Competition in Primary Healthcare in Ireland:More and Better Services for Less Money
Understanding precisely the nature of competition in primary healthcare has an important role to play in understanding how to improve the delivery of healthcare services. This is particularly the case in Ireland, where the private sector plays such a large role in primary care. If we do not understand competition, well-intentioned regulations and policies are less likely to be effective and more likely to result in excessive costs and under-utilisation of primary healthcare. This in turn can increase Ireland’s overall health expenditure and contribute to a higher cost of living in Ireland and thus lower competitiveness. This paper shows how well-designed regulations and systems for State funding of primary healthcare can ensure that competition works well and contributes to the better availability and quality of services at the lowest possible cost. The most common barriers to entry and expansion in primary healthcare markets are outlined and pricesetting mechanisms examined. Examples are used to illustrate the benefits to consumers and the State where these obstacles to competition have been removed, and the difficulties where they remain. Conclusions are drawn on the implications of this analysis for the governance of regulatory bodies, for regulatory Codes of Conduct, and for achieving value for money. It is time for the culture of the healthcare professions to move towards one where it is no longer considered “unprofessional” to provide a competitive service.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- repec:esr:chaptr:jacb201058 is not listed on IDEAS
- Brick, Aoife & Nolan, Anne, 2010. "The Sustainability of Irish Health Expenditure," Papers BP2011/5, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
- Benham, Lee & Benham, Alexandra, 1975. "Regulating Through the Professions: A Perspective on Information Control," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(2), pages 421-447, October.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eso:journl:v:42:y:2011:i:3:p:313-342. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Martina Lawless)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.