Priority setting in health care: trends and models from Scandinavian experiences [Book Review]

Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 16 (3):349-356 (2013)
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The Scandinavian welfare states have public health care systems which have universal coverage and traditionally low influence of private insurance and private provision. Due to raises in costs, elaborate public control of health care, and a significant technological development in health care, priority setting came on the public agenda comparatively early in the Scandinavian countries. The development of health care priority setting has been partly homogeneous and appears to follow certain phases. This can be of broader interest as it may shed light on alternative models and strategies in health care priority setting. Some general trends have been identified: from principles to procedures, from closed to open processes, and from experts to participation. Five general approaches have been recognized: The moral principles and values based approach, the moral principles and economic assessment approach, the procedural approach, the expert based practice defining approach, and the participatory practice defining approach. There are pros and cons with all of these approaches. For the time being the fifth approach appears attractive, but its lack of true participation and the lack of clear success criteria may pose significant challenges in the future



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