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

Communities and global health

R. Parker

Global Public Health, vol. 4, 2009, p.227-322

This special issue presents a selection of papers delivered at the Global Health Council's 35th Annual International Conference in 2008. The papers shed light on work being done to deliver health services to diverse communities around the world. They cover issues such as bridging the gap between policy and practice, improving youth health, and delivering services to refugees.

Couples head for Continent to beat British curbs on IVF

M. Henderson

The Times, June 30th 2009, p. 10

The first study to evaluate the extent of 'fertility tourism' around Europe has found that hundreds of British couples are travelling abroad for IVF treatment every month. Almost two-thirds involve women over 40 who do not qualify for free IVF on the NHS. A private IVF cycle typically costs at least £4,000 in Britain - twice the amount charged in parts of Southern and Eastern Europe. Françoise Shenfield of University College Hospital, London, who coordinated the study, has told the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology conference in Amsterdam that she understood why couples might consider travelling abroad for treatment but they should also know that foreign clinics were not regulated to UK standards.

(See also The Guardian, June 30th 2009, p. 8; The Independent, June 30th 2009. p. 14)

Israeli lay persons' views on priority-setting criteria for Alzheimer's disease

P. Werner

Health Expectations, vol.12, 2009, p. 175-186

As knowledge about Alzheimer's disease accumulates, and as more therapeutic and non-therapeutic interventions for its early diagnosis treatment are developed, the health care costs associated with the disease rise dramatically. Therefore, setting priorities for funding these therapies, as well as other costs associated with Alzheimer's disease, is becoming more complex in the light of resource constraints. This article explores the views of Israeli lay people on what criteria should be used to guide priority-setting decisions.

Prescribing behaviour among village doctors under China's New Cooperative Medical Scheme

X. Sun and others

Social Science and Medicine, vol. 69, 2009, p. 1775-1779

In 2003, the Chinese government launched a New Cooperative Medical Scheme (NCMS) to help finance rural healthcare. It began in 305 pilot counties and is expected to cover all rural areas by 2010. Such health insurance is intended to reduce catastrophic medical payments, but could also encourage opportunistic behaviour from healthcare providers, such as overprescribing of drugs. This study compares drug prescribing in village health stations in areas with and without the new scheme. It is concluded that overprescribing is common in all villages, but worse in those covered by the NCMS.

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