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Welfare Reform on the Web (August 2004): Healthcare - Overseas

BRITAIN IS DRAINING MALAWI OF NURSES

D. Blair

The Daily Telegraph, July 20th 2004, p.11

Malawi, one of the world's poorest nations, has lost nine per cent of all its nurses in the past two years, with 82 per cent going to Britain. The country's expensively trained staff are a prize catch for the NHS and amounted to "Malawi subsiding other countries". Article reports of the plans to improve staff pay and conditions in Malawi's hospitals, a plan requiring aid from Britain.

CHINA'S HEALTH INSURANCE SYSTEM IN TRANSFORMATION: PRELIMINARY ASSESSMENT AND POLICY SUGGESTIONS

H.J. Rosner

International Social Security Review, vol.57, July-September 2004, p.65-90

Social security reform in China aims to combine universal, pay-as-you-go basic provision with individually funded supplementary provision. While the first half of the 1990s saw the establishment of a broadly uniform system of basic pensions, the 1998 attempt to introduce a general system of basic health insurance has not proved comprehensively successful, even for the population of towns and cities, despite the success of pilot projects. Article assesses progress to date and future prospects for success from a Chinese and an international perspective.

CONSTRUCTIONS OF HEALTH AND ILLNESS: EUROPEAN PERSPECTIVES

I. Shaw and K. Kauppinen

Aldershot: Ashgate, 2004

The volume provides a comparative European overview focusing upon the main areas of social construction as it relates to health and illness. This includes an emphasis on lay beliefs and the different way understandings of health can impact upon health behaviour. The contributors also examine health knowledge and the interaction and comparison between lay and professional knowledge systems.

INTERNATIONAL PUBLIC HEALTH: PATIENTS' RIGHTS VS. THE PROTECTION OF PATIENTS

Y. Beigbeder

Aldershot: Ashgate, 2004

This book highlights the need for cooperation between major organizations to ensure developing countries have access to affordable medicines and vaccines. The book reviews specific international public health issues and programmes from the vantage point of one particular intergovernmental organization - the World Health Organisation. Areas studied include the value and risks of public-private partnerships, the access of poor populations to essential drugs, the fight against malaria and tuberculosis and the HIV Aids epidemic.

A POLITICAL HISTORY OF MEDICARE AND PRESCRIPTION DRUG COVERAGE

T.R. Oliver and others

Milbank Quarterly, vol.82, 2004, p.283-354

The article explores the question of why there was no outpatient prescription drug benefit in the first 38 years of Medicare's existence. The history begins with the establishment of Medicare in 1965 and ends with the passage of the Medicare Prescription Drug Improvement Act that was passed in 2003. Under the new Act, Medicare beneficiaries will have three options:

  • keeping any private insurance against costs of prescription drugs that they have;
  • enrolling in a new, free-standing prescription drug plan;
  • obtaining drug coverage by enrolling in a medicare managed care plan.

Participation will be voluntary with Medicare beneficiaries and taxpayers sharing the cost.

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