V. Kapur and K. Basu
Health Policy, vol.71, 2005, p.181-193
Every Canadian has free access to physician and hospital services, but not all are covered for prescription drugs. Coverage for prescription drugs may be available to Canadians as part of their employment benefits. Provincial governments provide coverage for the poor and elderly. Two recent reports on healthcare in Canada focus on the need to help families with the cost of drugs. Article seeks to provide a fact base for policymakers designing government drug insurance programmes by analysing the current extent and quality of coverage. It relates coverage, or the lack of it, to the actual out-of-pocket expenses that Canadians have to pay to procure medically necessary drugs.
International Journal of Social Economics, vol.32, 2005, p.34-59
Article analyses the development of statute and case law relating to active euthanasia, assisted suicide and passive euthanasia (withdrawal or withholding of life-sustaining measures) in the USA. It finds that there are still problems in applying ethical and legal principles to specific cases which are complicated by poor patient-doctor communication, the ineffective use of advance directives, and the impact of the market economy on comprehensive palliative care. These problems call for reform to protect personal rights and dignity at the end of life.
International Journal of Public Sector Management, vol.18, 2005, p.25-36
Article explores different approaches to outsourcing by three Australian health organisations responding to government policy. Specific decisions on areas to be outsourced were made on the basis of the characteristics of the labour market, including employee skills levels and the availability of labour, the nature of industrial relations, the perception of what is core in relation to patient care, and a desire to get rid of obstructive middle management. Cost savings and increases in efficiency resulted from outsourcing, alongside a downsized labour force. However, where outsourcing did not proceed, similar results were obtained from the introduction of new technology, restructuring and the promotion of workforce flexibility.
Health Policy, vol.71, 2005, p.223-232
Hospitals in Canada have been inundated with recommendations and requirements for improving patient safety from government and other sources. Yet little guidance is available on the relative priority of various changes, and the costs and effects of improvements have not been studied. There is a need to collect and use cost-effectiveness evidence both to prioritise proposed safety improvements and to target new research. Paper proposes a method to generate the necessary evidence.
G. Carrin and C. James
International Social Security Review, vol.58, Jan.-Mar. 2005, p.45-64
Several low- and middle-income countries are interested in extending their existing health insurance for specific groups to eventually cover their entire population. Article analyses the experience of eight countries which have made the transition to universal coverage via social health insurance. Goes on to discuss the facilitating factors which speed the transition to universal coverage, including the level of income, structure of the economy, distribution of the population, ability to administer and level of solidarity within the country.