Addressing financial sustainability in health systems (2009)




At the invitation of the Ministry of Health of the Czech Republic, this document is one of three reports produced by the Health Evidence Network and European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies for the Czech European Union Presidency Ministerial Conference on the Financial Sustainability of Health Systems (Prague, 10–12 May 2009):

1. Addressing financial sustainability in health systems – Policy summary

2. How can health systems respond to population ageing? – Policy brief 10

3. How can European states design efficient, equitable and sustainable funding systems for long-term care for older people? – Policy brief 11

These reports reflect key priority areas for European health systems, and ones where learning from comparative experience is crucial to informing future policy choices.


This policy summary underpins the key theme of the conference – financial sustainability in health systems. The report touches on the myriad elements involved in discussions on financial sustainability, and emphasizes the need for a clarification of the key concepts as a prerequisite to understanding both what is at stake and what is involved, in order to then consider potential policy decisions. Given the high level involvement at the conference, and towards enhancing the empirical relevance of the report and the research evidence it synthesizes, an earlier draft for consultation was presented at the conference. The current version represents the final report, taking into account the feedback received.