Healthy, wealthy and wise

ECONOMICS OF HEALTH CARE FINANCING: THE INVISIBLE HAND Cam Donaldson and Karen Gerard Publisher: Macmillan, UK Price: Not stated Pages: 216

Published: Thursday 30 September 1993

WHILE no two health care systems are alike, certain questions are germane to all: How do markets for health care work? Should governments work in the health care market? Why, and to what extent? What form could such intervention take? What is the trade-off between equity and efficiency?

The first half of Economics of Health Care Financing assesses the contribution of economics in a clear, concise manner while the remaining half reviews several mechanisms that have been introduced to regulate both the demand and supply sides of health care markets. The book notes that despite involvements of large amounts of public and private money and resources, and besides the potential effect on the welfare of a large number of people, scant regard is paid to the economic principles and economic evidence on the costs and effects of health systems.

The book outlines economic principles of markets and market failure that underpin various methods of financing health care and assesses evidence from economic studies of different methods and future challenges for research and policy-making regarding health care financing. It focuses on changes in financing arrangements taking place in different regions of the world.

Economics of Health Care Financing defines markets, but interestingly it also strips markets bare and describes how they would work in ideal conditions.

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