May 2007

the Economics of healthcare spending

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To sum up, the book is an effort at dealing with the matter of economic principles dominating the debate on healthcare and the consequences thereof. The author tries to bridge the gap between economic and healthcare developments, making it an essential reading for all policy makers and healthcare managers. Gooijer argues for a larger role for professionals and states that “the future development of European health policy should not be left entirely to the political managers”.

Win de Gooijer makes a candid effort to bring immense clarity to the complex issue of economic demands adversely influencing access to health care. For decades, the nations of the European Union harped on universal health coverage. De Gooijer with his dual background as an economist and the CEO of Dutch health care corporations, looks at the new dichotomy in the unfolding scenario with a unique understanding of the subject.

The author sees concrete linkages between world economic currents and the issue of access to health care throughout the EU. The early trends, starting from the nineties are now coming to rapid fruition. The inclination of governments in both Europe and the US towards transferring social responsibilities to market-driven agencies is bothering the author.

Recent economic developments have created lot many problems in healthcare sector-ranging from widening inequities of care to growing numbers of the uninsured. The book takes a critical view of expansion versus reform dilemma with a fourty-year analysis of Europe's health care systems.

It studies the ethical and medical issues arising from the continent's changing politics and tries some predictions about the future directions in EU health care as to how change is possible, and how much change can be possible.

There may not be too many takers for all the ideas from De Gooijer, the book will certainly hold the interest of health care managers and policymakers, politicians and insurers, advanced students of public health

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