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Document Abstract
Published: 1 Mar 2004

Health systems and commercialisation: in search of good sense

The commercialisation of health systems may have negative effects on population health
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This paper from the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development looks at the impact of commercialisation of health systems. The report is split into five sections.

In section one it argues that health policy is fragmented because it is written by those whose interests and expertise lie in health protection and public health policies, and who analyse health care as a market-provided service. Section two discusses the concept of a health system and looks at the impact of the way in which health systems definitions are used to help or hinder an understanding of change in health systems. Section three looks at the nature and consequences of this commercialisation, by examining cross-country and case-based evidence of different types of health care commercialisation. Section four looks at how commercialisation is associated with ill health and exclusion, and considers those patterns of commercialisation which appear particularly damaging. In section five the authors set out to define the basis of a new way forward to build effective and decent health systems. They argue that some elements and patterns of commercialisation have been and will have to be blocked, not merely regulated, in the interests of public health and effectively functioning market economies.
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Authors

M Koivusalo; M Mackintosh

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