Nordic health care systems. Recent reforms and current policy challenges (2009)



Edited by Jon Magnussen, Karsten Vrangbæk and Richard B. Saltman
Published by Open University Press
European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies Series
2009, xv + 337 pages
ISBN 978 0 33 523813 2 

The Nordic model of health care systems is assumed to contain consistent features across all five Nordic countries, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Iceland: tax-based funding, publicly owned and operated hospitals, universal access based on residency, and comprehensive coverage. The reality is considerably more complex, with great variation at the structural level in the way that institutions are designed and at the policy level in the way strategies are conceived and implemented.

This new comparative study, which also assesses the influence of the European Union on the Nordic health systems, highlights how the Nordic countries have retained the principles of universalism and equity while promoting the benefits of patient choice. These insights will be a welcome addition for health sector policy-makers and for students of health policy, not just in the Nordic countries but across Europe.