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Health systems and policy research in Europe: Horizon 2020.

Walshe, K., McKee, M., McCarthy, M., Groenewegen, P., Hansen, J., Figueras, J., Ricciardi, W. Health systems and policy research in Europe: Horizon 2020. Lancet: 2013, 382(9893), 668-669
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Rationale
Europe is a natural laboratory for learning about health policies and health systems. With diverse systems to fi nance, provide, and govern health care across the 27 member states of the European Union and the wider European region there are many opportunities for international comparative analyses and natural experiments. Health-care costs, quality, and outcomes vary widely, which strongly suggests that there is enormous potential for European research into health systems to enable countries to make their systems more effi cient and to improve outcomes. Although health and health care are predominantly national or regional responsibilities, governments and health system leaders at every level have much to learn from how other countries deal with what are often shared problems and challenges, and the European Union has a crucial part to play in enabling such learning through research.

Conclusions
Research into these issues can make important contributions to national policy development and bring improvements even in highly cost-constrained health systems. The need for such research has never been greater. Health-care systems in Europe are facing an unprecedented challenge.