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What Should Macroeconomists Know About Health Care Policy?


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  • Peter S. Heller


This primer aims to provide IMF macroeconomists with the essential information they need to address issues concerning health sector policy, particularly when they have significant macroeconomic implications. Such issues can also affect equity and growth and are fundamental to any strategy of poverty reduction. The primer highlights the appropriate roles for the state and market in health care financing and provision. It also suggests situations in which macroeconomists should engage health sector specialists in policy formulation exercises. Finally, it reviews the different health policy issues that confront countries at alternative stages of economic development and the range of appropriate policy options.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 07/13.

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Length: 101
Date of creation: 01 Jan 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:07/13

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Postal: International Monetary Fund, Washington, DC USA
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Fax: (202) 623-4661
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Keywords: Health care; Poverty reduction; public health; health expenditure; health policy; health sector; health services; health status; health insurance; health service; health system; access to health care; national health; infant mortality; private insurance; health economics; health care system; hiv/aids; insurance plans; health policies; public health services; mortality rate; health care financing; maternal mortality; health financing; income households; health systems; health spending; primary care; health care costs; public hospitals; hospital services; fee-for-service; private hospitals; medical services; health care expenditure; insurance plan; infant mortality rate; hospital beds; macroeconomic policy; health care sector; medical technologies; births; live births; health expenditure per capita; financing health care; moral hazard; private clinics; financing of health care; social health insurance; national health expenditure; health affairs; cost-effectiveness; health care delivery; mortality rates; provision of health care; care systems; medicare; chronic diseases; fertility rates; delivery of health care; fertility; health care reform; insurance coverage; adverse selection; health care systems; fee-for-service basis; national health service; delivery systems; insurance system; insurance systems; infectious diseases; health care services; child health; primary health care; medical education; essential drugs; service quality; health care provision; fee-for-service payment; medical expenses; health programs; medical expenditure; medical technology; family planning; demand for health; health care spending; service provision; health providers; insurance markets; provision of services; public health care; private health insurance; fee schedule; clean water; provision of health services; demand for health care; income groups; health resources; medical costs; health data; maternal mortality rates; financial incentives; insurance market; health status indicators; health care policy; health workers; economics of health; service delivery; health sector reform; mothers; insurance arrangements; health clinics; insurance contributions; health maintenance; distribution system; private services; health insurance market; health system performance; choice of physicians; choice of providers; health insurance plans; medical insurance; maternal mortality rate; insurance funds; health insurance scheme; health economists; health care systems in transition; administrative costs; hiv; cost-reducing technologies; medical conditions; cost of treatment; general practitioner; midwives; economics of health care; access to services; health expenditures; health system reform; comparison of health care system; delivery system; public expenditure; medical care; fertility rate; price elasticity; pharmaceutical companies; health spending increases; capita health spending; general practitioners; health planning; capitation payment; health care reforms; hospital care; fee-for-service system; lower fertility; finance of health care; health insurance expenditure; reform of health care; cost control; vaccinations; clinical decisions; health financing system; low fertility; child mortality; imperfect information; comparisons of health expenditure; surgery; cost-effectiveness analysis; surgeries; living standards; care plans; household expenditure; pill; household income; service system; patient demand; capita health expenditure; health budgets; sickness funds; competitive health insurance market; public insurance; medical science; health funding; health insurance schemes; age groups; budget cap; curative care; health officials; community health workers; cost of health care; high fertility; pocket payment; old age; financial risks; financial catastrophe; pharmaceutical sector; financial risk; household budgets; share of health expenditure; cost of care; population research; public spending; insurance function; health information; medical treatments; long-term care spending; health care providers; public clinic; information systems; health expenditure growth; insurance rates; budgetary pressures; demand for insurance; medical staff; family physicians; pharmaceutical industry; age structure; public health spending; public providers; income growth; mental disorder; health care efficiency; demand for services; costs of health care; health care finance; price rationing; hospital budgets; health care economics; clinical outcomes; budgetary resources; private spending; crowding; public clinics; share of health spending; demand for health services; budget pressures; medical training; incentive structures; health insurance program; service providers; public hospital; home care;

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Cited by:
  1. Colombier, Carsten & Weber, Werner, 2009. "Projecting health-care expenditure for Switzerland: further evidence against the 'red-herring' hypothesis," MPRA Paper 26712, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Jun 2010.
  2. Elisha Houston & Julia Minty & Nathan Dal Bon, 2008. "Investment in East Asia since the Asian financial crisis," Economic Roundup, Treasury, Australian Government, Treasury, Australian Government, issue 2, pages 13-34, July.
  3. International Monetary Fund, 2008. "The Macroeconomic Impact of Healthcare Financing Alternatives," IMF Working Papers 08/272, International Monetary Fund.
  4. Härpfer, Marco & Cacace, Mirella & Rothgang, Heinz, 2009. "And fairness for all? Wie gerecht ist die Finanzierung im deutschen Gesundheitssystem? Eine Berechnung des Kakwani-Index auf Basis der EVS," Working papers of the ZeS 04/2009, University of Bremen, Centre for Social Policy Research (ZeS).


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