International comparisons of health care systems offer valuable tools to health ministers, policymakers, and academics wishing to evaluate the performance of their country's system. In this chartbook, we use data collected by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to compare health care systems and performance on a range of topics, including spending, hospitals, physicians, pharmaceuticals, prevention, mortality, quality of care, and prices. We present data across several industrialized countries: Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Whenever possible, we also present the median value of all 34 members of the OECD.
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is an international organization representing 34 industrialized countries that share a commitment to democracy and a market economy. The OECD produces reports and data on a wide range of economic and social issues, including the OECD Health Data series, an annual release of data on various aspects of health and health care in the member countries. Working with statistical offices in each member country, the OECD produces the most accurate and comprehensive international health care data available on the 34 nations. This chartbook also includes data from the 2009 OECD Health Care Quality Indicators—an OECD project initiated in 2002 that aims to measure and compare the quality of health service provision across countries. Data is also included from: an analysis by Ellen Nolte and Martin McKee of amenable mortality, originally published in Health Policy; an analysis by Gerard Anderson of IMS Health data on pharmaceutical prices; the International Federation of Health Plans on the cost of diagnostic tests; and an analysis by Miriam Laugesen and Sherry Glied on physician fees and income, originally published in Health Affairs.