Quasi-markets in healthcare

Julian Le Grand

in Making social policy work

Published by Policy Press

Published in print October 2007 | ISBN: 9781861349583
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447302742 | DOI:
Quasi-markets in healthcare

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This chapter examines quasi-markets in publicly funded systems of healthcare, particularly as they have developed in the UK in the last two decades. It begins with a brief review of the theory behind the use of quasi-markets as a mechanism for delivering healthcare. It then considers some of the empirical evidence concerning quasi-markets in practice, concentrating on the impact of patient choice and competition — the principal elements of the new quasi-market — in healthcare systems that have already tried them, including the UK Conservative government's internal market. Finally, it draws on that experience to discuss some of the conditions necessary for the quasi-market to deliver high-quality, efficient and equitable healthcare — that is, for the healthcare system to work.

Keywords: health care system; health care delivery; quasi-market; health care policy; patient choice; competition

Chapter.  6317 words. 

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