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Welfare Reform on the Web (February 2005): Healthcare - Overseas

ECONOMICS OF HEALTH CARE FINANCING: THE VISIBLE HAND

C. Donaldson and K. Gerard

Basingstoke, Hants: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004

This book provides an up-to-date and comprehensive review of the key global health care reforms of the last 20 years. The authors examine the economics of health care systems, including sections on market failure, the objectives of health care systems, funding and the future. The authors draw conclusions about whether governments should intervene in health care, about who is best placed to mediate on health care financing issues and about the challenges of the future. There is also an international appeal as an increasing number of countries have introduced health care reforms over the years.

HEALTHCARE REFORM IMPLEMENTATION: STAKEHOLDERS AND THEIR ROLES: THE ISRAELI EXPERIENCE

T. Horev and Y.M. Babad

Health Policy, vol.71, 2005, p.1-21

In 1995, Israel implemented a healthcare reform. A new National Health Insurance Law came into force, creating compulsory health insurance for all residents through membership of one of four existing health funds, with portability of membership among funds. Paper describes the behaviour of stakeholders in the reform, namely the public, healthcare providers, the Ministries of Health and Finance, policy elites and scholars, and various business interest groups. Goes on to discuss their impact on the implementation of the reform.

MEETING HEALTH CARE COSTS: THE CASE OF CHILDHOOD CANCER IN SINGAPORE

K.H. Ng and R.Ow

International Journal of Social Welfare, vol.14, 2005, p.33-43

Social security in Singapore is delivered through a compulsory personal savings scheme under the Central Provident Fund. Part of these savings go into three health insurance schemes: Medisave, Medishield and Medifund. Study examines the effectiveness of these schemes in making health care affordable for families with children suffering from cancer. Literature research and interviews with medical social workers and families show that the schemes are unable to cover childhood cancer treatment costs without the help of voluntary welfare organisations.

WHY NEOLIBERAL HEALTH REFORMS HAVE FAILED IN LATIN AMERICA

N. Homedes and A. Ugalde

Health Policy, vol.71, 2005, p.83-96

The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund used the economic crises of the 1980s to press Latin American countries to adopt neoliberal healthcare reforms with the aim of reducing costs. These neoliberal reforms advocate a reduction of the role of government in healthcare provision through privatisation and decentralisation. Paper presents a case study of the implementation of neoliberal reforms in Colombia and Chile, showing that they do not improve the quality of care, equity or efficiency. The only beneficiaries of the reforms appear to be multinational firms, consultants and World Bank staff.

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