How other health systems operate
The Irish healthcare system is unusual in that the State owns most hospitals here, writes Thomas Molloy
COMPARING healthcare systems is difficult. Some countries such as Britain and the Netherlands use one common system for the entire country. Others, such as Germany and the United States, rely more heavily on their federal structure and there are often large differences from region to region.
Still, it is fair to say that the Irish system is unusual. Here, the State owns and operates almost all hospitals while also employing the vast majority of staff. Most other countries act as regulator and operate some sort of insurance scheme with varying degrees of success. Hospitals tend to be privately owned.
In a recent World Health Organisation health-care ranking, France came in first, while the Netherlands came 17th, the UK came 18th and Ireland 19th. Germany came in 25th while the US, scored 37th. Here's how they do it.