Nordic health care systems. Recent reforms and current policy challenges



This book examines recent patterns of health reform in Nordic health care systems, and the balance between stability and change in how these systems have developed. The health systems in Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Finland are investigated through detailed comparisons along a variety of policy-driven parameters.

The following themes are explored:

  • Politicians, patients, and professions
  • Financing, production, and distribution
  • The role of the primary health sector
  • The role of public health
  • Internal management mechanisms
  • Impact of the European Union

The book probes the impact of these topics and then contrasts the development across all four coumntries, allowing the reader to gain a sense of perspective both on the individual systems as well as on the region as a whole. The editors also explore the extent to which a Nordic Health Care Model exists, and the degree to which that model will continue to help explain the future direction of health policy-making in these four countries. An additional chapter on recent developments in Iceland completes the work.


Jon Magnussen is Professor in the Department of Public Health and General Practice at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, Norway.

Karsten Vrangbæk is Director of Research at the Danish Institute of Governmental Research, Copenhagen, Denmark.

Richard B. Saltman is Associate Head of Research Policy at the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies, and Professor of Health Policy and Management in the Rollins School of Public Health of Emory University in Atlanta, USA.

Contributors: Tinna L. Ásgeirsdóttir, Paula Blomqvist, Johan Calltorp, Terje P. Hagen, Unto Häkkinen, Peter K. Jespersen, Pia M. Jonsson, Lars Erik Kjekshus, Allan Krasnik, Meri Larivaara, Juhani Lehto, Kalevi Luoma, Jon Magnussen, Dorte S. Martinsen, Pål E. Martinussen, Bård Paulsen, Clas Rehnberg, Ånen Ringard, Richard B. Saltman, Signild Vallgårda, Karsten Vrangbæk, Ulrika Winblad, Sirpa

Published by Open University Press