Snapshots of Health Systems - 16 countries

The Snapshots of health systems provide brief overviews of the health systems and health care in those countries which constituted the European Union Member States prior to May 2004, i.e. Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom. Furthermore, the health system in Israel is summarized. The information covers the organization and financing of the health systems, in addition to the provision of and developments in health care in each country.

The reports draw on the Health care systems in transition (HiT) series of published profiles, as well as on the accompanying summaries and on-going reports. The HiT profiles are key components of the work of the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies. They provide relevant comparative information on health systems which are extremely useful for policy-makers and analysts involved in developing health care systems in Europe. The HiT profiles are building blocks that can be used:

  • to learn in detail about different approaches to the organization, financing and delivery of health services;
  • to describe the process, content and implementation of health care reform programmes;
  • to highlight challenges and areas that require more in-depth analysis, and
  • to provide a tool for the dissemination of information on health care systems and the exchange of experience of reform strategies between policy-makers and analysts in different countries.

The HiT profiles are produced by country experts in collaboration with the Observatory’s research directors and staff. They provide a source of descriptive information on health care systems and can be used to inform policy-makers about experiences in other countries that may be relevant to their own national situation. They can also be used to inform comparative analysis of health care systems. This series is an ongoing initiative: material is updated at regular intervals. Comments and suggestions for the further development and improvement of the HiT profiles are most welcome and can be sent to info@obs.euro.who.int. HiTs, HiT summaries and a glossary of terms used in the HiTs are available on the Observatory’s website.