Chapter 9 Notes

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International Development Studies
Anne- Emanuelle Birn

IDSB04 Chapter 11 Health Economic and the Economics of Health Introduction A key concern is the allocation and spending of resources in order to achieve particular health related goals and objectives. In health economics, its not just simply minimizing costs, but obtaining the greatest value from an efficient use of resources Many health economists regard health in terms of medical treatment and individual preventative measures while others understand health investments at the societal level apropos the underlying determinants of health, including education, safe housing, and employment *World bank and other proponents of orthodox (neoclassical) health economics target low cost intervention for developing countries- - advice is based on evidence of health improvements that are usually measured by short-term drops in specific disease rates -allocation decisions must prioritize resources and interventions that have the greatest impact at the lowest cost bc health resources are scarce *Proponents of health & social justice approaches stress the importance of comprehensive means of improving health that integrate primary health care-oriented universal health systems w social & political investment & redistribution on a broader scale Economic approaches to public health and medical spending. Many orthodox health economists continue to portray and favor health system organization as individual consumer choices How (health care) markets work (and their limits) Neoclassical economic theory holds that the price of a good or service is determined by demand for that goodservice and well as its supply Scarcity of an item + level of competition = determines price Two assumptions o All players participate voluntarily and can choose to leave o All players (suppliers and purchasers) have equal access to information regarding price, demand, and availability Health care markets are different from other markets o Suppliers (doctorsphysicians) create their own demand in a limitless fashion. o In economic terms, producer sovereignty overshadows consumer sovereignty o Conflict of interest between producer and consumer making for a complicated and imperfect relationship
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