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Welfare Reform on the Web (August 2008): Healthcare - overseas

Conflict and crisis settings: promoting sexual and reproductive rights

R.P. Petchesky (editor)

Reproductive Health Matters, vol. 16, 2008, p. 4-152

According to estimates in 2005, there were some 33 million people worldwide in need of humanitarian assistance, mainly internally displaced people driven from their homes by conflicts or natural disasters.. Conflict and crisis settings not only lead to exile from home, but are places where healthcare, nutrition and security are severely compromised. This special issue looks through a gender-sensitive lens at conflict-related barriers to sexual and reproductive healthcare in settings which include the Palestinian Occupied Territories, eastern Congo, north and east Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, southern Sudan, Iraq and Jordan. The extent of implementation of international guidelines for programmes providing maternal healthcare, family planning, and sexual health services in these settings ia also examined.

Diseases know no frontiers: how effective are intergovernmental organisations in controlling their spread?

House of Lords Select Committee on Intergovernmental Organisations

London: TSO, 2008 (HL paper 143, session 2007/08)

Changes in lifestyle and globalisation are leading to the emergence of new diseases. These could spread rapidly, and the Committee predicts that the UK will eventually face a devastating pandemic. It calls for the restructuring of the dysfunctional World Health Organisation, and for new international disease surveillance systems in developing countries to alert the West.

Healthcare ICT in Europe: understanding trends in adoption and governance

D.E. Garets and J.K. Horowitz

Journal of Management and Marketing in Healthcare, vol.1, 2008, p. 286-296

Healthcare organisations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa are focused on improving patient care. Results of two surveys show that most organisations which participated are responding to the challenge by implementing ICT solutions in their hospitals. As they move forward with this agenda, healthcare organisations need to: 1) ensure that ICT systems support their broader strategic initiatives; and 2) engage clinicians in the process of system implementation.

Healthcare marketing has five 'P's

S.J. Gray

Journal of Management and Marketing in Healthcare, vol.1, 2008, p. 306-313

The traditional foundation of all marketing plans is the consideration of four key elements: product, price, place and promotion. This paper argues that healthcare marketing requires the extension of this foundation to include Principles, which are the means by which companies will protect their reputation. Companies which integrate principles into the marketing mix will be consistently be seen to do 'the right thing' by their stakeholders.

The impact of managed competition on diversity, innovation and creativity in the delivery of home-care services

G.E. Randall

Health and Social Care in the Community, vol. 16, 2008, p. 347-353

Between 1997 and 2000, a model of 'managed competition' was introduced in a major reform of the delivery of home-care services in Ontario, Canada. It was expected that, by allowing greater competition within the home care sector, this model would constrain costs and encourage provider agencies to become more creative and innovative in meeting user needs. This case study explores the impact of the reform on the for-profit and not-for-profit organisations that provided rehabilitation services. Results show that the reform did not necessarily lead to greater diversity, innovation or creativity in service delivery, but that differences between for-profit and not-for-profit organisations were eroded, and a new hybrid organisation exhibiting some of the characteristics of each has evolved.

Is the Mongolian health sector ready for a sector-wide approach?

A. Ulikpan, T.N. Mirzoev and I.S. Narula

Asian Social Work and Policy Review, vol. 2, 2008, p. 111-125

Mongolia has moved from a centrally planned communist system to a democratic regime since the fall of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s. Since then, the country has embarked on a path of political transformation, liberalisation and reform in all sectors, supported by different donors. Consequently the country, including its health sector, is highly aid dependent. Most of the aid is in project form as determined by donors, leading to inadvertent fragmentation of the health system. This fragmentation has been further aggravated by a weak Ministry of Health. Sector-Wide Approaches (SWAps) in the health sector emerged in the mid-1990s as one way of improving the effectiveness of external aid in line with host countries priorities, and through the development of national plans in collaboration with donors. This article aims to develop and apply an analytical framework for assessing the feasibility of SWAp in the health sector of a transition country like Mongolia.

Setting limits fairly: learning to share resources for health

N. Daniels and J. Sabin

Oxford: OUP, 2008

The central idea behind this book is that we lack consensus on principles for allocating medical resources - and in the absence of such a consensus we must develop and rely on a fair decision-making process for setting limits on health care. The book provides a cogent analysis of the current situation, reviews the usual candidate solutions, and describes its own approach. The audience for the book is global since the problem of limited resources cuts across all types of health care systems whether or not they have universal coverage.

Virtual community consultation? Using the literature and web logs to link community perspectives and health technology assessment

J.M. Street and others

Health Expectations, vol.11, 2008, p. 189-200

Community views, expressed in social impact assessments and collected through community consultation, should play an important role in health technology assessment, but are seldom included because they are time-consuming and resource intensive to collect. A review conducted in Adelaide in 2004 used grey literature and informal web logs as well as more formally published studies to investigate the views of people with diabetes about retinopathy screening. The sources yielded valuable insights, but the views of Australian Aboriginal people were not well represented.

What should be given a priority - costly medications for relatively few people or inexpensive ones for many? The Health Parliament public consultation initiative in Israel

N. Guttman and others

Health Expectations, vol. 11, 2008, p. 177-188

This article reports on a major public consultation exercise conducted in Israel. One hundred and thirty-two people participated in the Health Parliament, meeting both centrally and in six regional groups to discuss key policy questions relating to equity in service provision and criteria for determining which treatments should be funded via the National Health Insurance scheme. The impact of the Health Parliament's recommendations on policy was indirect, but participants felt that the initiative had been worthwhile.

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