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Welfare Reform on the Web (April 2009): Healthcare - overseas

The emergence of global health partnerships as facilitators of access to medication in Africa: a narrative policy analysis

M.Z. Ngoasong

Social Science and Medicine, vol. 68, 2009, p. 949-956

Major barriers to access to medication in Africa include disease pandemics, the high prices of patent-protected drugs, poverty, inadequate infrastructure, and lack of political will. Over the last decade global health partnerships (GHPs) have emerged to deal with these challenges. GHPs are collaborations between pharmaceutical companies, UN organisations, developing country governments and public and private foundations aimed at ensuring efficient product development, healthcare delivery and technical support for national disease control programmes. These stakeholders each have their own views about where the emphasis of global health policies should be laid in relation to actual and potential access to medication. The task of GHPs is to reconcile these sometimes competing and conflicting strategies and to prove that global health improvement targets can be met in disease endemic countries. This article demonstrates that in order to better evaluate the impact of GHPs in African countries, it is important to understand the historical context from which they emerge.

From women's health to gender mainstreaming and back again: linking feminist agendas and new governance in healthcare

E. Kuhlmann

Current Sociology, vol. 57, 2009, p.135-154

The women's health movement has been a driver of healthcare reform since the 1960s. It was a forerunner of today's commonplaces for the successful reform of health systems, particularly primary care, prevention of ill-health, and integrated models of care with multi-disciplinary teams. Women also significantly advanced new policy approaches on user participation, collaborative working, and better information for patients. This article traces the interactions between the women's health movement and healthcare system reform. It is argued that feminist agendas are needed in order to mainstream gender approaches in health reform processes

Health promotion in action: from local to global empowerment

R. Labonte and G. Laverack

Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008

Globalization is reshaping the field of health promotion practice. This book develops a new 'domains' approach to health promotion. It includes global case studies showing this domains approach in action. It uniquely brings together analysis of health promotion and globalization. It provides practical guidance for health promotion practitioners. Examining health promotion in the context of globalization, this book explores how globalization affects health and shows how practitioners can respond to these new challenges.

The impact of globalisation on teleradiology practice

Y.Y. Shieh, F.Y. Tsai and M. Shieh

International Journal of Electronic Healthcare, vol. 4, 2008, p. 290-298

Traditionally, healthcare has been conducted in a relatively local setting and has been more or less immune to globalisation. However, the advent of telemedicine and the proliferation of electronic medical records have demonstrated that a certain amount of healthcare business can be conducted remotely and therefore outsourced abroad. Teleradiology can be viewed as an indicator of the feasibility of globalising healthcare services in general. This paper explores the feasibility of US hospitals using overseas radiologists to interpret diagnostic images.

Paying for hospital-based care of Kala-azar in Nepal: assessing catastrophic impoverishment and economic consequences

S.R. Adhikari, N.M. Maskay and B.P. Sharma

Health Policy and Planning, vol. 24, 2009, p. 129-139

Kala-azar (KA) is a tropical disease caused by the bite of an infected sandfly which, if not treated, is fatal in over 80% of cases. This paper discusses the economic burden on households of hospital-based care for the disease, using recently developed methods of catastrophic impoverishment impact assessment along with an investigation of the consequences of loan and interest repayments. The study found that over 20% of non-poor households fall into poverty due to out-of-pocket (OOP) expenditure on hospital-based KA care. Some methods of financing out-of-pocket payments for treatment, such as high-interest loans from the informal finance sector, can have a worse impact on low-income households than the actual OOP payments themselves, leading households into a poverty spiral that is hard to escape.

Practising open disclosure: clinical incident communication and systems improvement

R. Iedema and others

Sociology of Health and Illness, vol. 31, 2009, p. 262-277

This article focuses on the policy of open disclosure that is being adopted by healthcare organisations in the US, Canada, the UK, Australia and other nations. Open disclosure policy mandates open discussion of clinical incidents and medical errors with patient victims. In Australia, open disclosure policy implementation is currently being complemented by intensive staff training, involving simulation of apology scenarios with actor-patients.

The public sector's role in infertility management in India

A. Widge and J. Cleland

Health Policy and Planning, vol. 24, 2009, p. 108-115

This paper explores the public sector's role in infertility management in India. A survey of 6,000 gynaecologists in four cities and in-depth interviews with 39 showed that basic investigations and services are limited or incomplete, there is inadequate infrastructure and management, lack of information and training, absence of clear protocols, private practice by public health doctors, pre-occupation with other health issues and lack of regulation. Realistic and low-cost management, streamlining and regulation of services, counselling couples, providing information and raising awareness of patients, health professionals and policymakers are recommended.

Safeguarding patient privacy in electronic healthcare in the USA: the legal view

D. Walsh and others

International Journal of Electronic Healthcare, vol. 4, 2008, p. 311-326

Personal information in electronic medical records in the USA is accessible to physicians, hospitals, insurers, pharmacies, government agencies, pension funds and employers who generate and/or process it. This gives rise to concerns about invasion of privacy. This paper provides an overview of US state and federal legislation governing electronic medical records and their extensions. The analysis reveals legislative shortcomings not addressed by current regulations and explores how these unresolved legal issues will escalate as health information is transmitted over wireless and mobile networks.

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