OverviewThis book is about the politics of publicly provided health care. In Europe, health care is distinguished by the degree of government involvement in its organisation and finance. In the last twenty years, across countries, it has been subject to sustained pressure from those who use it, those who provide it and those who pay for it.This is the first general, comparative study of health policy and politics to focus on major countries of western Europe: France, Germany, Italy, Sweden and the UK. Each chapter develops factual comparison and contrast in the context of key ideas in social and political theory. It begins by identifying differences in arrangements for the finance, delivery and regulation of health care in different countries, explaining how health systems are to be understood as political entities. The politics of health in Europe describes and accounts for the evolution of state intervention in the health sector before comparing and contrasting different kinds of system. It examines recent changes in the organisation of health care as well as recent challenges to public health, including policy responses to AIDS.The book will be of interest to advanced students of politics, sociology and social policy, to specialists in health policy, medical sociology and health economics and to those with professional responsibilities for health care organisation and management.