Authored by: Claus Wendt

The Routledge Handbook of the Welfare State

Print publication date:  November  2012
Online publication date:  December  2012

Print ISBN: 9780415682923
eBook ISBN: 9780203084229
Adobe ISBN: 9781136190230


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This chapter provides insights into one of modern society’s most crucial arenas. Compared with other social policy fields, health policy concentrates less on benefits in cash and more on services (see also Chapter 9). Service provision is of great importance when analysing healthcare. Furthermore, governance and regulation in healthcare demonstrate major conflicts due to the presence of influential interest groups. While healthcare expenditure, financing, and provision can be assessed on the basis of quantitative data, analysing regulation and governance requires a combination of qualitative and quantitative data and methods. In this chapter, we first discuss core concepts of comparing healthcare policy and politics. We then assess developments in expenditure and healthcare provision. Finally, we discuss regulations in different healthcare systems and how regulation is related to patients’ access to healthcare. We provide information for 32 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries and reveal which countries are more successful in controlling costs as well as in translating monetary inputs into healthcare provision.

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