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From The CriticsReviewer: Eric P Matthews, PhD, MSed, MA (A. T. Still University)
Description: This overview and analysis of the economics of the U.K. healthcare system uses a unique real-world contextualization of healthcare costs; for instance, correlating the cost of in-vitro fertilization (IVF) to the comparative number of school lunches the same money could provide.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide a broad overview of the economics of healthcare delivery in the U.K. The book does this through a correlation of economics in the real world to the economics of healthcare. It introduces the means for evaluating the economics of healthcare while understanding the theories and concepts of economics in general. The book admirably does this in an easy-to-understand format that is quite readable.
Audience: The book is geared toward postgraduate students undertaking studying the economics of healthcare. It is definitely not an introductory book, nor would it lend itself to undergraduate study except at an advanced level.
Features: Within a broad overview of the economics of healthcare, the book undertakes an in-depth study of the entire topic. This is accomplished through an introduction to general economic analysis, a correlation to healthcare markets, an examination of the costs of healthcare relative to other consumer goods, payment methods for healthcare, economic evaluation of healthcare, and using that evaluation in decision-making for healthcare stakeholders. The book uses real-world comparisons to contextualize healthcare costs, which allows readers to make a determination about the actual value of a service. The book assumes a base level of knowledge about economics and healthcare, which the authors acknowledge in defining their target audience.
Assessment: This is a well-written book that contextualizes healthcare economics in the real world. It defines economic principles and correlates them to healthcare while discussing the means for undertaking an economic analysis of healthcare and using the findings of that analysis to make determinations about healthcare.