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Joint Report on Health Systems

Author(s): prepared by the European Commission and the Economic Policy Committee (AWG)

Joint Report on Health Systemspdf(2 MB) Choose translations of the previous link 

Summary for non specialistspdf(108 kB) Choose translations of the previous link 


This report analyses the drivers of health expenditure across EU Member States looking at the organisational features of health systems. It identifies main challenges in the context of rising demand and constrained resources enhanced by the recent economic crisis. It also identifies good practices that may lead to greater cost-effectiveness in the health system.

This Joint EPC/EC Report aims to understand the drivers of health expenditure and therefore expenditure differences across EU Member States. It does so by looking not just at demographic influences, as past reports by the EPC/EC have done, but going beyond that and looking at organisational features of health systems. Understanding what may explain the performance of countries' health systems can help find the right policies to strengthen the financial sustainability, access and quality of health services in a rapidly ageing world. Rising demand and constrained resources enhanced by the recent economic crisis makes cost-effectiveness one of the most important goals in this area. Cost-effectiveness is crucial if countries are to ensure universal access and equity in health, health financing and utilisation.

As a result of the wide analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the health systems in the EU, the report points to several policy challenges facing health systems across the EU. These need to be addressed resolutely in the coming years. The report also identifies a number of good practices that may lead to greater cost-effectiveness of health systems (i.e. getting more value for money out of the resources allocated to the sector) no matter what future burden demographic developments may hold.

A comprehensive annex details national health systems in the EU through 27 individual country fiches. Each fiche describes in detail the system in terms of recent and future expenditure trends and institutional features (financing and delivery of services). Finally, main country challenges are identified.

Country fichespdf(2 MB) Choose translations of the previous link 


(European Economy. Occasional Papers 74. December 2010. Brussels. Paper and internet. 186pp. )

KC-AH-10-074-EN-N (online)
ISBN 978-92-79-18864-0 (online)
doi: 10.2765/10069 (online)

Occasional Papers are written by the staff of the Directorate-General for Economic and Financial Affairs, or by experts working in association with them. The Papers are intended to increase awareness of the technical work being done by staff and cover a wide spectrum of subjects. Views expressed in unofficial documents do not necessarily reflect the official views of the European Commission.

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