Whilst there are significant differences between many of Europe’s healthcare systems, there are actually more similarities than people often realise. For example, Italy, Spain and Portugal, all have public healthcare systems modelled to some extent on the NHS, while the Scandinavian countries have tax-funded systems that share many things in common with the UK.
This part of our website explains why NHS managers should consider looking further afield at the good practice and innovative ideas employed by other EU countries to overcome today’s common challenges.
Even where organisational structures are completely different, such as with social insurance models, they share common values and objectives and face similar challenges, for example, adapting to programmes of reform, reconfiguration, financial constraints, the impact of changing demographics, an older health workforce, and increases in obesity.
In view of this, and in particular with the focus on exploring new models of care, NHS organisations and their senior leaders have much to gain from exchanging expertise and experiences personally with colleagues in other member states, especially where different systems offer opportunities to try out different ideas and approaches.
The NHS European Office can help NHS managers and clinicians understand the European context as they shape their organisations and healthcare economies in the new landscape by:
- facilitating access to good practice and expertise in other countries;
- advising on opportunities offered by EU funding programmes for collaborative research and other joint initiatives with partners from across the EU;
- facilitating access to comparative studies in specific areas;
- facilitating European peer links between groups of healthcare professionals or health care providers.