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National Information Center on Health Services Research and Health Care Technology (NICHSR)

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Health Economics Information Resources: A Self-Study Course

Module 2 - Sources and Characteristics of Information Relating to Health Care Financing in the US  

Recapping Module 2: International comparisons

In summary, the introduction to the OECD, Health at a Glance 2001 report says it best:

“It is very important to note that variations in the indicators across countries and through time may reflect variations in the definitions of variables as well as variations in the phenomena being observed. In other words, despite growing agreement about international definitions of health variables, and growing adherence to these definitions among countries when reporting their data, there remain many definitional divergences and changes in what is reported…"

For this reason, care should be exercised before drawing conclusions about variations and trends in the underlying phenomena, especially for comparisons across countries.

 

 

 

 

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