Aims/hypothesis: We assessed country-level and individual-level patterns in patient and provider perceptions of diabetes care. Methods: The study used a cross-sectional design with face-to-face or telephone interviews of diabetic patients and healthcare providers in 13 countries from Asia, Australia, Europe and North America. Participants were randomly selected adults with type 1 or type 2 diabetes (n=5,104), and randomly selected diabetes-care providers, including primary-care physicians (n=2,070), diabetes specialist physicians (n=635) and nurses (n=1,122). Multivariate analysis was used to examine the relationships between outcomes and both country and respondent characteristics, and the interaction between these two factors. Results: Providers rated chronic-care systems and remuneration for chronic care as mediocre. Patients reported that ease of access to care was high, but not without financial barriers. Patients reported moderate levels of collaboration among providers, and providers indicated that several specialist disciplines were not readily available to them. Patients reported high levels of collaboration with providers in their own care. Provider endorsement of primary prevention strategies for type 2 diabetes was high. Patients with fewer socio-economic resources and more diabetes complications had lower access (and/or higher barriers) to care and lower quality of patient-provider collaboration. Countries differed significantly for all outcomes, and the relationships between respondent characteristics and outcomes varied by country. Conclusions/interpretation: There is much need for improvement in applying the chronic-care model to the treatment and prevention of diabetes in all of the countries studied. Each country must develop its own priorities for improving diabetes care and comparison with other countries can help identify strengths as well as weaknesses.