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Encyclopedia > Publicly funded medicine
It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Health care system. (Discuss)

Publicly funded medicine is a healthcare system that is financed entirely or in majority part by government funds (taxes or quasi-taxes) instead of through private payments made to insurance companies or directly to health care providers (health care premiums, copayments or deductibles). Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... A healthcare system is the organization by which health care is provided. ... A healthcare system is the organization by which health care is provided. ... A tax is a compulsory charge or other levy imposed on an individual or a legal entity by a state or a functional equivalent of a state (e. ... A copayment, or copay, is a flat dollar amount paid for a medical service by an insured. ...

Publicly funded medicine may be administered and provided by the government; however, in some systems, medicine is publicly funded but most health providers are private entities, such as in Canada. The organization providing public health insurance is not necessarily a public administration, and its budget may be isolated from the main state budget. Likewise, some systems do not necessarily provide universal healthcare or restrict coverage to public health facilities. Some countries, such as Germany, have multiple public insurance organizations linked by a common legal framework.


Varieties of public systems

The large majority of industrial societies currently have publicly funded health systems that cover the great majority of the population. For some examples, see the British National Health Service, or medicare in Canada and in Australia. However, the role of the government in healthcare provision is a source of continued debate where opinions diverge sharply. A developed country is a nation that enjoys a relatively high standard of living through a strong high-technology diversified economy. ... The National Health Service (NHS) is the publicly_funded healthcare system of the United Kingdom. ... There are several publicly funded health services in various countries called Medicare: Medicare (Canada) is a comprehensive, universal (for all the citizens and permanent residents in the country) public health financing system. ...

Even among these countries, different approaches exist to the funding and provision of medical services. Some areas of difference are whether the system is funded from general government revenues (as in Italy and Canada), or through a government social security system (as in France, Japan, and Germany) acting under a separate budget and funded with special separate taxes. Another difference is how much of the cost of care will be paid for by the government or social security system. In Canada, all hospital care is paid for by the government, while in Japan patients must pay 10 to 30% of the cost of a hospital stay.

Services covered by public systems vary. For example, the Belgian government pays the bulk of the fees for dental and eye care, while the Australian government covers neither.

Every health care system in the world is facing funding problems, because new innovations in heath care are sometimes very expensive, and because a growing percentage of the population is elderly and generally needs more health care, while the percentage of working (and thus tax-paying) persons decreases. In demographics population ageing occurs when the average age of a regions population gets older. ...

Two-tier health care

Main article: Two-tier health care

Almost every country that has a publicly funded health care system also has a parallel private system, generally catering to private insurance holders. While one goal of public systems is to provide equal service to all, this egalitarianism is often partial. Every nation either has parallel private providers or its citizens are free to travel to a nation that does, so there is effectively a two-tier healthcare system that reduces the equality of service. Private hospitals often get newer and better equipment and facilities, and since private providers are typically better paid, some medical professionals motivated by remunerative concerns migrate to the private sector. Two-tier health care is a form of national health care system that is used in most developed countries. ... Egalitarianism is the moral theory that equality ought to prevail throughout society. ... Two-tier health care is a form of national health care system that is used in most developed countries. ... Equality is a social state of affairs in which certain different people have the same status in a certain respect. ...

From the inception of the NHS model (1948), public hospitals in the United Kingdom have included "amenity beds" which would typically be siderooms fitted more comfortably, and private wards in some hospitals where for a fee more amenities are provided. These are predominantly used for surgical treatment, and operations are generally carried out in the same operating theatres as NHS work and by the same personnel. These amenity beds do not exist in other socialized healthcare systems, like the Spanish one, among others. From time to time, the NHS pays for private hospitals (arranged hospitals) to take on surgical cases for which NHS facilities do not have sufficient capacity. This work is usually, but not always, done by the same doctors in private hospitals. 1948 (MCMXLVIII) is a leap year starting on Thursday (link will take you to calendar). ...

In some cases, doctors are so well paid in both systems that prestige is often more important to them than remuneration. This is very much the case in the United Kingdom where private medicine is seen as less prestigious than public medicine by much of the population. The British in particular tend to use private healthcare to avoid waiting lists rather than because they believe that they will receive better care from it.

