Authored by: Claus Wendt

Routledge Handbook of the Welfare State

Print publication date:  July  2018
Online publication date:  June  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138631649
eBook ISBN: 9781315207049
Adobe ISBN:


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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 financial transfers and more on services (see also Chapters 31 and 36). Service provision is of great importance when analyzing 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, analyzing 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 34 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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