Do health care systems contribute to inequalities?

David A. Leon and Gill Walt

in Poverty, Inequality, and Health

Published in print November 2000 | ISBN: 9780192631961
Published online September 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780191723599 | DOI:
Do health care systems contribute to inequalities?

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This chapter considers the role of health care systems in generating poverty and inequality. It argues that health care systems, as social institutions, are built out of the existing social structure and carry its inequalities within them. However, health care systems are also a key site for contestation of existing inequality: they offer a representation back to us of our societies' capacity for care, and a public space for reworking those capacities. Effective health care reform that seeks to make the social institutions of health care more equitable must draw from an effective theory of health care system/inequality interaction. An approach to conceptualizing health care reform is presented.

Keywords: health care policy; health sector reform; health care systems; health inequality; poverty

Chapter.  8369 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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