The Globalization of Health Services
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Publication date: 2008-04-30
GNPJE 2008;223(4):21-40
The paper reviews available literature on globalization processes in health services. The aim is to identify the main research challenges and basic trends in this area. The analysis is made with the use of SinceDirect, EBSChost, BMJ Journals, ProQuest Medical Library and MEDLINE-PubMed data and covers the 1990-2007 period. The author concludes that theoretical discussions and empirical studies on the globalization of health services are still at an early stage of development even though health services and related sectors have a considerable share in most countries’ GDP. The paper offers a modified version of a model for describing the influence of globalization on health. The author shows that the growing influence of globalization on national health care systems is accompanied by an increased share of the private sector in these systems. At the same time, countries are increasingly adopting measures to boost the role of private funds in financing their health care systems. Analyses show international medical services are almost exclusively provided by private businesses. This means that globalization is primarily benefiting private health service providers and private investors, the author says.
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