How can we ensure that people remain as healthy as possible for as long as possible? How can we reduce health inequalities? How can we keep health care affordable and timely accessible with better outcomes for all patients? How should we organise and finance our health care models to ensure they are fit to respond to tomorrow’s needs? Policy makers across the European Union face these pressing challenges as they strive to put health at the centre of their policy agendas. The State of Health in the EU initiative meets these objectives. It is a two-year cycle of indepth analysis that strengthens... health system knowledge available to both the Member States and the Commission. Crucially, this is an expert-driven exercise involving the OECD and the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies, two internationally renowned players in the field. This document is the first of a new series of biennial reports to accompany the State of Health in the EU’s profiles.