Reforming health care: why we need to learn from international experience

This briefing gives an overview of international health system reform. Is there such a thing as international good practice?

Ensuring adequate health care for the population is a key challenge for every nation, now far harder to achieve given the global economic downturn. For developed nations with universal coverage the goals are how to maintain equitable access to care, public satisfaction, quality and greater efficiency while controlling costs.  Emerging economies face the tough challenge of how to deliver high-quality care at a price affordable to their new middle classes, while in low-income countries the priorities are more profound: how to provide basic health care across as much of the population as possible, for little money.

This briefing provides an overview of health care system reform, using international examples, and highlights both how the health systems of countries at varying levels of economic development can benefit from adopting international good practice and the value of a truly global exchange on health system reform.

This briefing also served as a discussion document for an international summit on health reform, hosted in partnership with Salzburg Global Seminar and the British Medical Journal, and held in Salzburg, Austria in November 2010.

Further information about this event is available, including a series of podcasts and a blog by Vidhya Alakeson, former Senior Fellow at the Nuffield Trust, which reflects on the common themes which emerged from discussions held at summit, and considers three examples of reform which illustrate the breadth of innovation currently underway.

Reforming health care: why we need to learn from international experience will be of interest to health care policy-makers, senior managers and clinicians, academics, emerging leaders and others interested in global health system reform.

Suggested citation

Dixon J and Alakeson V (2010) Reforming health care: why we need to learn from international experience. Briefing. Nuffield Trust.