Five years on - global health companies in the public sector
Lethbridge, Jane (2010) Five years on - global health companies in the public sector. In: Symposium on Health Systems, Health Economies and Globalisation: Social Science Perspectives, 2-3 Jul 2010, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), London, UK. (Unpublished)
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In 2005, a study of a group of multinational health care companies based in Europe and South East Asia explored the strategies being pursued by these companies in relation to the public health care sector (Lethbridge, 2005). The research found that companies in Europe were keen to become more involved in public sector provision. In South East Asia companies were concerned that middle class groups could use health insurance to access private sector health services. All companies were remarkably supportive of regulation, except in relation to ownership. There was also evidence that new systems of public sector pricing would benefit the private sector.
This paper provides a follow- up to the strategies outlined by these companies five years ago. It explores to what extent the company strategic goals have been met and how strategies have evolved over the period. In one case, the company no longer operates health services. Several companies have changed ownership and all companies have been involved in both acquisitions and divestments. The paper will assess to what extent their relationships with the public health care sector have changed and what new strategies have been adopted. This will provide an important contribution to health policy debates. Wider understanding of multinational company behaviour is necessary to inform future health policy.
The contribution that this paper will make to research methodologies is a further contribution to research, which aims to assess how multinational health care companies change over time and how their relationships with the public sector evolve.
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