Public systems around the world

  • In Australia the current system, known as Medicare, was instituted in 1984. It coexists with a private health system. Currently, the tax levy system of funding Medicare has led to a severe revenue shortfall, with increased costs to patients. This has triggered reforms to the scheme by the Howard government. Many critics claim that these reforms are in fact a move away from the principle of universal health care.
  • Canada has a federally-sponsored, publicly funded medicare system. Each province may opt out, though none currently do. Canada's system is known as a single payer system, where basic services are provided by private doctors, with the entire fee paid for by the government (a single payer) at the same rate. Other areas of health care, such as dentistry and optometry, are wholly private.
  • Cuba has a wholly government-controlled system that consumes a large proportion of the nation's GDP. The system does work on a for profit basis in treating patients from abroad. Cuba attracts patients mostly from Latin America and Eastern Europe by offering care of comparable quality to a developed nation but at much lower prices. While the government system is free to all, patients frequently pay out of pocket for drugs that are in short supply in the public system.
  • In Finland, the publicly funded medical system is funded by taxation and every citizen has state-funded health insurance. The system is comprehensive and compulsory, like in Sweden, and a small patient fee is also taken.
  • In France, most doctors remain in private practice; there are both private and public hospitals. Social Security consists of serveral public organizations, distinct from the state government, with separate budgets that refunds patients for care in both private and public facilities. It generally refunds patients 70% of most health care costs, and 100% in case of costly or long-term ailments. Supplemental coverage may be bought from private insurers, most of them nonprofit, mutual insurers. Until recently, social security coverage was restricted to those who contributed to social security (generally, workers or retirees), excluding some poor segments of the population; the government of Lionel Jospin put into place the "universal health coverage". The majority of French doctors are in private practice. In some systems, patients can also take private health insurance, but choose to receive care at public hospitals, if allowed by the private insurer.
  • In Ghana, most health care is provided by the government, but hospitals and clinics run by religious groups also play an important role. Some for profit clinics exist, but they provide less than 2% of health services. Health care is very variable through the country. The major urban centres are well served, but rural areas often have no modern health care. Patients in these areas either rely on traditional medicine or travel great distances for care.
  • In Hong Kong, both private and public clinics are common, while public hospitals account for the majority of the market.
  • In Israel, the publicly funded medical system is universal and compulsory. Payment for the services are shared by labor unions and the government.
  • In South Africa, parallel private and public systems exist. The public system serves the vast majority of the population, but is chronically underfunded and understaffed. The wealthiest 20% of the population uses the private system and are far better served.
  • In Sweden, the publicly funded medical system is comprehensive and compulsory. Physician and hospital services take a small patient fee, but their services are funded through the taxation scheme of the County Councils of Sweden.
  • In 1948, the United Kingdom passed the National Health Service Act that provided free physician and hospital services to all people resident in the United Kingdom. Most doctors and nurses are on contracts, and receive salaries, a fixed fee for each patient assigned, and enhanced payments for specialized treatments or skills. The National Health Service has been amended from time to time, but is largely intact. Around 86% of prescriptions are provided free. Prescriptions are provided free to people who satisfy certain criteria such as low income or permanent disabilities. People that pay for prescriptions do not pay the full cost. For example, in 2004 most people in will pay a flat fee of £6.40 (€9.64, US$11.76) for a single drug prescription regardless of the cost (average cost to the health service was £11.10--about €16.70, US$20.40--in 2002). (Charges are lower in Wales, and the administration there is committed to their eventual elimination.) Funding comes from a hypothecated health insurance tax and from general taxation. Private health services are also available.
  • The United States has been virtually alone among developed nations in not implementing a universal healthcare system. However, the U.S. health system does have significant publicly funded components. Medicare and Medicaid coverage is financed from taxation, but care is generally provided by privately owned hospitals or physicians in private practice. Medicare is a federal government program providing coverage to people age 65 or older. Medicaid is a federal and state program providing coverage to low-income and disabled persons. The Department of Veterans Affairs directly provides health care to U.S. military veterans through a nationwide network of government hospitals. However, a significant number of people exist who do not obtain health insurance through their employer, are unable to afford individual coverage or elect not to purchase it, and are not elderly or poor enough to qualify for Medicare or Medicaid coverage. Currently, it is estimated that 17% of the U.S. population is uninsured. A few states have taken serious steps toward universal health care coverage, most notably Minnesota. Other states, while not attempting to insure all of their residents, cover large numbers of people by reimbursing hospitals and other health-care providers using what is generally characterized as a charity care scheme; New Jersey is perhaps the best example of a state that employs the latter strategy.

