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February 25, 1974

Health Service Prospects: An International Survey

Author Affiliations

University of Chicago Chicago

JAMA. 1974;227(8):945. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03230210055032

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This book was compiled and published to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the eminent medical journal The Lancet in October 1973. The book contains 15 articles by 17 authors who describe the health service systems in 15 countries, namely, the United Kingdom, Belgium, France, German Federal Republic, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Sweden, Ghana, Cuba, India, Japan, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, China, and the United States.

As with all compilations, the scope, detail, and analytical attempts are uneven. All are, however, informative. Given the occasion—the 150th anniversary of The Lancet—and the request for a short review, it would not seem to be appropriate to make invidious evaluations of the papers. What stands out is the apparent range of "workable" systems in different situations. All authors say their respective systems need improvement, albeit they are doing quite well, given the current state of finances, resources, and administrative personnel. These