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Understanding multinational companies in public health systems, using a competitive advantage framework

Understanding multinational companies in public health systems, using a competitive advantage framework

Lethbridge, Jane (2011) Understanding multinational companies in public health systems, using a competitive advantage framework. Globalization and Health, 7 (1):19. ISSN 1744-8603 (doi:10.1186/1744-8603-7-19)

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Abstract

Background
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

Methods
This paper shows how analysing company strategy using a business tool can contribute to understanding the strategies of global capital in national health systems. It shows how social science methodologies can draw from business methods to explain company strategies

Results
The five companies considered in this paper demonstrate that their strategies have many dimensions, which fit into Porter’s Five Forces of comparative advantage.

Conclusions
The process of examining the strategic objectives of five health care companies shows that a business tool can highlight the actions and motives of health care companies towards public health care systems, in a different light, particularly the strategies of global capital in national health systems. Health service commissioners need to understand this dynamic process, which will evolve as the nature of public health care systems change.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: [1] Copyright: © 2011 Lethbridge; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. [2] This paper was first presented with the title "Five years on - global health companies in the public sector" at the Symposium on Health Systems, Health Economies and Globalisation: Social Science Perspectives, held on 2-3 July 2010 at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), London, UK.
Uncontrolled Keywords: multinational companies, public health systems, health care
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Business > Public Services International Research Unit (PSIRU)
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2016 14:42
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/5049

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