Medicare is Australias publicly-funded, universal health scheme, providing affordable treatment by doctors and in public hospitals for all citizens and permanent residents (as well as visitors from countries which have reciprocal arrangements with Australia). ... 1984 (MCMLXXXIV) is a leap year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... John Winston Howard (born 26 July 1939) is an Australian politician and 25th Prime Minister, came to office on 11 March 1996, and was re-elected in 1998, 2001 and 2004, making him the most electorally successful Prime Minister since Sir Robert Menzies. ... The term medicare (in lowercase) (French: assurance-maladie) is the unofficial name for Canadas universal public health insurance system. ... X-rays can reveal if a person has cavities Dentistry is the practical application of knowledge of dental science (the science of placement, arrangement, function of teeth and their supporting bones and soft tissues) to human beings. ... Optometry is the health care profession concerned with examination, diagnosis, and treatment of the eyes and related structures, and with determination and correction of vision problems using lenses and other optical aids [1]. Optometrists are primary care practitioners for most vision and ocular health concerns. ... Latin America consists of the countries of South America and some of North America (including Central America and some the islands of the Caribbean) whose inhabitants mostly speak Romance languages, although Native American languages are also spoken. ... Pre-1989 division between the West (grey) and Eastern Bloc (orange) superimposed on current national boundaries: Russia (dark orange), other countries of the former USSR (medium orange) and other former communist regimes (light orange). ... The private sector of a nations economy consists of those entities which are not controlled by the state - i. ... Public is of or pertaining to the people; belonging to the people; relating to, or affecting, a nation, state, or community; opposed to private; as, the public treasury, a road or lake. ... A physician visiting the sick in a hospital. ... A non-profit organization (often called non-profit org or simply non-profit or not-for-profit) can be seen as an organization that doesnt have a goal to make a profit. ... Lionel Robert Jospin (born July 12, 1937 in Meudon, a suburb of Paris) is a French statesman who served as Prime Minister of France from 1997-2002. ... Insurance is the business of providing protection against financial aspects of risk, such as those to property, life, health and legal liability. ... A union (labor union in American English; trade union, sometimes trades union, in British English; either labour union or trade union in Canadian English) is a legal entity consisting of employees or workers having a common interest, such as all the assembly workers for one employer, or all the workers... A County Council, or Landsting, is an elected assembly of a County in Sweden. ... 1948 (MCMXLVIII) is a leap year starting on Thursday (link will take you to calendar). ... The logo of the NHS for England and Wales. ... The pound sterling is the official currency of the United Kingdom (UK). ... The euro (€; ISO 4217 code EUR) is the currency of twelve European Union member states: Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, and Spain. ... The United States dollar is the official currency of the United States. ... National motto: Cymru am byth (Welsh: Wales for ever) Waless location within the UK Official languages English, Welsh Capital Cardiff Largest city Cardiff First Minister Rhodri Morgan Area  - Total Ranked 3rd UK 20,779 km² Population  - Total (2001)  - Density Ranked 3rd UK 2,903,085 140/km² NUTS 1... Medicare is a health insurance program for the elderly and disabled in the USA. It was first passed on July 30, 1965 by President Lyndon Johnson as amendments to Social Security legislation. ... Medicaid in the United States is a program managed by the states and funded jointly by the states and federal government to provide health insurance for individuals and families with low incomes and resources. ... A U.S. state is any one of the fifty states (four of which officially favor the term commonwealth) which, together with the District of Columbia and Palmyra Atoll (an uninhabited incorporated unorganized territory), form the United States of America. ... The United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is a Cabinet department of the United States government responsible for administering programs of veterans benefits for veterans, their families, and survivors. ... State nickname: North Star State, The Land of 10,000 Lakes, The Gopher State Official languages None Capital Saint Paul Largest city Minneapolis Governor Tim Pawlenty (R) Senators Mark Dayton (D) Norm Coleman (R) Area  - Total  - % water Ranked 12th 225,365 km² 8. ... Charity care is a term used in the United States to refer to health care services rendered to patients unable to pay for some, in whole or in part. ... State nickname: The Garden State Official languages None defined Capital Trenton Largest city Newark Governor Richard Codey (D) Acting, Outgoing Jon Corzine (D) (Governor-Elect) Senators Jon Corzine (D) (Outgoing) Bob Menendez (D) (named as Corzines replacement) Frank Lautenberg (D) Area  - Total  - % water Ranked 47th 22,608 km² 14. ...

