This latest edition of Health at a Glance illustrates the progress that has been made, both nationally and internationally, in measuring the performance of health systems. At their meeting in May 2004, Health Ministers asked the OECD to work with national administrations to improve the evidence base for comparing health system performance by: 1) ensuring that OECD Health Data would be timely and accurate; 2) continuing the implementation of health accounts to improve the availability and comparability of health expenditure and financing data; and 3) developing indicators of quality of care and health outcomes in collaboration with national experts. Substantial progress has been achieved in all of these areas, and this is reflected by the broader range of indicators of inputs, outputs and outcomes of health systems presented in this publication.
The production of Health at a Glance would not have been possible without the contribution of OECD Health Data National Correspondents, Health Accounts Experts, and experts involved in the Health Care Quality Indicators project. The OECD gratefully acknowledges their effort to supply most of the data and qualitative information contained in this publication. The OECD also acknowledges the contribution of other international organisations, especially the World Health Organisation and Eurostat, for sharing some of the data presented here, and the European Commission for supporting data development work in the area of health accounts and quality of care indicators.
This publication was prepared by a team from the OECD Health Division under the co‐ordination of Gaétan Lafortune and Michael de Looper. Chapter 1 was prepared by Michael de Looper; Chapter 2 by Dominic Richardson, Franco Sassi, Michele Cecchini and Michael de Looper; Chapter 3 by Gaétan Lafortune, Rie Fujisawa and Jean-Christophe Dumont; Chapter 4 by Gaétan Lafortune, Valérie Paris, Gaëlle Balestat and Francis Notzon (from the National Centre for Health Statistics, United States); Chapter 5 by Ian Brownwood, Sandra Garcia Armesto, Niek Klazinga, Soeren Mattke (from Bain, United States) and Saskia Drösler (from Niederrhein University of Applied Sciences, Germany); Chapter 6 by Michael de Looper; and Chapter 7 by David Morgan, Roberto Astolfi and William Cave. All the figures were prepared by Gaëlle Balestat, with the exception of the figures for Chapter 5 which were prepared by Rie Fujisawa and Lihan Wei, and the figures for Chapter 7 which were prepared by David Morgan and Roberto Astolfi. This publication benefited from many comments and suggestions by Mark Pearson.