Romanians, in the last place in the EU on looking for health information online

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One in two EU citizens (55%) aged 16-74 reported that they had sought online health information related to injury, disease, nutrition, improving health or similar in the past three months prior to 2020, according to an Eurostat survey. This was two percentage points (pp) higher than the previous year (53%) and up by 21 pp from 2010 (34%).

In addition, 20% of EU citizens reported that they made an appointment with a practitioner over the internet. Fewer (13%) accessed other health services via a website or app instead of visiting the hospital or a doctor in person, while 11% of citizens accessed their personal health records online.

The share of people seeking health information online for private purposes varied across EU Member States. In 2020, the highest share was recorded in Finland, where 77% of people aged 16-74 searched online for health-related topics in the last three months prior to the survey, followed by the Netherlands (76%), Denmark (72%) and Germany (70%).

In contrast, the lowest shares were observed in Romania (28%), Bulgaria (29%), Italy (35%; 2019 data) and Poland (43%).

Over the last decade, the share of individuals seeking health information online has risen in the vast majority of the EU Member States. The highest increase in the number of people looking for health information online was recorded in Czechia (+41 pp) and Cyprus (+40 pp), followed by Spain (+34 pp), Ireland and Croatia (both + 33 pp).

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