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Comparing health systems

Prospect/SMF provide the most comprehensive overview of international health systems to date. There is ammunition for both NHS reformers and traditionalists

By Beth Egan   April 2002

There was a time when comparing health policies meant swapping stories about operations, or trading anecdotes about long waits in casualty departments. That all changed over breakfast on 16th January 2000, when Tony Blair made his now-famous pledge to David Frost to raise levels of health spending in this country to the EU average by 2006. Suddenly, a fact long known to policy experts and academics became the stuff of everyday conversation: Britain was trailing badly in the international league table of spending on health as a proportion of GDP. For weeks after the prime minister made his promise, you…

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