Health Policy and High-Tech Industrial Development

Health Policy and High-Tech Industrial Development

Learning from Innovation in the Health Industry

Edited by Marco R. Di Tommaso and Stuart O. Schweitzer

By weaving together the fields of health economics, industrial organisation and industrial development, this book describes the benefits of promoting a country’s health industry as a way of stimulating its high-technology industrial capacity. The authors illustrate that the development of a country’s health industry not only improves the country’s health status, but also 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 other high-technology industries.

Chapter 2: Healthy Governance: Economic Policy and the Health Industry Model

J. Robert Branston, Lauretta Rubini, Roger Sugden and James R. Wilson

Subjects: economics and finance, health policy and economics, industrial economics, social policy and sociology, health policy and economics


J. Robert Branston, Lauretta Rubini, Roger Sugden and James R. Wilson 1 INTRODUCTION Health care is often regarded as a priority, as suggested by the resources allocated to it in many countries. The proportion of GDP spent on health in 2001 was 13.9 per cent in the USA, for example, 10.7 per cent in Germany, 9.5 per cent in France and 9.7 per cent in Canada (OECD, 2003). However, it is not always clear why health care really matters and, within health care, what determines its impact. One perspective might stress that it is essential to life: without a sufficiently high level of health, individuals cannot fulfil their potential as people. Another view might be, for example, that economic production requires a supply of healthy workers who can carry out appropriately assigned tasks. Or perhaps the health sector is important because it is a source of high-quality employment or of hightechnology innovation, the type of performance concerns that the Health Industry Model (HIM) might emphasize. These and related approaches have different implications for resource allocation, for amounts allocated to health provision and for the types of health care that are prioritized. Moreover analysis of the processes by which societies set their priorities raises the possibility that the wishes of entire communities are not being served in particular situations. Adopting a perspective suggested by consideration of the Health Industry Model, the aim of this chapter is to discuss the importance of the health industry and to analyse the...

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