Although health systems differ widely in their design, the inputs they use, and the outcomes they attain, policymakers in all OECD countries share the common goal of achieving high-performing health systems. Health and health care have improved dramatically over the past few decades, but at a cost, and public budgets are feeling the pinch. At the same time, further opportunities exist to improve the performance of health systems. Developed nations are grappling with the issues of sustainable financing, equitable access to services, better health outcomes, consumer responsiveness, and receiving maximum value for their money.
This volume offers a synthesis of findings from recent OECD studies undertaken as part of the three-year Health Project, an initiative to answer many of the key questions facing today's health policy makers. It provides information and analysis on a wide variety of topics, such as new and emerging health-related technologies, long-term care, private health insurance, health care cost control, equity of access across income groups, health workforce planning and productivity, and waiting times for elective surgery. Building on international experience and grounded in new data on cross-country differences, this report offers an up-to-date map of the road to performance improvement.