The people, institutions and resources, arranged together in accordance with established policies, to improve the health of the population they serve, while responding to people's legitimate expectations and protecting them against the cost of ill-health through a variety of activities whose primary intent is to improve health.
World Health Organization. European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies. Glossary. 2009.
A formal structure for a defined population, whose finance, management, scope and content is defined by law and regulations.
It provides for services to be delivered to people to contribute to their health and health care, delivered in defined settings such as homes, educational institutions, workplaces, public places, communities, hospitals and clinics, and may affect the physical and psychosocial environment.
A health system is usually organized at various levels, starting at the most peripheral to the state government, known as the community or primary level. It may include district, regional and central elements at a national level and provision for international contact and service delivery.