Policy ForumGlobal Health

WHO Ranking of Health System Performance

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Science  31 Aug 2001:
Vol. 293, Issue 5535, pp. 1595-1596
DOI: 10.1126/science.1059029

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In its World Health Report 2000 (WHR2000), the World Health Organization published a ranking of its measures of health system performance of its 191 member states. WHO's performance measurement initiative both stimulated and contributed to debate on an important and neglected topic. This policy forum argues, however, that the WHO algorithm has serious shortcomings in that it neglects potential variables (such as geography) that can affect a country's performance.