Healthcare in Europe

The eurocrisis and austerity policies imposed by European governments have placed new pressures on healthcare systems across the continent. This page collates EUROPP’s coverage of healthcare and healthcare reform in Europe.

Given that obesity produces significant social costs, public health authorities need to be far more pro-active in designing interventions

Obesity is an increasingly important problem in European countries. Joan Costa-i-Font argues that obesity is an example of market failure and that policy should focus on changing social rewards to unhealthy food consumption and tackling the prevailing social norms with regards to sedentary behaviour at home and the workplace. Obesity in Europe has reached epidemic proportions. The prevalence of overweight […]


Europe has pursued a progressive agenda of tobacco control, driven by the UK, Ireland and other states in Northern Europe

Restrictions placed on the use of tobacco products have increased across European countries over recent decades. Donley Studlar assesses the different approaches taken in different states, noting that the UK, Ireland and several Nordic countries have more restrictive approaches than other parts of Europe. He also writes that the relative success of public health campaigns against tobacco use may act […]


The end of the Soviet Union’s anti-alcohol campaign may explain a substantial share of Russia’s ‘mortality crisis’ in the 1990s

Russia experienced an extreme spike in death rates in the immediate aftermath of the break-up of the Soviet Union. Jay Bhattacharya, Christina Gathmann and Grant Miller write that while this has typically been explained using political and economic arguments, the real cause of Russia’s mortality crisis may have been the end of Mikhail Gorbachev’s anti-alcohol campaign. Using a series of […]


The financial crisis means that Europe will need to look beyond the public sector to provide its healthcare needs

The financial crisis has led to public spending cuts across most European countries. Richard B Saltman and Zachary Cahn write that even if current levels of health spending are maintained, public healthcare systems will increasingly come under strain due to projected rises in healthcare costs. They argue that the only solution left for European governments is to increase the contribution […]


National health services tend to be introduced by countries with social democratic governments that also have a concentration of political power.

Why do different countries have different healthcare systems? Federico Toth looks at the three major types of healthcare systems in industrialised countries: voluntary insurance, social health insurance, and national health services (NHS). Using evidence from 15 countries, he argues that those countries with left-leaning governments tend to institute an NHS, while those who are right leaning or authoritarian tend to […]


Public reporting of quality indicators for long-term care in Europe has the potential to play a key role in driving improvements.

How do European countries differ in helping older people choose a care home, and what is the impact of the public reporting of quality information? In a comparative study of six European countries, Ricardo Rodrigues and Andrea E. Schmidt explain that public reporting is still a far from well-established mechanism to guide the selection of care homes, and user choice […]