Learning from Innovation in the Health Industry
Edited by Marco R. Di Tommaso and Stuart O. Schweitzer
Chapter 2: Healthy Governance: Economic Policy and the Health Industry Model
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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