS Data Sharing and Management Principles in support of Europe’s Environment”. See the metadata here and here.