International Resources

Thanks to Joel A. Harrison, Ph.D., MPH for compiling the list of links below.

International Links

  • European Observatory on Health Care Systems This is a phenomenal asset. Using a set format to allow comparisons between countries, each report is about 150 pages including history, legislation, organization, delivery, financing, process and outcomes, current problems and future trends. Shorter summaries for each of the countries are also available. In addition, they have specific reports on a number of topics, including international comparisons of efforts to improve quality, etc.

International Comparisons — Process, Outcomes, Costs

The Commonwealth Fund Commission on a High Performance Health System. Why Not the Best? Results from the National Scorecard on U.S. Health System Performance, 2008. New York, July 2008. [based on both national and international benchmarks, this study covers topics such as quality, access, outcomes, cost, and timeliness. We often here about wait times in other countries without a compared to what? This study found that in a ranking of 6 nations, the U.S. ranked last on “ability to see doctor same/next day when sick or need medical care,” and “[getting] care after hours without going to the emergency room.]

Nolte E, McKee M. Measuring the health of nations: analysis of mortality amenable to health care. BMJ 2003; 327: 1129-33.

Nolte E, McKee CM. Measuring the health of nations: updating an earlier analysis. Health Affairs 2008; 27(1): 58-71

Gusmano MK, et al. A New Way to Compare Health Systems: Avoidable Hospital Conditions in Manhattan and Paris. Health Affairs. 2006; 25(2): 510-520.

Links by Country

Multiple Countries Summaries & Additional Sources







Books & Monographs


  • Rodwin VG. The Health Care System Under French National Health Insurance: Lessons for Health Reform in the United States. American Journal of Public Health. 2003; 93(1): 31-37.


New Zealand




  • Glenngård AH, Hjalte F, Svensson M, Anell A, Bankauskaite V.
    Health Systems in Transition: Sweden. Copenhagen, DK: WHO Regional
    Office for Europe on behalf of the European Observatory on Health
    Systems and Policies, 2005.
  • Rae D. Getting Better Value for Money from Sweden’s Healthcare System. Economics Department Working Papers No. 443. Paris, FR: OECD.$FILE/JT00189812.PDF
    This OECD document “Getting Better Value . . .” is quite good. One flaw is its discussion of the one for-profit hospital in Stockholm. While it is true that this particular hospital provides quality care at a low cost, it has to. In an environment hostile to for-profit medicine, one lone hospital has to mind its Ps and Qs or their charter would be revoked. Once the system becomes dominated by the for-profit industry, it’s an entirely different ballgame, as we know from the U.S. experience. Research shows that private, investor-owned hospitals have higher costs and higher mortality rates than private, non-profit hospitals in the U.S. The author of the document doesn’t take this into account.



United Kingdom