This article presents an analysis of recent changes in the public-private mix in health care in eight European countries. The leading question is to what extent a process of privatization in health care can be observed. The framework for the analysis of privatization draws on the idea that there are multiple public/private boundaries in health care. The overall picture that emerges from our analysis is diverse, but there is evidence that health care in Europe has become somewhat more private. The growth of the public fraction in health care spending has come to an end since the 1980s, and in a few countries the private fraction even increased substantially. We also found some evidence for a shift from public to private in health care provision. Furthermore, there are signs of privatization in health care management and operations, as well as investments. Specific attention is spent on the identification of factors that push privatization forward and factors that work as a barrier to privatization.

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