Support for publicly funded medicine

Proponents claim publicly funded medicine has several advantages: universal access to health care, reduced paperwork and overall administrative spending, more effective health care planning, increased emphasis on preventative and primary health care, improved ability to negotiate pharmaceutical price discounts, improved population based health outcomes, equality in matters of life and death, and the creation of uniform standards of care. Proponents note that most industrial nations have a publicly funded universal health care system in place. These publicly funded systems spend significantly less on health care both as a percentage of their GDP and per capita and enjoy superior population based health care outcomes than those with privately funded systems according to a 2000 study of the World Health Organization [1]. The WHO flag: similar to the flag of the United Nations, augmented with the symbolic staff and serpent of Asklepios, Greek god of medicine and healing. ...

Opposition to publicly funded medicine

Opponents claim publicly funded medicine has several disadvantages: subjection of the health care system to greater political pressures, a greater likelihood of lower quality health care than privately funded systems, less motivation for medical innovation and invention, long waiting lists for access to some medical treatments (particularly those of an advanced or specialized nature), and less motivation for society's most skilled people to enter health care professions because of lower monetary compensation. Another possible criticism cites the fairness of paying for people's poor individual decisions (obesity, smoking, drinking, drugging, etc.) as they relate to health care costs when these costs should be incurred solely on those making those poor decisions.

Role of the free market

Whether the free market can adequately deliver health care more cost effectively than publicly funded healthcare is one key question. Of all developed nations, the healthcare system of the United States is the one with the highest amount of privatization, and is perhaps the most commonly cited example by those favoring and opposing universal healthcare. It is below the average for developed countries in the majority of health measures such as infant mortality, maternal death, life expectancy, or cancer survival rates, while also being the most costly system in the world both in relative and absolute terms. In 2001 the United States spent $4,887 per person on health care, more than double the rate of any other G7 country except Japan, which spends $2,627 per capita annually. The United States also spends a greater fraction of its national budget on health care than such nations as Canada, Germany, France, or Japan. However, these statistics may not be the proper way to evaluate the United States system, because they include people not covered by any insurance. Those covered by the system get what is arguably the best health care in the world -- access to advanced medical treatments and technologies is in general significantly greater than in most other developed nations, and many wealthy foreign citizens visit the U.S. to obtain treatments unavailable (or available only with long waiting lists) in their home countries. Risk factors specific to the U.S. population, such as a relatively high prevalance of obesity, may partially explain increased health care spending; however, many other industrialized nations share these problems to some extent. Most experts believe that the U.S. system is best described as exhibiting greater inequality than others, with covered people receiving a very high quality of care and the uninsured and underinsured receiving a lower standard of care. A free market is an idealized market, where all economic decisions and actions by individuals regarding transfer of money, goods, and services are voluntary, and are therefore devoid of coercion and theft (some definitions of coercion are inclusive of theft). Colloquially and loosely, a free market economy is an economy... For early system failures, see failure rate. ... Maternal death is the death of a woman in childbirth. ... Life expectancy is the average number of years remaining for a living being (or the average for a class of living beings) of a given age to live. ... When normal cells are damaged beyond repair, they are eliminated by apoptosis. ... 2001: A Space Odyssey. ... The United States dollar is the official currency of the United States. ... 1983 G-7 Economic Summit in Williamsburg, Virginia (left to right) Pierre Trudeau, Gaston Thorn, Helmut Kohl, François Mitterrand, Ronald Reagan, Yasuhiro Nakasone, Margaret Thatcher, Amintore Fanfani. ... Economic inequality refers to disparities in the distribution of economic assets and income. ...

Most patented prescription drugs are significantly more costly in the United States than in most other countries, due to a lack of government price controls on the industry, enforcement of intellectual property rights limiting the availability of generic drugs until after patent expiration, and an absence of the monopoly purchasing power seen in national single-payer systems. Many U.S. citizens obtain their medications directly or indirectly from foreign sources to take advantage of the lower prices. U.S. Medicare coverage of prescription drugs is scheduled to begin in 2006. A patent is a set of exclusive rights granted by a state to a person for a fixed period of time in exchange for the regulated, public disclosure of certain details of a device, method, process or composition of matter (substance) (known as an invention) which is new, inventive and... A prescription drug is a medication that is regulated by legislation to require a prescription before it can be obtained. ... In economics, incomes policies are wage and price controls used to fight inflation. ... In law, particularly in common law jurisdictions, intellectual property is a form of legal entitlement which allows its holder to control the use of certain intangible ideas and expressions. ... A generic drug (pl. ... 2006 (MMVI) is a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ...

