Health at a Glance

Release Date: February 1, 2002

Health is essential for individuals to flourish as citizens and health systems are of growing size and importance in OECD countries. Indeed, the health system is now the largest service industry in most OECD countries.

Health at a Glance tells many stories, concerning changes in health status and health systems across OECD countries covering: life expectancy, health care resources, health system activities, health care financing, and health expenditure. At the same time, it provides striking evidence of the sheer size of the variations across countries in moss indicators of health system resources, activity and expenditure, as reported tot the OECD.

Tentative explanations for some of these variations are brought out in the commentaries. Nevertheless, many remain unexplained. To what extent do the remaining variations provide evidence of real differences in the funding and productivity of health systems across OECD countries? To what extent do they indicate the need for further work to harmonise the collection of international health data? This book poses questions and challenges to all health policy experts, managers and statisticians.