Health Care Systems in Liberal Democracies

Health Care Systems in Liberal Democracies

Health Care Systems in Liberal Democracies

Health Care Systems in Liberal Democracies


Health Care Systems in Liberal Democracies looks at the way in which health care is organized and delivered in: * Australia * Italy * the Netherlands * Sweden * the UK * the US It also examines the continuing quest for solutions to some of the seemingly intractable problems on the health care agenda. The organisation of health care in each country is analyzed within a common framework.


Comparative literature on health and health care has proliferated in recent years. This reflects both the sustained level of interest in health as an area of study and the continuing quest for solutions to seemingly intractable problems as those responsible for health care systems struggle to respond to the challenges associated with providing health care in the modern world.

Much of the material, however, is inaccessible to British students at sub-degree and undergraduate level not only in terms of its sheer quantity but also because of its analytical sophistication, which relies upon a good deal of basic knowledge about the systems involved. Many students are, therefore, restricted to a consideration of the British nhs and may well reach final year undergraduate level with little or no knowledge of other health care systems or even an awareness that the British nhs is but one example of a government’s response to the health needs of a modern society.

As teachers of politics, public administration and health care management, we have become increasingly conscious of the need to ensure that students have a wider perspective and are able to draw upon knowledge of other health care systems in order to inform the analysis of their own. To this end, our intention is to present a concise and accessible examination of health care systems in six liberal democracies: Australia, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States of America. These have been selected largely on the basis of the personal interests of the contributors.

Quite deliberately, our objectives are modest. We do not seek to apply a comparative methodology in the strict sense of presenting and testing general hypotheses. Instead, we have attempted to identify a number of salient features of health care systems and their contexts which, together, constitute a framework for analysis. Students will be offered the opportunity to acquire some rudimentary comparative skills and, more

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