This study provides an overview of health policies and cost containment measures in the EU member states during the last 15 years. It begins with two background sections: a review of some aspects of the current systems of health care in the European Union, and a review of recent expenditure trends. The next section offers a new method of classifying cost containment measures. The following part of the book uses this classification scheme to summarize the measures adopted by the different member states and discusses such evidence as exists concerning their impact. It endeavours to draw some conclusions about the effectiveness of different measures, inevitably, given the methodological and data difficulties involved, these are rather tentative. Additional chapters examine the determinants of health care expenditure trends in the EU, and whether there is convergence in these trends.