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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Bernard J. Turnock, MD, MPH (University of Illinois at Chicago)
Description: The latest edition of this book is an outstanding collection of articles and essays on the American health system. More than two dozen separate topics are addressed by an impressive panel of contributors.
Purpose: The book's purpose is to provide an understanding of the health problems facing the U.S. in the 1990s, and especially those problems that have brought the system to the brink of significant reform in the organization, financing, and provision of health services. These worthy objectives are achieved as this book provides an excellent foundation for understanding both the problems facing the provision of health services as well as the underlying determinants of health and illness in American society.
Audience: Many audiences will find this book useful and interesting. These include students of health policy and health administration, as well as many professionals and leaders in the field of health services. The authors are very credible — the senior author is the current Assistant Secretary for Health in the Clinton Administration — and the contributors are a diverse selection of national policy experts.
Features: The technical features of this book, including illustrations, table of contents and index, are adequate. The references and recommended related readings are an excellent feature of this fourth edition. The need for a new edition is apparent in view of the current interest and recent debate over the form and content of health reform in America.
Assessment: Overall, this is an excellent and important contribution to the field. It is a must purchase for health libraries and must reading for those seriously engaged in thinking and planning for an enhanced health system for the U.S.