Information Assymetry and Double Standard in the Doctor-Patient Relationship
The aim of the article is to explore the doctor - patient relationship using the information asymmetry framework and principal-agent theory. From the perspective of economic exchange, this relationship is relatively specific, as an uneven rank and position of the agents involved play an important role here. It is argued that this unevenness arises from several different factors, such as education and qualification, work experience, path dependence, and the nature of goods and services provided. The relationship specificity is then discussed from a theoretical point of view while its most important elements are highlighted and put into a wider context. Further, market approach in healthcare system and healthcare services is partially debated and a simple model analyzing he "double-standard treatment is developed. Subsequently, this type of treatment is analyzed with the aid of vertical differentiation approach. Based on economic rationale, the authors claim that "medical knowledge/information obligation should play a crucial role in all healthcare services. This type of instrument is to be applicable for both parties in the doctor - patient relationship, as it may help overcome the inherently present information asymmetry by rendering the healthcare services provision more transparent.
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Volume (Year): 2012 (2012)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
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