Publication Health and Care 27 April, 2023

Looking Outward: International lessons for health system reform

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On its founding in 1948, the Health Secretary Aneurin Bevan argued that the National Health Service would “make Great Britain the envy of all other nations”. Whilst this was once true, sadly, it is no longer the case. Our population is becoming less healthy, outcomes from and access to healthcare are deteriorating, and successive waves of reform have failed to deliver real benefits for patients and citizens.

In Reimagining Health: a framing paper, Reform identified four core challenges that stand in the way of building a world-leading health system:

  1. The health creation challenge
  2. The centralism challenge
  3. The healthcare delivery challenge
  4. The fiscal challenge

In this paper, Looking Outward: International lessons for health system reform, we examine what policymakers in Britain can learn from abroad to help address these challenges and transform our system. We draw on insights from health systems in both high income, and low- and middle-income countries to draw out lessons on successful transformation. By learning from experiences abroad, we can start to reimagine our approach and once again build a world leading health system.