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

Citizen deliberation in setting health-care priorities

N.J. Murphy

Health Expectations, vol.8, 2005, p.172-181

Article explores the nature of citizen deliberation and the implications of this for citizen input into healthcare priority setting. Drawing on the theoretical work of Charles Taylor and a review of attempts to explore citizens' views about health care priorities, author considers the various influences on people's preferences about the development of health services and policy, including their own health concerns, their subjective experiences of health care, their interactions with others, and their awareness of, and inclination to reflect, commonly held values and/or to work towards common goals.

Competing ideals and the public agenda in Medicare reform: the 'garbage can' model revisited

K.N. Kalu

Administration and Society, vol.37, 2005, p.23-56

Article analyses the political and strategic reasons for policy stalemate in the reform of Medicare, using the work of the National Bipartisan Commission on the Future of Medicare as a case study. It concludes that the Commission failed in its endeavour to reform Medicare because of partisan differences in issue framing: Republicans framed it as an economic and budgetary issue, while Democrats framed it as a social insurance issue.

Disability declines and trends in Medicare expenditures

K.G. Manton & XiLiang Gu

Ageing Horizons, 2005, Issue No.2, p. 25 - 34

Awareness of the varied distribution of disability prevalence, currently ignored by health cost predictions for the U.S elderly, may identify savings for the Medicare Trust Fund. This paper presents figures on the following, with discussion and explanation of methods:

  • Severity of disability across time
  • Post 65 population changes within disability groups
  • Medicare cost changes for disability groups and the U.S elderly population.

Epidemiological change and health policy for older people in developing countries: some preliminary thoughts

P. Lloyd-Sherlock

Ageing Horizons, 2005, Issue No.2, p. 21 - 24

Predicting the health needs of growing elderly cohorts in developing countries is hampered by "epidemiological polarisation" where preventable diseases and diseases associated with wealthy nations both account for high and rising instances of mortality and illness. Socio-geographic zones also account for differing epidemiological scenarios. This article reviews policy responses to these challenges.

Establishing strategic alliance among hospitals through SAIS: a case study in Taiwan

W.-F. Hung, H.-G. Hwang and C. Liao

International Journal of Electronic Healthcare, vol.1, 2005, p.277-290

Article explains how a Strategic Alliance Information System was used to underpin partnership working between hospitals in Taiwan. The system consisted of: a joint purchasing system, a joint performance evaluation system and a joint marketing system. The latter in fact offers free consultations with a doctor via the Internet.

The Global-local dilemma of a Ministry of Health: experiences from Uganda

A. Jeppsson and others

Health Policy, vol.72, 2005, p.311-330

During the 1990s, government in Uganda was decentralised. This has not led to improvements in the health services or the health of the population. The root of the difficulty may lie in the fact that the Ministry of Health has become disengaged from its local community, while becoming more closely linked to the global biomedical expert community.

Health policy and high-tech industrial development

M. R. Di Tommaso and S. 0. Schweitzer (editors)

Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, 2005

Many countries and regions are actively promoting high technology industries as a means of stimulating the economy. The authors point out that these efforts are not only encouraging economic development, but they also reduce an economy's vulnerability to the negative consequences of trade globalisation. The authors illustrate that the development of a country's health industry not only improves the country's health status, but promotes an industry with relatively stable, high wage employment, creates the potential for exporting goods and services, and produces scientific spillovers that will favourably impact on other high-technology industries.

Hospital priority setting with an appeals process: a qualitative case study and evaluation

S. Madden and others

Health Policy, vol.73, 2005, p.10-20

Case study provides an in-depth analysis of a treatment rationing process in a Canadian hospital and its attendant appeals mechanism. The inclusion of an appeals mechanism was found to be fundamental to the perceived fairness of the system. It also enhances the involvement of stakeholders and increases overall patient satisfaction.

