Synopses & Reviews
This book presents the health reform experiences during the past three decades of twelve small and medium-sized nations that are not often included in international comparative studies in this field. The major conclusion of the study is that despite many similarities in policy goals, policy challenges and in the menu of policy options for countries that seek to offer universal coverage to their population, the health reforms of the nations of this book did not converge into one direction or model. However, we found several widespread policy experiences that are relevant for others, too. For example, user fees are unpopular everywhere. Governments often try to soften the consequences by exempting large groups of users, thus largely defeating the very purpose of those fees. As as a second example, the introduction of new payment modes for medical care -- like the shift from fee for service to case-based payment -- took much longer than originally expected everywhere, and also failed to deliver their promises of improved transparency or efficiency gains; third, proposals for universal coverage often ignored the challenges of implementing new financing models that elsewhere took decades if not centuries to develop.The conclusions contain both empirical finding as well as theoretical conclusions of interest to policy-makers and scholars of international comparison. It is accessible for academics, healthcare managers and students as well as a wider audience of readers interested in the changes in healthcare across the world.