Lessons from Abroad: What We Can Learn from Other Health Systems

Research and preparation of a book on comparative health systems

Jeffrey Merrill, PhD, then at the Joseph L. Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, New York, wrote a comparative study of other countries' health systems that identified components that might be relevant to the redesign of the U.S. health care system.

Such redesign seemed probable under national health care reform efforts that were just beginning at the time the grant was made in 1991. Merrill's book, The Road to Health Care Reform: Designing a System That Works, was published by Plenum Press in 1994.

Merrill analyzed how different countries approach similar issues in structuring their health care systems and delivering health care.

Key Results

  • The Road to Health Care Reform: Designing a System That Works covers the following topics:

    • The book examines a range of problems facing the US health care system, and then reviews the health care systems in Australia, Canada, Japan, France, Germany, Great Britain, the Netherlands, and Sweden. In comparing these systems to the U.S. health care system, the book analyzes how different countries approach similar issues in structuring their health care systems and delivering health care. The book covers the following areas:
      • Chapter One - Introduction.
      • Chapter Two - The Origins of Our Health Care System.
      • Chapter Three - Diagnosing the Problem.
      • Chapter Four - Closing the Frontier.
      • Chapter Five - Making Health Care a Right.
      • Chapter Six - Financing and Organizing Health Care.
      • Chapter Seven - Cost Containment and Reimbursement.
      • Chapter Eight - Tying It All Together.
      Approximately 3,400 copies of the book have been sold or distributed since its publication.