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Financing health care: False profits and the public good

Financing health care: False profits and the public good

Lethbridge, Jane ORCID: 0000-0002-0094-9967 (2014) Financing health care: False profits and the public good. Technical Report. Public Services International, London, UK.

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Fiscal consolidation, escalating health care costs and demographic changes are placing universal public health care under increasing pressure. In this environment the idea that the private sector is more efficient, effective and better able to fund health care than the public sector has been promoted. After almost thirty years of privatisation in the health care sector the evidence shows that these claims do not reflect the evidence. Comparisons of total health spending at national level show that countries with higher private spending on health spend more on health care and achieve worse results in key indicators of national health. Countries such as the UK and Sweden spend less than 10% of GDP on health care, of which over 80% is public expenditure. By comparison the USA spends almost 18% of GDP on health care, of which less than 50% is public, but has lower life expectancy and higher infant mortality rates. France which has very high life expectancy and low infant mortality rates spends 11.4% of GDP on health of which 76.7% is public. The reasons for the efficiency and effectiveness of the public provision of health are not complex. Administrative costs of public insurers are routinely and dramatically lower than private insurers. Public systems, with a single payer system in the form of a government or state run agency, produce efficiencies of scale and are better able to control costs.

Item Type: Monograph (Technical Report)
Additional Information: This report was commissioned by Public Services International, a global trade union.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Health care, privatisation, public good, profit
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Business > Centre for Work and Employment Research (CREW) > Public Services International Research Unit (PSIRU)
Last Modified: 17 May 2019 14:00

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