The impact of China’s retail price control policy on hospital expenditures: a case study in two Shandong hospitals

Q. Meng and others.

Health Policy and Planning, vol.20, 2005, p. 185 - 196

Following the implementation of a retail drug price control policy by the Chinese government, drug expenditures rose in the two hospitals case studied. High expenditure on price controlled drugs was noted despite the lack of adequate evidence of efficacy and safety for the use to which the drugs were put. Analysis of drug utilization and expenditure on patients with cerebral infarction was used by this before-and-after policy study which concludes that retail price control in isolation is ineffective in containing hospital drug expenditure.

Interest groups and health system reform in Greece

E. Mossialos and S. Allin

West European Politics, vol.28, 2005, p.420-444

The National Health System in Greece was established during the 1980s. Between 1985 and 2000 there was little further change. In 2000 the Minister of Health announced an ambitious reform plan which consisted of four components: 1) co-ordination of insurance funds' purchasing and monitoring activities; 2) the establishment of 17 regional health systems; 3) the organisation of a primary healthcare system through a contractual relationship with primary care doctors; and 4) the introduction of an evaluation programme for doctors. The reform package was largely defeated by a combination of opposition from doctors and trade unions, the political isolation of the Health Minister, and strains on the public finances.

Mapping e-health strategies: thinking outside the traditional healthcare box

H.J. Wen and J. Tan

International Journal of Electronic Healthcare, vol.1, 2005, p.261-276

Article presents an overview of the various strategies that healthcare providers can use to deliver their services online via the Internet. Approaches include virtual doctor visits, online medical supplies procurement, electronic medical records, online information on disease management, directories of physicians and healthcare providers, health insurance services and consumer health portals.

Medical savings accounts and the Canada Health Act: complimentary or contradictory?

J.M. Byrne and T. Rathwell

Health Policy, vol.72, 2005, p.367-379

Since its inception, the publicly funded health care system in Canada has been heavily criticised. Many models for reform have been proposed. One of the more popular proposals involves the introduction of a national Medical Savings Account (MSA). MSAs "belong" to individuals and contain funds earmarked exclusively for covering health care costs. Once the fund has been exhausted, the individual must bear the cost of any additional services required. Article considers the impact of MSA adoption on health care in Canada.

Policies for healthy ageing

K. Howse

Ageing Horizons, Issue No.2, 2005, p. 3 - 14

Drawing from recent publications written from varied perspectives, this article looks at dilemmas and consensus in healthy ageing policies aimed at effectiveness and fairness. The paper is framed by OECD economic geography, and looks at:

  • ageing populations
  • the need for health care
  • technocratic policy change
  • social inequalities

Population ageing and healthcare expenditure

A. Gray

Ageing Horizons, Issue No.2, 2005, p. 15 - 20

The need for reliable forecasting of the impact of demographic change on national health expenditure prompts this review of both recent work and the evolution of research in the area. The paper also looks at implications for health care policy and future research.

Social movements in health

P. Brown and S. Zavestoski (editors)

Oxford: Blackwell, 2005

Health social movements (HSMs) are an innovative and powerful form of political action aimed at transforming the health care system, modifying peoples' experience of illness, and addressing broader social determinants of health and disease in diverse communities. This book represents the first collection of research on HSMs. It brings together the study of health and illness with social movement theory in order to establish a basis for the study of health social movements. Contributions cover both health and social movements focused on diseases such as Alzheimer's and breast cancer, the complimentary and alternative medicine movements, and movements around stem cell research.

Theory and practice of waiting time data as a performance indicator in health care: a case study from the Netherlands

A.P. Stoop, K. Vrangbaek and M. Berg

Health Policy, vol.73, 2005, p.41-51

Article addresses the issue of why published data on waiting times for treatment do not influence patients' choice of healthcare provider. Authors argue that, in order to become meaningful to the patient, waiting time data needs to be linked to other information such as treatment options, the quality of the consultant physician, and certainty of treatment at a given date.

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