Health care is absorbing an increasing share of resources in all countries. It is the task of public policy to ensure that the nation secures good quality attention at an affordable price. This book, distinguishing clearly between health status and health care, examines the ways in which governments can keep down morbidity and mortality while also ensuring that treatments are medically justifiable, economically cost-effective and socially equitable. Ignorance, uncertainty, asymmetrical information, professional monopolies, insurance and poverty all mean that the market by itself is not enough. Pragmatic intervention is also required to ensure that well-being and social justice are delivered in combination with value for money. Health Care and Public Policy is a comprehensive and intelligible cross-disciplinary account of the objectives of health care policy (medical, social, economic) and of the policy-tools that government can employ (cost–benefit analysis, entry barriers, competition) in order to ensure that scarce resources are not wasted nor needy social groups deprived of basic and affordable care. Health policy is hotly debated in all countries. This cross-national book is timely and relevant. It will be of special interest to academics and students who want to deepen their understanding of health economics, social policy and administration, public policy and government, political economy and the logic of institutions.
Contents: 1. Introduction: A Thing Apart? 2. Health Status and Health Care 3. Needs and Wants 4. Payment for Health 5. The Value of Life 6. Efficiency 7. Utility 8. Equity and Equality 9. Equality and Health 10. Cost 11. Conclusion: Containing the Cost Bibliography Index