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How to compare national health-care systems? Part II

February 11, 2008

In a previous post I wondered how prices are computed in health-care systems where market forces are absent, since markets are the only way to reveal actual prices. However, one indicator for the cost of a nationalized health-care system may be to look at the country public debt as a percentage of GDP. In this list of countries, Italy’s got the sixth largest public debt at 106%, Greece the 13th largest at 82%, France the 18th at 67%, Germany the 20th at 65%. Does the WHO ranking of health-care systems take into account such numbers? Considering that these three European countries have very little foreign policy and military expenses, one is left to wonder why their governments are so indebted. It would be interesting to know how much of those public debt numbers is due to their nationalized health-care systems.

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