Medicine and the Market
Equity v. Choice
Much has been written about medicine and the market in recent years. This book is the first to include an assessment of market influence in both developed and developing countries, and among the very few that have tried to evaluate the actual health and economic impact of market theory and practices in a wide range of national settings.
Tracing the path that market practices have taken from Adam Smith in the eighteenth century into twenty-first-century health care, Daniel Callahan and Angela A. Wasunna add a fresh dimension: they compare the different approaches taken in the market debate by health care economists, conservative market advocates, and liberal supporters of single-payer or government-regulated systems.
In addition to laying out the market-versus-government struggle around the world—from Canada and the United States to Western Europe, Latin America, and many African and Asian countries—they assess the leading market practices, such as competition, physician incentives, and co-payments, for their economic and health efficacy to determine whether they work as advertised.
This timely and necessary book engages new dimensions of a development that has urgent consequences for the delivery of health care worldwide.
About the Authors
Daniel Callahan is the director of International Programs and Angela A. Wasunna is assistant director of International Programs at Pfizer, Inc.
"A timely and necessary contribution. Whether or not one agrees with the authors' conclusions, the book is essential reading for anyone concerned with health care reform. It carries out the critical task of placing our national health care debates in the wider context of justice and health care reform around the world. "
"A detailed analysis of the differences between health care systems in the United States, Canada, Western Europe, Latin America, and several countries in Asia and Africa."
"Among the many valuable contributions of Medicine and the Market... is its potential to motivate a new program of qualitative research into the impact of different health care funding and distribution arrangements, not simply upon our bodies, but also, as it were, upon our souls."
"[Callahan and Wasunna] convincingly show that, in health care, markets are famous for maximizing choice, not efficiency."
"A book that deserves to be read by anyone concerned with health systems analysis and health care reform."
"The book will interest readers of this journal because the national case studies are alert to both the distant and recent past."
"The global survey of market influences in health care that Callahan and Wasunna conduct is extensive and complete."
"Internationally informed with extensive cross cultural data, this is a book that didn't merely hold my interest from start to finish—I often found myself excited by it."
"This book provides a great deal of information about a 'hot' topic that heretofore has not been available in a single source."
"A thoughtful and penetrating analysis, from an international perspective, of how social values, scientific progress, and public aspirations have shaped the role of the market in medicine and health care. By rising above stereotypes, simple dichotomous choices, and a single concept of 'the market,' this book provides insights into how effective, efficient, affordable, and more equitable health care could be achieved—thus better meeting the goals of medicine locally and globally."
"No topic in health care today is more important, and this is the best book on the subject that I have seen. It is scholarly, yet engrossing and easily accessible for the general reader. It will be widely discussed."
"In what often is but faith-based policy analysis, free markets have become in the minds of many the next new panacea that will solve our economic and moral health care dilemmas. In this fine book, Daniel Callahan and Angela Wasunna explore the empirical underpinnings of this faith. Without rejecting the potential of market forces in health care outright—which would be another faith-based gesture—they present a thoughtful portrait of the strength and limitations of that approach in the context of health care. Their work is a must read for any would-be health care reformer."
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