While the United States is the most private of any system among industrialized nations, it has substantial public components. Of every dollar spent on health care in the United States, 44 cents comes from some level of government. The elderly are covered by Medicare, the poor (those with assets of less than $2,000) are covered by Medicaid, merchant seamen are covered by the Public Health System, and retired railway workers and military veterans are also covered by the government. In addition, government also affects private sector medicine by creating licensing and regulatory barriers to entry into health professions. Neoliberal economists argue that the American system is an only somewhat less public one, and that no nation currently operates a truly free market in the delivery of health care. The term neoliberalism is used to describe a political-economic philosophy that had major implications for government policies beginning in the 1970s – and increasingly prominent since 1980 – that de-emphasizes or rejects positive government intervention in the economy, focusing instead on achieving progress and even social justice by encouraging free...

Some neoliberal economists also argue that the free market is better able to allocate discretionary spending where consumers value it the most. There is variation amongst individuals about how much they value peace of mind and a slightly lower risk of death. For example, while a public-funded system, based on cost efficiency, might decide to pay for a pap smear only once every five years if the patient was not positive for the human papilloma virus. In a private system, a consumer can choose to be screened more often, and enjoy the luxury of greater peace of mind and slightly reduced risk. When evaluating the pool of current medical spending available to fund cost-effective care for the uninsured, this discretionary spending might be moved to non-medical luxury goods. Some health economists believe that since traditional private plans are not very good at limiting spending to cost-effective procedures and schedules, those consumers exploiting this will view the transition to a public system as a reduction in their compensation or benefits, and will question whether a society that will allow them to buy a better car or a European vacation, but not better health care, is truly free. Other health economists believe that with the growth of health maintenance organizations and other cost-cutting entities, private plans are becoming so good at limiting spending that they sometimes deny needed medical benefits. Medical providers who are reimbursed by such entities are finding that they must spend increasing amounts of time filling out paperwork and fighting for reimbursement, and less time providing health services. A Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) is a type of Managed Care Organization (MCO) that provides a form of health insurance coverage in the United States that is fulfilled through hospitals, doctors, and other providers with which the HMO has a contract. ...

It should also be noted that some medical providers, upset over low reimbursement rates, are submitting bills for services which were not rendered, in order to receive what they think is a fair value of the services that they did provide. Worse, because of lax enforcement, outright medical fraud is increasing, where invoices are submitted for ghost patients. A number of high-profile instances of Medicaid fraud have been uncovered among health care providers and medical device suppliers particularly in California and New York.

Most experts believe, however, that significant market failure occurs in health markets, thereby making a free market operate inefficiently. The consumers of health care often lack basic information compared to the medical professionals they buy it from. Also, an individual is unlikely to make fully rational choices about his/her own health care in a case of emergency, and demand is likely to be inelastic. The extreme importance of health matters to the consumer adds to the problem of the information gap. This gives the medical profession the ability to set rates that are well above ideal market value. The need to ensure competence and qualifications among medical professionals also means that they are inevitably closely controlled by licensing requirements imposed by governments and professional associations, which limit the pool of specialized labor and can result in some degree of monopoly or oligopoly control over prices. Monopolies are made even more likely by the sheer variety of specialists and the importance of geographic proximity. Patients in most markets have no more than one or two heart specialists or brain surgeons to choose from, making competition for patients between such experts very limited. In economics, market failure is a situation in which markets do not efficiently organize production or allocate goods and services to consumers (for example, a failure to allocate goods in a way some see as socially or morally preferable). ... In economics, the price elasticity of demand (PED) is an elasticity that measures the responsiveness of the quantity demanded of a good to its price. ... In economics, a monopoly (from the Greek monos, one + polein, to sell) is defined as a persistent market situation where there is only one provider of a kind of product or service. ... An oligopoly is market form in which a market is dominated by a small number of sellers (oligopolists). ...

