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Health economics, equity, and efficiency: are we almost there?

Authors Ferraz M

Received 25 November 2014

Accepted for publication 12 January 2015

Published 12 February 2015 Volume 2015:7 Pages 119—122


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Giorgio Lorenzo Colombo

Marcos Bosi Ferraz1,2

Department of Medicine, Escola Paulista de Medicina, Federal University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil; 2São Paulo Center for Health Economics (GRIDES), Escola Paulista de Medicina, Federal University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil

Abstract: Health care is a highly complex, dynamic, and creative sector of the economy. While health economics has to continue its efforts to improve its methods and tools to better inform decisions, the application needs to be aligned with the insights and models of other social sciences disciplines. Decisions may be guided by four concept models based on ethical and distributive justice: libertarian, communitarian, egalitarian, and utilitarian. The societal agreement on one model or a defined mix of models is critical to avoid inequity and unfair decisions in a public and/or private insurance-based health care system. The excess use of methods and tools without fully defining the basic goals and philosophical principles of the health care system and without evaluating the fitness of these measures to reaching these goals may not contribute to an efficient improvement of population health.

Keywords: health care, health care system, population health

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