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Welfare Reform on the Web (February 2001): Health Care - Overseas

THE EFFECT OF EXPANDING MEDICAID ELIGIBILITY ON THE DISTRIBUTION OF CHILDREN'S HEALTH INSURANCE COVERAGE

L. D. Shore-Sheppard

Industrial and Labour Relations Review, vol. 54, 2000, p. 59-77

US Federal government legislation passed in the 1980s greatly expanded the Medicaid programme to include children in families with incomes at and slightly above the poverty threshold, regardless of family structure. Using March Current Population Survey data, author evaluates how the expansions affected private and public insurance coverage levels across the income distribution.

EQUITY IN THE ALLOCATION OF HEALTH CARE RESOURCES

T. A. Sheldon and P. C. Smith

Health Economics, vol. 9, 2000, p. 571-574

Article discusses the potential contribution that different disciplines can make to the development and implementation of effective policies to promote equity in health care resource allocation mechanisms. They discuss the problems associated with capitation methods, and note that a multidisciplinary approach may help to overcome these problems.

EUROPEAN HEALTH POLICY: ANGLO-SWEDISH LESSONS

A. May

British Journal of Health Care Management, vol. 6, 2000, p. 511-514

After decades of importing health policy ideas from the US, the UK government is now encouraging benchmarking with the EU. NHS Executive Trent Region's ongoing learning partnership with Uppsala County Council in Sweden is helping managers to question assumptions and activate real change.

EUROPEAN UNION HEALTH POLICY WITH AND WITHOUT DESIGN: SERENDIPITY, TRAGEDY AND THE FUTURE OF EU HEALTH POLICY

E. Randall

Policy Studies, vol. 21, 2000, p. 133-164

Concludes that the reluctance of European Union member states to support the establishment of a European Food and Public Health Authority will turn out to be a critical weakness in Commission plans to reform and strengthen the EU's competence in the field of health policy. An independent EU Health Authority is needed with legal authority and scientific legitimacy to enforce its rulings on recalcitrant member states to manage risks to public health.

HOW THE REIMBURSEMENT SYSTEM MAY INFLUENCE PHYSICIANS' DECISIONS: RESULTS FROM FOCUS GROUPS

C. Huttin and J. Andral

Health Policy, vol. 54, 2000, p. 67-86

Paper analyses on the basis of focus group discussions with doctors in France how treatment choices are influenced by cost to the patient in respect of mild hypertension, hay fever, dyspepsia and hormone replacement therapy. Reviews the strategies used by physicians to reduce costs to the patient. These include prescription of older and cheaper drugs.

POLICY CONTRADICTIONS LIMITING HOSPITAL PERFORMANCE IN CHINA

P. Likun, D. Legge and P. Stanton

Policy Studies, vol. 21, 2000, p. 99-113

Paper explores how the current policy environment in China both enables and constrains performance improvement in teaching hospitals. Key constraints limiting service improvement include: increased reliance on user charges which encourage competition for the more affluent patients; neglect of township and district level hospitals; the fact that charging prevents poorer people from using hospitals; lack of local control over human resource management; a bonus system which encourages staff to focus on revenue generation; and continuing interference by Communist Party officials.

RATIONING FOR HEALTH EQUITY: IS IT NECESSARY?

G. Davey Smith, S. Frankel and S. Ebrahim

Health Economics, vol. 9, 2000, p. 575-579

Article takes issue with three key assumptions made by health economists: that medicine contributes relatively little to population health; that health care rationing is inevitable; and that the reduction of health inequalities should be one criterion for health care rationing. Authors argue that none of these assumptions are tenable once consideration is given to knowledge from disciplines outside economics.

WEBSIDE MANNER

T. Reilly

Public Finance, Nov. 24th - 30th 2000, p. 24-25

Examines initiatives across Europe which use the Internet to improve the speed and effectiveness of health care delivery and to contain costs. These include electronic transmission of prescriptions, electronic procurement of drugs and medical equipment, and doctor-patient consultations via the web.