This new OECD series aims to highlight the latest data in selected countries, to explain their health care systems and to provide key information in a clear and concise way. Each country snapshot highlights the most pertinent issues, be it smoking, obesity, surgical interventions, consumption of antibiotics, physicians density, etc., with the help of key statistics and are followed by brief policy recommendations.
English, PDF, 353kb
Although the United Kingdom excels in terms of access to health services, it is a middling performer relative to OECD peers in the domains of health status, risk factors and quality. Investment is required to improve acute care and primary care services, prevent obesity and harmful use of alcohol, and expand coverage of long-term care.
English, PDF, 337kb
Sweden has a healthy population and its health system is high-performing in many areas. A combination of relatively generous public funding and reforms focusing on quality measurement, competition and choice has produced good outcomes, especially in the hospital sector.
English, PDF, 362kb
Despite financial strains, Portugal has shown a great level of commitment towards improving the quality and efficiency of its health system while maintaining a universal public system. However, although progress has been achieved, certain areas demand further scrutiny such as access to health care services – especially among the most vulnerable population – quality of care, healthier lifestyles and the long-term care system.
English, PDF, 564kb
The German health system is characterised by high levels of human and physical resources guaranteeing good access to care with a low direct financial burden for patients. Nevertheless, the changing demographic situation with a rapidly ageing society creating new demand for health services will pose a challenge for Germany’s health system.
English, PDF, 396kb
Denmark has a strong and high-performing healthcare system. However, challenges remain when it comes to primary care and prevention. Harmful alcohol consumption and rising overweight and obesity rates among adults suggest a need for targeted public health policies in Denmark.
English, PDF, 380kb
The Netherlands has seen remarkable improvements in the health of its population but also faces several challenges. The burden of cardiovascular diseases has declined but cancer prevalence is relatively high. Financial sustainability is of concern, while reforms in mental and long-term care that aim to improve efficiency must be monitored carefully.
English, PDF, 152kb
Although increasing, life expectancy in the Czech Republic, at 78.3 years, was still below the OECD average of 80.5 years in 2013. The Czech Republic presents above average levels of risk factors such as tobacco, alcohol consumption and obesity. To cope with the expected rise in chronic diseases, the Czech Republic will have to shift care from the hospital sector and strengthen preventive health care.
English, PDF, 345kb
Hungary ranks among the OECD countries with the highest rates of obesity, harmful alcohol use and tobacco smoking. These are leading behavioural risk factors for non-communicable diseases. Hungary has implemented a public health tax and tight policies on alcohol consumption, but alcohol taxation is mild and unrecorded alcohol and tobacco consumption are significant.
English, PDF, 413kb
In the past 30 years Korea has gone from having a limited medical infrastructure, fragmented financing and limited population coverage, to a health care system characterised by universal coverage, one of the highest life expectancies in the world while still having one of the lowest levels of health expenditure among OECD countries.