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Welfare Reform on the Web (February 2003): Health Care - Overseas

BUT IS IT GOOD FOR NON-URBAN WOMEN'S HEALTH? REGIONALIZING MATERNITY CARE SERVICES IN BRITISH COLUMBIA

C Benoit, D Carroll and A Millar

Canadian Review of Sociology and Anthropology, vol. 39, 2002, p.373-395.

British Columbia has devolved control of health care to the regional level. In the case of maternity services, decisions may be taken closer to the community, but non-urban women's voices have not been heard by those in authority. Regionalisation has done little to improve maternity care services in rural areas and may have made the situation worse in the short term. Funding has not materialised for new initiatives, nor has a new service delivery model been introduced.

EU OPENS BORDERS FOR HEALTH TREATMENT

S Castle and L Linton

Independent, Dec. 4th 2002, p.1.

EU ministers have agreed a formal declaration enshrining the right of citizens to be treated anywhere in the union if their own country cannot provide care in a reasonable time frame. Health authorities in the home country will be obliged to cover the cost of such treatment.

GLOBALIZATION AND HEALTH POLICY IN KOREA

S Kwon

Global Social Policy, vol.2,, 2002, p.279-294.

Article first examines globalisation, economic crisis and health policy in Korea and emphasizes the positive role of globalisation in disseminating knowledge of the health policies and other nations. It then goes on to consider the globalisation-driven pressure to increase the role of the private sector in the health care system. The role of the state in health care provision is already small, and needs to continue to ensure that health care reform is properly formulated, implemented and evaluated.

HEALTH CARE POLICY IN AN AGE OF NEW TECHNOLOGIES

K Patel and M E Rushefsky

London: M E Sharpe: 2002

This book examines technology, values and health care policy in the United States in the new millennium. It discusses issues such as:

  • the right to die;
  • organ transplants;
  • genetic research and healthcare;
  • privacy of medical records and confidentiality;
  • health care rationing;
  • patients' bill of rights;
  • medical education and physician training.

THE HEALTH CARE STATE IN THE INFORMATION AGE

R Freeman

Public Administration, vol. 80, 2002, p.751-767

Paper identifies and interprets developments in the governance of health care implicit in the computerisation of the medical record. It draws on work in public policy, medical sociology and studies of science and technology as well as cross-national empirical research in Britain and France. It argues that information policy in health care can be thought of as a kind of state building. Government is defining and defending new administrative territory, and building an infrastructure that will allow new and sophisticated kinds of social and economic activity to take place.

LABOR MARKET CONSEQUENCES OF STATE HEALTH INSURANCE REGULATION

R Kaestner and K I Simon

Industrial and Labor Relations Review, vol. 56, 2002, p.136-159.

Study based mainly on the 1989-98 March Current Population Surveys found that increased state regulation of health insurance had no statistically significant effects on labour market outcomes such as the quantity of work, wages, or whether an employee worked for a small or large firm. Extensive small-group health insurance reform was associated with a slight decline in the private insurance coverage in small firms. The number and type of state-mandated health insurance benefits were unrelated to weeks of work, wages and the prevalence of private cover, but positively associated with hours worked each week.

TRADE-OFFS IN SOCIAL HEALTH INSURANCE SYSTEMS

R Jacobs and M Goddard

International Journal of Social Economies, vol. 29, 2002, p.861-875.

Paper examines the key features of social health insurance systems by drawing on experiences in Germany, Switzerland, France and the Netherlands. In these systems, contributions are calculated on the basis of ability to pay, access to care is on the basis of need, and a transparent mechanism is provided for the transfer of funds. Paper highlights the trade-offs that exist within this system by describing some of the strengths and weaknesses of such arrangements, the extent to which competition exists (and is considered viable), and how they perform on various criteria.

THE WRITING'S ON THE WALL

H Berliner

Health Service Journal, vol. 112, Dec. 5th 2002, p.31.

Public hospitals in Los Angeles County are facing draconian cuts due to budget deficits. No further financial aid is forthcoming from the federal government. Over three million County residents are uninsured and it is unclear how they will access healthcare if the public hospitals are closed.

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