In theory, when a government sets billing rates it can negotiate with professional societies with equal heft and knowledge, reaching a total cost that is closer to the ideal than in an unregulated market. Doctors' salaries do tend to be much lower in public systems. For instance, doctors' salaries in the United States are twice those in Canada (conversely, this implies that the best students may have less interest in becoming doctors).

Markets also fail to provide efficient delivery for health care because most people misjudge the need for prevention, which is an essential component of a cost-effective system. Screening for diseases such as cancer saves both lives and money, but there is a tendency within the general population to not correctly assess their risk of disease and thus to not have regular check ups. They are only willing to pay a doctor when they are sick, even though this care may be far more expensive than regular preventative care would have been. An exception is when extensive publicity, such as that for mammograms, is undertaken. Making regular appointments cheaper, or even free, has been shown to reduce both rates of illness and costs of health care. Conversely, placing the cost of a visit to a GP too low will lead some to make excessive visits, wasting both a patient's and a doctor's time. Thus, while some experts believe free doctor visits produce ideal results, most others believe that requiring people to pay some fraction of the cost of an appointment would be better. Mammography is the process of using low-dose X-rays (usually around 0. ... A general practitioner (GP) or family physician (FP) is a physician/medical doctor who provides primary care. ...

An argument against public health care is that cost-benefit government decisions are often influenced by factors unrelated to providing the highest quality healthcare. Advocates of this view point to decisions by various boards based on value judgments rather than efficiency. For instance, breast cancer, which has a powerful lobby and a high visibility, gets significantly more money than lung cancer, which is often seen as self-inflicted due to smoking. Kaldor-Hicks efficiency is a type of economic efficiency that occurs only if the economic value of social resources is maximized. ... Breast cancer is cancer of breast tissue. ... The incidence of lung cancer is highly correlated with smoking. ... For information about smoking tobacco, see tobacco smoking. ...

Difficulties of analysis

Cost-benefit analyses of various health care systems are frequently mentioned by advocates and opponents of publicly funded healthcare programs. Others caution that these analyses are difficult to do accurately due to the multifactoral nature of health, healthcare delivery, and healthcare financing, as well as the lack of consensus on what is "best" for a nation or its people.

See also

Health insurance is a type of insurance whereby the insurer pays the medical costs of the insured if the insured becomes sick due to covered causes, or due to accidents. ... Health science is the discipline of applied science which deals with human and animal health. ... Medicare is Australias publicly-funded, universal health scheme, providing affordable treatment by doctors and in public hospitals for all citizens and permanent residents (as well as visitors from countries which have reciprocal arrangements with Australia). ... The term medicare (in lowercase) (French: assurance-maladie) is the unofficial name for Canadas universal public health insurance system. ... Medicare is a health insurance program for the elderly and disabled in the USA. It was first passed on July 30, 1965 by President Lyndon Johnson as amendments to Social Security legislation. ... The logo of the NHS for England and Wales. ... The comparison of the health care systems of Canada and the United States is of great importance to both nations. ... The American Medical Association (AMA) is the largest association of medical doctors in the United States. ...

External links

  • Devereaux PJ, Heels-Ansdell D, Lacchetti C, Haines T, Burns KEA, Cook DJ, et al. Payments for care at private for-profit and private not-for-profit hospitals: a systematic review and meta-analysis. CMAJ 2004;170(12):1817-24.
  • Devereaux PJ, Choi PT, Lacchetti C, Weaver B, Schunemann HJ, Haines T, et al. A systematic review and meta-analysis of studies comparing mortality rates of private for-profit and private not-for-profit hospitals. CMAJ 2002;166(11):1399-406.
  • Woolhandler S, Himmelstein DU. When Money is the Mission — The High Costs of Investor-Owned Care. N Engl J Med 1999;341:444-6.

  Results from FactBites:
Publicly-funded medicine - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (3070 words)
Publicly funded medicine is a healthcare system that is financed entirely or in majority part by government funds (taxes or quasi-taxes) instead of through private payments made to insurance companies or directly to health care providers (health care premiums, copayments or deductibles)
Systems may be funded from general government revenues (as in Italy and Canada), or through a government social security system (as in France, Japan, and Germany) with a separate budget and hypothecated taxes.
Publicly funded medicine may be administered and provided by the government, as in the United Kingdom; in some systems, though, medicine is publicly funded but most health providers are private entities, as in Canada.
  More results at FactBites »



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