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Health systems, health, wealth and societal well-being. assessing the case for investing in health systems

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This book looks at health systems from a new perspective. It argues that they are not, as is often believed, simply a drag on resources but rather are part and parcel of improving health and achieving better economic growth. The relationship between health systems, health and wealth is complex, but the three are inextricably linked so that investing cost-effectively in health systems can contribute to the ultimate goal of societal well-being (Figueras et al. 2009; McKee et al. 2009). The policy debate on health systems has been dominated in recent decades by concerns about sustainability and the system’s ability to fund itself in the face of growing cost pressures. More recently, the economic crises that have affl icted some countries have added to these concerns. Health expenditure in many European countries has been growing at a faster rate than the economy, accounting for an increasing percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) and creating unease about the costs falling upon industry and thus its competitiveness in an increasingly globalized economy. Containing costs has, consequently, become a major priority for most health systems in the World Health Organization (WHO) European Region and beyond. Typically, policy-makers have sought to fi nd a balanced combination of different strategies acting on both the supply and demand sides of health services.

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en

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http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/43604/

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