Health Policy and High-Tech Industrial Development
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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.
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Chapter 3: Control, Competition and Co-operation in European Health Systems: Points of Contact Between Health Policy and Industrial Policy

Giovanna Vicarelli


Giovanna Vicarelli 1 FOREWORD The health policies that have been adopted in Europe in the last 20 years have been labelled ‘restrictive’ in order to distinguish them from ‘expansive’ policies which characterized the previous decades. The increase in health expenditures in Europe in the 1970s, together with the growing concern about the economic sustainability of an expanding sector, drove all European countries to develop specific strategies aimed at reducing and containing both the provision of and the demand for health services. Given the wide variety of choices, it is difficult to evaluate properly these restrictive policies. As a matter of fact, while a few countries have limited the provision of services, some have increased taxation and some others have decentralized the responsibility for health expenditure. However, in spite of national differences depending on the history of each country’s health system, many authors agree on the identification of a certain degree of convergence on policy implementation. In analysing these forms of convergence three main policies can be identified which correspond to three different approaches for the regularization and social organization of the health sector. The first policy, which is analysed in the third section, consists of a top-down intervention in which the government and public bodies cut down and limit health expenditure, acting at a macroeconomic level. In the second (explained in the fourth section), equilibrium factors are sought at a microeconomic level. In particular an attempt is made to introduce forms of ‘managed competition’...

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