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Bucking the health establishment: Alexander Milne and the fight for a New Zealand hepatitis B immunization program


  • Muraskin, William


In order to successfully combat a disease it is necessary that their exists an individual or a group willing to 'champion' that ailment by arguing that it is serious enough to warrant the expenditure of scarce resources. In the case of hepatitis B such champions have often arisen outside of the public health establishments that are mandated to play that role. In New Zealand it was left up to one unusual and determined man to not only discover the seriousness of the hepatitis B epidemic but to practically single-handedly force a reluctant government to acknowledge the threat and act to contain it. He accomplished this by combining high quality scientific research with unrelenting political pressure generated by appeals to the public by means of the mass media. Alexander Milne demonstrates the vital role that the concerned citizen can make even in an age of timid bureaucracies.

Suggested Citation

  • Muraskin, William, 1995. "Bucking the health establishment: Alexander Milne and the fight for a New Zealand hepatitis B immunization program," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 211-225, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:41:y:1995:i:2:p:211-225

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Halkos, George, 1993. "Economic incentives for optimal sulphur abatement in Europe," MPRA Paper 33705, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Ger Klaassen & David Pearce, 1995. "Introduction," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 5(2), pages 85-93, March.
    3. Michael Grossman, 1972. "The Demand for Health: A Theoretical and Empirical Investigation," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number gros72-1, January.
    4. Tietenberg, T H, 1990. "Economic Instruments for Environmental Regulation," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(1), pages 17-33, Spring.
    5. Halkos, George E., 1993. "Sulphur abatement policy: Implications of cost differentials," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 21(10), pages 1035-1043, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Gauri, Varun & Khaleghian, Peyvand, 2002. "Immunization in Developing Countries: Its Political and Organizational Determinants," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 30(12), pages 2109-2132, December.


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